The Love of a Dog

Isn’t the love of a dog amazing? It’s an unconditional love that doesn’t have restrictions or requirements. A dog doesn’t refuse to be nice to the owner if it’s not fed on time or if it’s not walked or played with at a certain time. Quite the opposite. That dog may be jumping with its tail wagging in excitement to see you. It’s just as if it has no memory of you not feeding it at the usual time yesterday because you were stuck in traffic. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to take advantage of that kind of unconditional love.

Photo by Kai-Chieh Chan on PEXELS

The Love We Received

In the world of someone who has had a lot of traumas and losses, the love of a dog can be very comforting and healing because there are no expectations and no requirements to be perfect all the time. Unfortunately, for some individuals, that may not be the kind of love that they have received—especially if there has been any form of abuse or domestic violence in their lives.

Abuse can mess up how love is defined, given, processed, and received. The love received may have been conditional, depending upon performance when completing a task, following rules, or exhibiting certain behaviors like being perfect. So the reward of getting love doesn’t come unless the performance or behavior matches what the person has in mind, which makes it conditional love. So it says you don’t get my love unless you do what I want. That’s not comforting.

Being on the receiving end of conditional love can make someone less trusting of others in relationships. That’s an unhealthy kind of love. We need to learn about healthy love, work on new skills, and develop healthy relationships. Going through life seeing the glass half full not half empty is far more pleasant than seeing it half full.

Photo by Leah Kelley on PEXELS

The Love We Need

Wouldn’t it be great to be welcomed by others the same way our dog eagerly greets us? The love of a dog is the kind of love we all desire and need, but we may not always get. We are free to be who we are, mess and all, and the dog still loves us and doesn’t reject us. However, if we’ve received conditional love that is dependent on perfection or performance, it takes time  learn to how to love unconditionally.

Learning Healthy Love

When there have been traumas and losses, a person has to be more diligent to learn about unconditional love, how to give it, and how to receive it. When we say we love someone, maybe we should stop and consider what kind of love we’re talking about. You know, do a bit of a self-check to see whether we’re talking about the love of a dog with its built-in, tail wagging, eagerness and excitement to see its master, or if we’re referring to a conditional love that is exhibited because someone has performed to our liking. To learn about healthy love, find good examples of how that should look and get around friends who know how to love unconditionally.

The best example of unconditional love that I’ve found in my life is God’s love for us. He’s always with us and loving us. Contrary to what most trauma survivors think, God is not mad at us. He wants to be our best friend and lead and guide us through life. A good place to read about His unconditional love for us is in the Bible, especially throughout the New Testament. Read more about His love here.

 

Photo by Andrew Schultz on Unsplash

Since we’ve all experienced the tail-wagging, unconditional love of a dog, it is a good starting point for understanding the kind of love that God has for us. Once we accept Jesus, even if we mess up, God still loves us and wants the best for us. That’s some tail-wagging, comforting, unconditional love for anybody who has had many traumas and losses or who believes that God is mean because their unkind earthly father was abusive.  Always remember how much God loves you unconditionally and always will no matter what you have done or what you will do in the future. That’s amazing love!

Just some food for thought to apply to your life when you think about love.  I would like to hear if you have experienced the unconditional love of a dog, or another person, or God, and how it impacted your life.

Review of Power Words: What You Say Can Change Your Life

Product: POWER WORDS: WHAT YOU SAY CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE, by Joyce Meyer

Best Price: $7.48 (retail)

Best Place to Buy: Amazon.com

My Rating: Excellent ( a must read!)

Review of Power Words: What You Say Can Change Your Life

When we rebuild our lives, we often find that we need to change our vocabulary from negative words to positive words. Hurtful, painful events can leave us bitter, angry, resentful, unforgiving, and negative—if we’re not careful. But who wants to be that way or remain that way?

