Thursday, April 3, 2014

Shifting Shame to Strength

               The more I read and reflect on Surviving Trauma,  I realize that Shame is often associated with the overall feelings that living through a debilitating illness or experience can muster.   It is amazing that although you have survived, the depression and shame that can set in could be equally if not more crippling as the actual challenge one has faced.

Brittany Daniels, actress from the BET Show, The Game, survived Stage 4 Lymphoma.  In an interview with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts,  she said, "  I am so blessed"  (she goes on to say that) "I went through a lot of depression".

There are stages in healing and often times when we receive a clean bill of health, the people around us and we also believe that we will be overjoyed and pick up life where we left off.  However, many trauma survivors are unable to do that.  Although physical health may be on the mend, shame and depression are like acid corroding one's spirit and keeping the survivor in a mental and emotional prison.

How do we shift Shame to Strength?

1.  You are an over comer, a survivor, you are healed.  You are blessed!  Sometimes we hear these words and can not receive them.   However, creating affirmations allows one to shift the negative paradigm that we often feel after a serious life changing event.  Personally, I  have incorporated affirmations into my daily ritual.  It has removed years of calcified damage and I believe it could do the same for anyone who commits to it.  'Scripturally' speaking, " the power of life and death lies in the tongue"..... Speak  Life over your healing and future.

2 Prayer, meditation and keeping a journal or diary can also serve as excellent methods to get back to center and honor the God within.  

3. Surround yourself with positive people.  Family and friends can give us so much strength but sometimes the shame of trauma makes it difficult to be transparent .  It is hard to tell the person that has gone through so much anguish as your care taker that you fell hopeless or helpless.  Sometimes, survivors may harbor resentment for  loved ones too.  They may not be able to understand  "your blues" when you have survived and should be ecstatic.
 When you begin to feel yourself internalizing your true feelings.   You may need to garner strength from other sources.  You may want to consider professional counselling or  support groups for the type of trauma you have experienced..  It is so powerful to meet with others with a shared experience.   Do not let shame or pride stand in your way of getting the circle of grace and support that you need.

We pray that you continue to shift shame to strength  and continue to commit to Strive Daily.

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