Tuesday, March 06, 2007

And its just another piece in the whole...

Recently I began working with a young woman (age 20) who had experienced a significant trauma. Her mother had called me because her daughter had written a poem expressing intense angst and pain over the betrayal by a trusted family member--and within the poem she thought she detected thoughts around suicide. While she didn't really consider her daughter suicidal, she wanted to err on the side of caution and have her come for some counseling.

I was happy to have this opportunity because I know that traumatic events like this--or special challenges as they are known in Life Puzzle-making, can often become overwhelming to a person this young--and usurp the rest of the Life Puzzle making process. Not to minimize at all what she had experienced--but I hoped to help her put it in context to her whole life and not let it limit her view of SELF as a victim to this trauma--in truth, she was a survivor.

We all experiences 'special challenges'....and while hers was particularly unpleasant--the temptation to get caught up in the trauma/experience and allow it to become central to our lives needs to be examined relative to the whole life journey. I have other clients who can let someone else's' comment--or behavior, trap them in a demolition derby feeling/thinking pattern for such a long time that the rest of their life sits on the sidelines as they run this event over and over and over again in their minds.

In perspective--I try to get clients to really ask themselves--how much power do you want to give this one event--in context to a life of say, 80 years. When viewed from the 'whole', this one piece is but a minor part--it only becomes major when you decide to make it the 'whole' and ignore the rest of your Life Puzzle. As I said to my client above--how often are you likely to be thinking about this experience on a daily basis when you are 37? Or 63? As she said, "well, I would hope not that much". And I continued with this thought "If you know that this trauma will become but a piece of the whole--how much power/focus/attention do you want to give it, relative to also building the rest of your Life Puzzle in the here and now?"

I could tell she was mulling this over--and I ask you to do the same. If there is some current experience/trauma that you're constantly focusing on at the expense of living life fully--ask yourself if you really want to give it this much power/focus/attention when you know full well, within a year, it will have settled back into your Life Puzzle as a piece...not the whole. If you know that's going to happen--why not just choose now to accept it, learn from it and move on and not spend hours upon hours consumed with it today?

What you'll discover is that we all have the ability to manage our suffering/angst. Not by ignoring traumas/special challenges--but by acknowledging that they are one piece amongst the whole. Experience, learn and live--and refuse to let them 'limit' you. The outcome? You spend more of your life attracting the life you want instead of what you don't!

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