When it comes to trauma, the best medicine is love. Incredible healing comes when we combine the practice of mindfulness with self-compassion. This is the path to direct, embodied self-love, and ultimate healing. And through this healing, we are able to bring our incredible gifts into the world.
Meeting Trauma With Self LOVE
If I were to explain my years of trauma work, I would summarize trauma work as the process of helping people discover the energy of self love.
Gestures of self love give powerful, healing signals to our body, and use our own love as a remedy to our fears.
One of the practices I often use in my work is having a client sit or lay down with their arms in a self-hugging position or with the hands resting gently on the heart and belly. Simple gestures of self love and self kindness help to create a loving, self-soothing relationship to our body. These postures signal love to our body, and when we combine physical touch with energy healing (my specialty) we greatly increase our receptivity to healing and recovery.
Transforming Trauma into Your Greatest Asset
Most people who have been traumatized are surprised to learn that their trauma will become an asset to them. It may not happen overnight, and it may require some intense processing (it usually does!). However, as we face our trauma, we develop deep wisdom, empathy, and even psychic awareness. As we pay attention to the ways our specific trauma has impacted our lives, and the gifts of healing and awareness it has brought into our lives, these gifts often become the profound gifts we then bring into the world.
Here are some of the biggest spiritual gifts of trauma that I see, every day:
The Spiritual Gifts of Trauma
1. Empathy and Conscious Awareness
Through healing trauma, we learn how to keep our hearts open even as they are breaking; this becomes an incredible gift because we are able to feel and connect with others and their suffering in profound, often unexpected, ways. Psychotherapists, healers, instructors and coaches who have experienced trauma learn to establish and maintain healthy boundaries with clients, while also being deeply empathic. This combination of clear boundaries with great empathy creates the most attuned, gifted healers our world has known. These are the guides who can activate empathy without getting overwhelmed by others’ suffering, and this balance is a profound gift to the world.
People who have experienced sympathetic/hyperarousal symptoms for much of their lives (a common symptom with trauma) tend to be hypersensitive. With mindfulness and self-inquiry, hypersensitivity can become the gift of energetic awareness. For some individuals, this can even feel psychic at times, but it’s actually quite natural, like the phenomenon of receiving a phone call from a friend you were just thinking about. Someone with heightened sensitivity has the ability to attune to the energy of others and the physical space they share. Like empathy, this level of sensitivity empowers our ability to connect with one another in deeper, often transformative ways. Working through trauma allows us to harness energetic gifts to the great benefit of anyone we choose to encounter.
3. Spiritual Transformation
Trauma often breaks people open at an early age, leaving them with fundamental questions about love, connection, suffering, the meaning of life, healing, and service. Through this, trauma opens our hearts to spiritual longing, and we learn to access a deeper connection to something beyond ourselves. We learn to trust a universal connection, or Divine guidance, or something that we have learned first hand is more powerful than ourselves. This is a profound gift that has nothing to do with spiritual bypassing, and it’s one of the gifts that only an intense experience like trauma, opens us up to.
4. Resilience and Healing
So many of our world’s greatest teachers and leaders have experienced some type of trauma in their lives. Surviving trauma brings forth some of the most beautiful qualities, like developing a great sense of humor in order to stay positive and resilient or great humility through deep introspection.
While none of us should have endured a traumatic event like abuse, violence or neglect, through our survival, we learn to thrive by navigating through the negative thoughts and feelings to re-discover healing and wholeness on the other side. Recovery and empowerment are always possible, though it may not seem so at times. When we learn our great capacity for recovery, we become incredibly resilient, and we can share and teach this resilience to others. As Peter Levine writes, “Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence.”
5. Wisdom And Understanding Of Life Purpose
For those who have suffered, and have really struggled to see the positive aspects of life, trauma nudges us to look at life in a whole new way.
Something incredible happens to our perspective when we’ve learned to actually see the positive outcomes of our healing through trauma, and to deeply own the powerful gifts we now possess from surviving and recovering. This transmutes into deep wisdom that we shine into the world, and it only comes to those who’ve developed a greater understanding of their purpose in life, their ability to survive anything, and their connection to the collective.
Treatment For Trauma
Trauma leaves people feeling wounded and lost, and it’s very important to receive support as you decide to face the trauma, process the past, and invite healing on all levels. For those reading this who are looking for treatments and healing, I want to acknowledge that while, yes, there are gifts on the other side of healing our trauma, we can’t rush our healing, and we never want to bypass it, either.
To heal from psychological and emotional trauma, we need to resolve the unpleasant feelings and memories that have usually been long avoided, to discharge the pent-up “fight-or-flight” energy, and to learn to regulate strong emotions. This is a process of rebuilding our own ability to trust other people. There are many ways to navigate and heal trauma, but finding a trusted guide is paramount. If you’re on the journey to healing, consider the following approaches:
Somatic experiencing, which focuses on bodily sensations, rather than thoughts and memories about the traumatic event. By concentrating on what’s happening in your body, you’ll learn to release pent-up trauma-related energy through shaking, crying, and other forms of physical release. For many, this can feel more powerful than years of talk therapy.
Breathwork is one somatic practice that can help people feel safe in the body, and release stuck emotions and energy at a cellular level. This article explains the benefits of breathwork, and here is a list of recommended breathwork practitioners.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people process and evaluate our thoughts and feelings about a past trauma.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation that can “unfreeze” traumatic memories.
Receiving an energy healing, such as Reiki is a way to restore the vital force energy and help the body recalibrate to its natural vital state. Energy healing brings us insight into how we should be feeling on a day to day basis: whole, vibrant and joyful with an overall feeling of being well. Energy healing allows us to have more acceptance, ease and vibrancy in our lives.
Guided Meditation by Andrea Firpo: Balance Your Energy + Discover Inner Calm
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Working through trauma can be scary, painful, and potentially re-traumatizing, so this healing work is best undertaken with the help of an experienced, recommended trauma specialist. Take your time to find someone that you feel comfortable with, that is aligned with your highest good, and works with a modality of healing that you resonate with. And celebrate all of the gifts that you possess, that only you can uniquely bring forth from your experience.
About Andrea Firpo
Andrea Firpo is a trauma-informed embodiment guide and energy healer, who works with clients 1:1 to resolve past traumas, and step into the most embodied, thriving life available. Her passion is to help people realize their unique spiritual gifts. Learn more about the 1:1 services she offers or schedule a 15 minute connection call to see if she’s a fit to support your needs.