There are many wonderful things we can do to heal from trauma and thrive after divorce. All sustainable healing that establishes lasting peace in our hearts is obtained intentionally and purposefully.
Trauma is fear stored in the mind and body from past moments of danger. When we experience something that triggers memories of those moments, we re-experience trauma and feel pain. Our brains are two million years old and wired more for survival than for joy. So, they keep us constantly vigilant, watching for danger – which is stressful and unpleasant. Because of trauma, we are afraid of a lot of things that are not truly dangerous. The fear response is over generalized out of an abundance of caution to keep us safe. But it also keeps us disconnected and miserable.
We explain how trauma works because, if you can name it, you can tame it. If you recognize those fearful and uncomfortable feelings rising up inside, you can talk back to them. You can evaluate whether you are truly unsafe and, if you are not, you can choose to release those feelings – which enables you to move forward bravely. While you are processing feelings, you can know that you are vulnerable to cognitive distortions. You can choose to postpone important decisions until your mind and body have returned to peace, you are no longer fearful, and your perspective is clearer.
There are other strategies and methods of actually releasing trauma from your body to help you move forward with less difficulty finding happiness. EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy is one example of a therapeutic modality that can give you your life back. ART (accelerated resolution therapy) is another modality, similar to EMDR, that treats trauma in broader categories and allows it to be released more quickly. It is primarily focused on replacing disturbing images with pleasant ones. For many people, a substantial amount of trauma can be released more quickly and efficiently with these modalities.
George Addair said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” Whatever you choose to do to manage and release your trauma, there is a beautiful life of love, adventure, and joy waiting for you. Sometimes we resist therapeutic interventions because we believe the expense will only increase our level of anxiety. Often, we tell ourselves that we will get help for our emotional problems when we have made more money or created better external circumstances in our lives. In reality, real change is from the inside out. Invest what you need to in treatment for trauma and you will see healing manifest in your circumstances. You are worth it, and you deserve it.
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About the Author
Jeff Teichert, and his wife Cathy Butler Teichert, are the founders of “Love in Later Years,” which ministers to Latter-day Saint single adults seeking peace, healing, and more joyful relationships. They are co-authors of the Amazon bestseller Intentional Courtship: A Mid-Singles Guide to Peace, Progress and Pairing Up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jeff and Cathy each spent nearly a decade in the mid-singles community and they use that experience to provide counsel and hope to mid-singles and later married couples through written articles, podcasts, and videos. Jeff and Cathy are both Advanced Certified Life Coaches and have university degrees in Family & Human Development. They are the parents of a blended family that includes four handsome sons, one lovely daughter-in-law, and a sweet baby granddaughter.
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