One of many helpful tools I’ve found comes from Joyce Meyer. So many people have overcome traumas and losses to become very successful in life and Joyce is one of those people. She has chosen to use her story of surviving childhood sexual abuse to help others overcome and move forward. She now ministers globally, can be seen daily on television, and has written numerous books. In her book titled, Power Words: What You Say Can Change Your Life, Joyce shares her thoughts and experiences regarding the power of words. She shares her own humanness and struggles with taming the tongue, knowing when to speak and when not to, learning to be patient and grateful, and more. Joyce explains how the words we speak reveal what’s going on in our hearts, our thoughts, and our attitudes.

If you’ve not given much thought to how powerful your words are, her book will be enlightening and life changing. If you have read books by other authors on this topic, you’ll still want to consider what she has to say.

Affordable, Timeless Wisdom

You’ll read about her experiences and how she learned the lessons she’s teaching in this book. Of course, she offers the solutions for making the necessary changes of everything she discusses in her book. Joyce gives great thought, much prayer and study to giving her best with each book she writes. She has taught on this subject many times and is always quick to share new insight and revelation that she gains each time she studies and presents this subject.

No matter where we are in our journey of life, we can always improve. I give this book an Excellent rating because it’s packed with wisdom, tips, and solutions that you can immediately apply. She identifies the problems and offers you the tools and solutions to improve and become a better person. Be sure to check out her book on Amazon!

The Power of Words

Gerd Altmann
Public Domain Pictures

What do words have to do with rebuilding our lives? Everything! The power of words cannot be overlooked, but sometimes we don’t realize the power that’s in our words. Words can build us up or tear us down, evoke emotions, inspire, drain, or motivate us. What happens to our words when we go through traumas or losses? How do our words change during traumatic events compared to when all is going smoothly? That’s what we’re going to consider.

Our Word Choices

People laughing and talkingWhen life is going great and everything is falling into place as we think it should, it’s easy to be positive and upbeat and see the glass half full, right? The sky might look especially blue and the grass a vibrant green, and no matter what happens we can shake it off. It’s easy to trust God and to say and do the things that indicate that we truly trust God.

Our words might be pleasant and easily build up others and affirm ourselves. In fact, we might cringe when we hear others talking bad about themselves. Does this sound like your world? Words are pleasant, encouraging, and life building when life is good. Why is that? Very little stress? Or because life seems to be cooperating with us and going in the direction we desire?

What Happens to Our Words?

But, if a traumatic event occurs, what happens to those upbeat, positive words? Maybe our words remain unchanged or maybe they come with more of a strain. It depends on the severity of the trauma or loss and how many traumatic events have occurred. In fact, if there have been multiple major losses, words might become scarce and be surrounded with a lot of silence. Imagine having several overwhelming events that leave you with no words left to speak and no tears left to cry. Have you had those kinds of experiences? There may only be shock, numbness and anger while processing all that’s occurring.

Sometimes when bad things happen, it’s easy for hope to fade or even disappear, and for the once positive words and attitudes to turn bitter and negative. After all, expectations have been devastated, sometimes multiple times. That can bring about some deep soul-searching.

Traumatic events require us to have space as we go through those difficult situations. Sometimes people can articulate what they need and at times they can’t. Having worked closely with trauma survivors and having coped with my own traumas, I understand the impact on the whole person. I have been present with families as they were at loved ones bedsides in ICU 24/7 after horrible tragedies, and I have been with individuals after loved ones had just passed away. Some people may prefer silence over being around others, even if those people are speaking positive words and are supportive. Time will bring more healing, less shock and numbness, and restore a desire to be around other people again.

Changing Our Words

Our words can shape our lives, our environments, and our futures. Even if you have never read the Bible, check this out. According to Proverbs 18:21 Amplified Bible (AMP), it says… “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.” Maybe you’re more familiar with the New King James Bible (NKJV). It says this, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Maybe you’re familiar with Joyce Meyer who is a survivor of many traumatic events. She has overcome, persevered, and rebuilt her life in many ways.  One of her many books is titled,  Power Words:  What You Say Can Change Your Life.  She has much to offer others with her tips and wisdom on the power of words in her life.

