The Upside of PTSD

Before anyone accuses me of being insensitive or flippant, please know that I am not making light of anyone who has suffered genuine psychological trauma. My heart truly goes out to anyone traumatized in any way and I hope they are able to find the professional assistance and inner peace they seek and rightly deserve.

PTSD is the acronym for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I would like to positively and gently reframe this term as it applies to the less severe day-to-day trials we all face.

Our muscles grow when they are put under stress and then given a period of recovery. As this cycle is repeated, our muscles grow stronger and more resilient. In time, we are able to perform increasingly difficult tasks that before would have seemed impossible.

Our souls grow in a similar manner.

When our minds and hearts—emotional not physical—are placed under load, there are two possible outcomes. We either crack or we recover and grow stronger.

I call this Post Traumatic Soul Development.

Most of the time this is a choice. We can choose to shrink, retreat, or give in to despair, or we can choose to fight. We can choose to run straight at our problems and fears.

The funny thing about problems and fears is that they rarely hold up to prolonged scrutiny. Darkness cannot abide the light. Fear and love cannot exist in the same space. If we shine the spotlight of our heartfelt attention—not repetitious circular worrying—on those things which are troubling us, a timely solution usually presents itself.

And the more times we repeat this cycle, the stronger we get. As we repeatedly flex our “soul muscle,” our capacity to handle heavier mental and emotional loads increases. Soon we will be fit to handle the so-called impossible.

Sometimes we can do this on our own. Sometimes it is easier with help. Either way, our trials and tribulations can become fuel for our greatest growth.

If we let them.

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