Behind many of the world’s greatest leaders is a major heartbreak. At some point in their life they reached a turning point and perhaps were faced with death. Call it a ‘challenge’, a ‘bump in the road’ or ‘a growth opportunity’ but let’s face it, bad things happen. Sometimes the thing happened before we were even born and our cells carry the experience, even from generations ago. Are you responsible for this and how do you turn it around??
This world offers a lot of material to work with and there is no shortage of trauma. Last week my five year old son and I were admiring a building that had gargoyles on the top and when he asked what purpose they served, I answered quickly “to protect us from evil spirits”. 30 minutes later he was still processing and seeking more explanation. Without having guidance from a skilled professional I answered as best I could, knowing that my son has already faced his share of ‘evil spirits’ and what I want the most is for him to feel safe and secure in the world. I do not want him to grow up full of fear and I will be open with him about how I have overcome some heartbreaks, when the time is right. I will not shelter him and I will do my best to highlight the internal source of strength he can always tap into, so he does not feel powerless to life circumstance.
I do believe we are always at the moment of choice. If we are under attack we may automatically enter fight-flight-freeze mode but then when we survive we have options. Many of the most admired changemakers have a very personal story of post-traumatic growth; something that seemed to tear them open and pull out their insides. It required deep examination and self-reflection in taking steps toward a rewarding existence. In their personal journey of healing they have become motivated to leave the world a better place than when they found it. The heartbreak leads to purpose and meaning. For that reason, I am grateful for those experiences in my life that created wounds and left scars. I could not have imagined the ‘breaks’ leading to a sense of wholeness and it is my intention to support others as they walk through the valley of the darkness.
How will you move on from your heartbreak; from that thing that was so painful it seemed like it might kill you? How do you describe that heartbreak today? Have you taken action? How do you present yourself to the world in reaction to this trauma and how does it manifest in your life today?