The power of words has been tested. Cooked rice was placed in three separate closed jars and a short-term experiment was conducted to see if words spoken directly at a specific container of rice made any difference.  Negative, terrible words were spoken over one of the jars; positive, affirming, live-giving words over another jar; and then the third jar of rice was totally ignored. After several days, the rice that had negative words spoken over it looked awful. The rice that was ignored looked nearly as bad, but the rice that had good things said about it looked bright, healthy, and thriving.

Happy people

Our body and soul (which consists of our mind, will, and emotions) respond similarly to words like the rice did. As we rebuild our lives after traumas and losses, it’s especially important to be surrounded by positive people. It’s important to be aware of the words we are speaking about ourselves and about our lives, because we will see our words come to pass at some point. The power of the words we speak and the words others speak (if positive) can help us build a healthy self-image, life, career, and environment. So remember the power of your words.

I would like to know if you have ever seen the power of someone’s words in their life? Leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond.

Thanks for reading!

Colleen

I Lost My Purpose!

Maybe this is you. You were zipping along feeling like you knew what you were created to do or were supposed to do, but something happened. Now you keep thinking, I lost my purpose. How could this be? How can you lose your purpose? Well, sometimes events in our lives create unexpected changes in direction and any of us can find ourselves going on a totally new path. For instance, suddenly having a loved one to care for because of a disability, or having a head injury, or losing a job.

To relocate your purpose, you might need to begin with where you possibly lost your purpose. Everything has a season. Maybe in looking for where you think you stepped out of your purpose, you’ll learn that it’s a new season and you won’t be returning to that same thing. Have you looked at a timeline of your life to identify when things were sailing along nicely, or to see where things took nosedives?

Life Timeline

A Life Timeline is a simple visual to help you see what has occurred in your life—both good and bad. Usually, it’s best to start at birth so you get the full picture of your life. Turn your paper horizontally and draw a line the whole way across the page. (See the Life Timeline example and also look online for free timeline templates.) Leave room to extend lines (like decade or age indicators) out and write info above and beneath the line pertaining to each decade or age. Above that timeline, fill in the good things that occurred (like high school graduation, college graduation, first job, first paycheck, first date, marriage, first promotion, etc).  Using lines that extend out from the timeline under that line, fill in the unpleasant things that happened (like bullied at school, abuse, auto accident, loss of a loved one, job loss, surgery, storm damage to house, divorce, health issues, etc.) I think you get the idea. This can be a revealing process since life happens so fast that we don’t always stop and consider what all has happened to us and the impact those things have had on our lives.

Career Timeline

Once you complete the timeline and look at the ups and downs in your life, you’ll gain some insight as to where you might have lost your purpose. Traumas and losses have a way of zapping our vision of where we’re going and throwing us off course. When we get off course, we may also lose our passion.

To move toward relocating your purpose, create your Career Timeline like in the example. Compare your Life Timeline, with your Career Timeline. You can even merge them together if you want.

Relocating Your Purpose

Now look at the timelines separately or merged together on one sheet, identify what you were doing and what was happening in your life that made you feel like you were on top of the world because you were so passionate about what you were doing. That, my friend, will be the start to relocating your purpose.

Is relocating your purpose that simple, you might ask? Sometimes. Other times, we have to dig deeper to find what impacted our lives to steal our passion. For now, give these timelines a try, then let me know in the comments how they’ve helped you or feel free to share a different tool you’ve used to relocate your purpose. I look forward to your comments!

Colleen

Your Wellness Matters

After a traumatic event or loss has ended and things calm down, now what? Your wellness matters, that’s what. Too often, once the upheaval has ended you can still find yourself in a fight or flight mode. That means your body is on high alert pumping cortisol as if your very breath depended on it or as if you were trying to outrun someone who was coming after you. So exactly how long can your body function in that state of being? Not long! You’ll find yourself being too exhausted to function.  After all, how long has your traumatic event or loss gone on? Has it been hours, days, weeks, months, or years? The length of time that your body was coping with the intensity of the trauma or loss can determine how long it takes you to recover from it physically and emotionally.

