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Archive for July 21st, 2009

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a college graduation at which Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder.com, was the keynote speaker. As he spoke, I kept thinking about all of you as well as my Blooming Lotus blog.

His keynote address focused upon three points:

  1. Use what you know for social good.
  2. Never stop learning.
  3. Educate others about what you have learned.

What is this blog if not all three of these elements?

1. Use what you know for social good.

If there is one thing I know, it is about trauma – both what it feels like and how to manage it. (Admittedly, I do better “managing” trauma at some times than others.) I read many books, talked to many people, invested many hours in therapy, and developed many ways of managing the aftereffects of trauma. I have worked much too hard for all of my efforts to be used only for one person.

Since I know how to manage flashbacks, why wouldn’t I share that with others? My therapist told me that I was under no obligation to invest myself in other child abuse survivors, but why wouldn’t I? That would go against who I am.

2. Never stop learning.

This is where all of you come in. Every day, I am learning something new and gaining new insights about the healing journey as I read your comments. Not only do I continue to learn, but I frequently find myself having to “relearn” the same lesson again and again. As long as I am drawing breath, I will continue to learn and grow.

3. Educate others about what you have learned.

For me, elements one and two are intertwined with this element. As I educate those who are new to the healing process, I am doing social good. Your comments (particularly your questions) guide me to educate others about what I have learned.

I have also learned that there is more than one way to heal and that my way might not be the “right” way for you. Again, your comments are so helpful with this. Between what I share on my blog and all of your comments, those who are new to the healing journey have lots of advice about how to manage the healing process.

Most importantly, we all offer one another hope. Hope was something I desperately needed when I first started having flashbacks. If I had not been the mother of a young child, I probably would have committed suicide rather than try to push through the initial “breakthrough crisis” because I had no hope. That came from others who were further along their healing journeys who could reassure me that my life would not always feel that dismal.

As I write this blog, I am in an airplane returning home from the graduation. I got to experience the Southwest. I saw the sun rise over the mountains. I saw streets lined with palm trees and cacti along the road. If I had known in 2003 (when the flashbacks started) that I would one day travel to Phoenix and take in the breathtaking beauty of a part of the country that is very different from my own, I would have had more strength to fight back. On the other side of the pain is beauty and deep appreciation of the world around you.

Photo credit: Faith Allen

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