No matter how you plan your life, there will be unexpected twists and turns. Many times these become life traumas, those powerful experiences that redefine your life. When that happens, the reverberations and disruptions extend beyond the event and take on a life of their own. You think of your life as split into before and after the event that changed everything.

It could be the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a betrayal or a health crisis. It might even be an event that seems less traumatic on the surface but has knocked your life off course. You know when it has occurred and then the question becomes: How do I move on?

Naturally, you want to distance yourself from the pain and sorrow as soon as you can yet that is exactly the reason you get stuck. It is natural to resist looking at the challenge. There are powerful feelings here that stop you from integrating the experience. You fear you might get swept away by this emotional trauma, forever lost in the sorrow, never to return. You tell yourself it will break you.

Yet, what if being broken open is exactly what you need to heal? What if you could trust yourself enough to allow those feelings to come forward? As counter intuitive as it sounds, the way out is to journey within.

Losing my only sister on the heels of a serious cancer diagnosis broke me so deeply, I was sure I would never recover. I couldn’t imagine ever experiencing joy again. I needed time to embrace the sorrow, grief and anger to finally heal. Spending time with those emotions and understanding what they showed me, allowed me to find a way back into my life. To my surprise, I came back stronger and more powerful than ever.

Everyone experiences loss; it is how you manage that event over time that shows you who you really are. Let yourself feel your emotions, invite them in and ask them what are they here to show you? Take your time and be patient with yourself. Know it takes courage to be vulnerable and explore unknown emotional terrain. Like an explorer on a quest for hidden treasure, there are many riches you will discover. These gifts will shift your trauma, integrate your experiences and leave you transformed. Trust yourself enough to make the journey.