What Kind of Trauma or Loss was it?

The impact a traumatic event has on your wellness depends on the kind of trauma or loss it was and on your experiences. What may seem traumatic to you may not be traumatic to me, because your life experiences have been different from mine.

For instance, suppose you had a recent job loss that was traumatic. Maybe you had tried diligently to get along with other employees for a couple of years, but they constantly made you look bad. Or maybe no matter what you did, you couldn’t please your employer. Consider the difference between the death of loved one with that of losing your wallet. Or compare a job loss, which also includes income and benefits loss with losing your keys. Huge differences, right? All of them can take time to resolve after the fact. A job loss that has had years or months of conflict and stress, or the death of a loved one may impact your wellness with chronic stress long before these major traumatic events occur.

My dear friend became progressively sicker, had tests and biopsies, then surgery, and was ultimately diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Next he started chemotherapy. With a healthcare background, I immediately started searching my online sources for what might be of help once he became sick, then later my focus shifted to alternative cancer therapies once he received that diagnosis. The duration of the ongoing traumatic events related to his well-being daily impacted those of us close to him and covered a time span of several years before his passing, and then there was the grieving process after his passing. Our wellness was challenged. Although we took turns staying at his bedside during the last few weeks of his life, there were still many additional stresses that we have never expected.

Your Wellness Matters

Even though it’s difficult to go through life changing events, we have to do our best to care of ourselves in the midst of things when our world turns upside down. Getting adequate sleep is critical so the body can heal and replenish from the stress because often we’re faced with major decisions to make during traumatic events. Sleeping at someone’s bedside in a hospital room is “not” quality, restful sleep! We need to lie down on a bed and attempt to turn off our brains for a while and sleep. We don’t need pain pump alarms going off,  or ambulances coming to the ER, or nursing staff coming in and out of the room checking on the patient. We need true undisturbed sleep. Lack of sleep can make our brains foggy and high stress can numb our brains. So sleep is really important. Also, our immune system is hit hard when we’re under stress. So make sure you take your vitamins and maybe even some stress complex vitamins and extra Vitamin C to help boost your immune system.

Taking time to go for a walk to clear your mind and get fresh air may seem like a simple thing to do, but it can make all the difference in the world when you’ve been at someone’s bedside in a hospital room. Be sure to talk with friends so you can discuss what you’re feeling and begin to process what’s occurring because that helps your wellness too. Friends are important, but nothing helps me as much as being still with God, talking to Him, and listening. I’ve learned that no matter what I’m going through, God is my help, strength, comfort, and peace. I can talk to Him any time and anywhere and about anything.

After a traumatic event ends, then you can ease back into your normal schedule again, but there’s no rush. Even if you have to jump back into work, you can spend your free time catching up on rest or journaling to express your thoughts and feelings on paper and get them off of your mind. Be wise and do what you need to do to take care of yourself, because your wellness matters and so do you!

I would love to hear what has helped you the most during traumatic events in your life. Leave me a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond.

I Want My Own Business

What does starting a business have to do with rebuilding your life? It depends on what you’re rebuilding from whether I want my own business is even realistic. For instance, are you rebuilding from a job loss, physical loss, relational loss, financial loss, vehicle or housing loss, etc.? Sometimes it seems like our greatest needs are financial when we’re rebuilding our lives, so it’s easy to consider other ways to make money, including starting a business. But getting a steady paycheck so you can provide for your family might be the best thing you can do. Once your family and home are stabilized, then you can develop your business idea.

Job Loss

Jobs can be lost for so many reasons, but if employers change, pass away, or suddenly become sick or disabled, you might find yourself without a job. Of course, jobs can change when people get fired or laid off or if new owners take over the business! Jobs may also be lost when someone is aging and management wants younger people because the insurance costs less. Sometimes workers are pushed out of jobs by others who feel threatened for some reason.

Losing a job, no matter what the reason, is a humbling experience. It is also one that can leave your personal finances in a mess if there is no savings account to fall back on. Counting on friends and family for financial help may not work, because their funds might be limited. Besides, you’re responsible for your life, which means not tapping others for help on an ongoing basis.  So with financial changes, you might find yourself saying, that’s it, I’ve had enough, I want my own business.

Keep emotions out of the way and look at the long-term consequences of your choices.—even if you’re fed up with working for someone else, their quirks and demands, or other employees, or just being overworked and underpaid. Take a deep breath and figure out what makes the most sense. Over the years of helping people rebuild their lives, I’ve seen people grab a few tools and jump out there to start a small business with little to no planning. Some managed to have success while others failed miserably.

Get Out of Crisis Mode

So where do you start? If a job loss has created a crisis for your family with insufficient food, clothing needs, money shortage, or leaves you with transportation challenges, then you first must stop the bleeding and get out of the crisis by finding another job or do contract work to make ends meet.

In larger cities, you’ll likely find a United Way office that will offer a wide variety of assistance to those who are in need, but you must first meet the criteria of the organization to which they refer you. Many cities and towns have churches and social service organizations that help with food, clothing, transportation, and shelter. Some churches and agencies also offer assistance with gas, light, water and phone bills. If you’re not sure how to find help, search online using Google to look for local resources or call your local churches. Hopefully, you will never end up in a crisis of this magnitude. Instead, find that next job, get your family stabilized, then consider developing a business, even an online business, doing work that you enjoy.

Where to Start Right Now?

Wanting to work from home is a great idea, but how do you find a legitimate business to work with? Do your research and beware of scams. Search online with terms like “best remote jobs companies” or something similar and you’ll find valuable information. The key to finding legitimate work from home jobs is using the “remote” term when searching, instead of the terms work at home, or part-time work. While searching, watch for well-known business publications that offer lists of legitimate companies hiring remote workers. In your search, you may find part-time or full-time work or even temporary contract work through these companies.

My Own Business

Let’s face it, jobs come and go pretty easily anymore. If you ever find yourself without a job or work, you may wish that you had started your own business or that you were the boss calling the shots. Well, never give up on that idea! I truly believe that being a business owner or entrepreneur is a great way to earn a living doing what you enjoy and using the skills that you love to help other people. But, first you have to look realistically at your current situation and get stabilized, then move forward to tackle your dreams.

Having done freelance contract work and having owned small businesses throughout my life, there is a lot to be said for being able to set your own days and hours to work and choose the people with whom you want to work. With current work from home opportunities and online businesses, it is possible to use your skills, talents, and interests to develop a website, attract potential clients, generate money and grow the online business that you’ve always wanted. So by all means, don’t give up on the idea of wanting your own business.

On another note, your local SCORE office can be a good place for developing your personal business ideas. It is a non-profit association that is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration Score and is run by volunteer business experts and mentors who will help you find answers to your questions. Get more information on their website at https://www.score.org/

Now you have a couple major options to check out. Working from home for one, finding “remote jobs” companies as an independent contractor or connecting with the SCORE office near you to pursue your own small business. Go, create a successful day!

Why be thankful?

After all the traumas and losses you’ve been through, are you now wondering why be thankful? What do I have to be thankful for? Have you ever thought that? It’s likely that you have. I think we all have after being devastated. Wading through one traumatic event or loss after another can lead to feelings of things never getting better or total hopelessness. These events may cause us to become bitter, angry, or ungrateful, unless we take time to process our pain the right way. According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, grateful is defined as “appreciative of benefits received,” and thankfulness is defined as “conscious of a benefit received; well pleased; and expressive of thanks.” Sometimes when life gets difficult, it’s easy to become less appreciative and less likely to express our thankfulness, unless we make a concentrated effort to do so and to stay positive.

Impact of Life Experiences

Despite our life experiences, we all have a choice on how we will respond to the traumas and losses that come our way. No matter what socioeconomic level we might be whether poor, homeless, disabled, middle class, or wealthy, the choice is up to us to be thankful and appreciative. It’s very humbling to lose everything and start over. Anybody can experience traumas and losses because they cut across all socioeconomic levels. If you’ve ever lost everything or have known someone who did, you’ll also know that people who were thought to be friends suddenly disappear. Sometimes that’s because they do not know how to handle the traumatic situation.

What I’m saying is that it helps us heal when we choose to be grateful and thankful. Getting through traumas and losses we have the choice to value life and to appreciate what we have or to not to do that. Maybe you value life and what you have now, but it’s been a struggle to gain that perspective. That’s okay. Continue on your healing journey. Sometimes those who have lost everything then see life from a different perspective than those who are focused on buzzing through life buying up the latest gadgets.

It’s possible to have good physical or financial health, but have one or more experiences occurred that pulled the rug out from under you—maybe through no fault of your own? You might have a PhD with a great paying job, or a lucrative career, or be in excellent health playing sports you enjoy, but suddenly have your life turned upside down and those things may be gone. You grieve your losses, but as you work through that grieving process, you might learn new ways to appreciate the little things in life. Those might be the sunrises and sunsets that you can see, the birds that you can hear, or your ability to still walk and think despite a car accident.

Developing Thankfulness

I believe developing thankfulness starts by having the right perspective. We’re not entitled to anything, but there seem to be more people thinking that way these days. Entitlement thinking smacks of selfishness and ingratitude. Thankfulness instead comes from looking humbly at life and seeing God’s hand of protection and provision, and taking note of where you used to be compared to where you are now. It’s also about learning to see the glass half full and that with God’s help things will improve—even if you don’t know how that will happen right now.

Actually, I believe we can always go to new levels of thankfulness. Sometimes just spending more time with those who are less fortunate is a good starting point to developing that new level of thankfulness. A good exercise is to write in your journal every morning or evening the things for which you are thankful. See what happens. In fact, I would love for you to write me a note and share how that exercise changes your life. I have used it for years, sometimes more consistently than others, but it has always impacted my life.

Keep an attitude of gratitude!

Colleen

 

I Need to Change My Life

Most likely, after all the traumas and losses you’ve had you’re thinking, maybe I need to change my life. Right? So how can you do that? Sometimes traumatic events seem relentless in our lives, coming at us one after another. We can find ourselves wishing for a breather and for rest so we can get some quality sleep or so we can think straight again. Have you ever had those kinds of experiences? You might be thinking about changing your life, but there are many things to consider depending on whether you’re rebuilding your life from scratch or not.

First Changes

You might start by taking inventory of your life to locate the areas that are out of sorts starting with basic needs. The major focus should be on determining whether your basic needs are being met. A general basic needs list might include food, clothing, shelter, water, and healthcare. But in my years of experience in helping others rebuild their lives, this list isn’t comprehensive enough. This is only a start.

Second Line of Changes

A more comprehensive list casts a broader net. For instance, it’s difficult to hold down a job without a stable place to live, but we need to take that a step further. Having a safe, non-threatening environment becomes critical for women and children—especially those who have been in abusive situations.
Other aspects of a broader basic needs list include clothing, transportation, childcare, education, dental, vision, medications, and mental health needs. Having these needs met enables you to better focus on working and earning money to improve your situation. Think about how many of these needs if not met might prohibit you from getting a job or focusing and doing a good job at work. Again, an example might be that without certain work clothes you can’t get a job or without reliable transportation you can’t go to and from work or shop for food and clothing. If there are health, dental, or vision problems they might even keep you from being able to work. Of course, if you need medications but don’t have insurance or cannot afford the copay, then you may not be well enough to work. So you see there may be a lot of changes needed in your life depending on your journey.

Additional Changes

You might need to change your life, but until you make sure that the very basic needs issues are handled, it will be difficult to move forward. However, once the above basic needs and other needs are met, then you can focus on additional changes like improving your income, health, relationships, work, emotional and spiritual health. Stick with the needs we’ve discussed here as a starting point for changing your life and build from there. You can do this!

How to Ignite Hope?

After years of traumas and losses in life, something can happen to hope. It may dwindle or blip off the radar. When we lose hope, that’s a rough place to be, because it can lead to depression. Before we talk about how to ignite hope, we need to stop and think about how we got to this point of losing hope. Where on our journey exactly did that happen? As you look back, was it a culmination of traumas and losses or can you identify a particular trauma or loss that really took you down?

Sometimes we have to look back in order to go forward. I’m not saying look back and wallow in a bunch of bad stuff, because that alone will make you feel bad. Just look back long enough to pinpoint some things to help yourself move forward. For instance, you could make a timeline of your life from birth up to this point. On it you would identify the traumas and losses that occurred. Doing a timeline helps us think more clearly about what happened and when. It also helps us remember the events that we may have forgotten because bigger traumas and losses came along.

Doing this simple exercise might cause you to say, wow, how did I even make it this far in life? Or, it may make you realize that you really haven’t had as many traumatic events or losses as other people. Either way, this exercise is a good tool for igniting hope and gratitude, because it can open our eyes and make us grateful for what we have and for how God has divinely brought us to this point in our lives. And yes, you guessed it. One good way to ignite hope is making a point to take time each day and make a list of things you are grateful for. It’s a great way to ignite hope and to keep that flame of hope burning every day!

Leave me a comment and let me know one way you’ve found to ignite your hope. I look forward to hearing from you!

Healing from Trauma

 

No matter what we’ve been through it’s still important to honor and respect others. We want to be respected and treated right, so we need to do that for others. But how do we do that when people have mistreated us or abused us knowingly or unknowingly? How to heal from trauma like that?

Forgive

Traumas and losses can cloud our vision of others. Those traumas and losses can make it hard to forgive others and embrace healing, but we must press on through any murky feelings or perceptions that arise from those situations to see others from God’s perspective. He loves each of us as much as He loves His own Son, Jesus. He never ignores us when we ask for help. Nor does He push us aside because He’s too busy. He never waits for us to get things right and to be perfect before He will interact with us or help us. But yet, in our traumatized, unhealed thinking, we often do to others what we don’t want done to us. This means our behaviors and attitudes may not honor and respect others.

Allow Time to Heal

We need to slow down, embrace healing, and pursue the kind of healing that God’s Word says is healthy for us. No need to stuff our emotions or to push past what we’re feeling to rush on with life, because those unresolved issues typically reveal themselves later in the form of anger, bitterness, and bad attitudes regarding how we treat others. We have to learn to forgive—God’s way. That means that even though we don’t feel like it or even when we can’t forget how we were wronged, we need to “choose” to forgive others. Yes, that takes time, but we must make that choice and continue with it, because it will pay off for us long-term with better health. Of course, it will be more challenging to forgive deep hurts, but we still need to work at making that choice as often as the thoughts of the incident arise. Allow time to heal.

If someone mistreats us, we need to work through that. Meanwhile, if it’s hard to be around that person because they mistreated us, then keeping a safe distance or staying away until we have had more healing is okay. Of course, if the person has been physically abusive, it’s wise to stay away. God’s best for us is to “not” to be abused by others.

So we need to determine in our hearts to choose forgiveness quickly when situations happen. Be kind to ourselves and allow time to heal. It’s okay if we need to keep our distance from people who remind us of someone who has caused us pain until we’ve had more time to heal. Doing these things, we are respecting and honoring our need to heal so we can better interact with others. By giving ourselves time to heal, it will help us honor others and treat them with more respect as well.

You can do this!