So, maybe you grew up under shitty conditions. Life sucked. You were trapped in these circumstances due to your age, or where you lived, or with whom you lived or were surrounded by. Does that mean that you have to bring that shit storm upbringing with you into adulthood?
Part of the answer is yes, part of it is no! How so, you wonder?
When you bring it with you in defiance of your past, it can act as a safeguard. It becomes the monitor for how you set your standards and what you hold yourself accountable for. It can serve as a guide while you’re reprogramming your brain and your lifestyle. It helps you self-regulate your choices. It keeps you accountable for your choices, actions, values, and how you go about chasing whatever it is you’re chasing.
Childhood trauma, or any trauma for that matter, occurs as a consequence of people’s decisions, choices, or circumstances. When you learn that you have the choice to realign your moral compass, and to face down every consequence for every choice you’ve made so you make that move fully informed, you will see that you have the power to change your life, even if you are just starting to do that now. Now means—never too late to turn things around!
Self-checking the amount of chaos and drama you surround yourself with is a pretty good way of determining whether you like being a passenger on the crazy train or not.
Sometimes, doing the right thing might make you feel less happy! Sounds a little crazy, right? But, when living in truth, or what I like to call ‘crisis prevention’ mode, the paycheck here is that, you don’t have to walk around with that foreboding feeling of fear and anxiety that often haunts you when you’ve chosen the easy thing instead of the right thing. What that translates to is, by doing the right thing, you’ve accrued some self-respect and you value your self-worth. By doing the right thing, you are regulating and realigning your circumstances, which by-and-large, eliminates all those dreaded surprises. On the flip side of that, when you are not doing the right thing, and you get so caught up in your own self-interest and the me, me, me’s by impulsively choosing something with no regard for the consequences, all you’re doing is continuing to create more traumatic results to deal with. If the easy thing is your current mode of operation, you are actually creating your own problem, all because you need an excuse for not doing something or taking some kind of action to create what you want from life.
Healing trauma cannot happen if you are not self-accountable!
So, how do you turn things around?
Well, first you have to slow down. You have to go deeper. You have to search every inch of your soul. And, you have to pay attention to your gut! Gut and soul are always storymates. Gut and soul will flush out the truth or expose all the fake bullshit you’re holding onto to for whatever reason you’ve told yourself you need to.
In order to change emotional circumstances, you have to hunt down everything about you that makes you feel alive and well. It’s like an emotional scavenger hunt because, sometimes, when you recognize one strength you hadn’t payed much attention to, you might find that there are more strong areas in your life than you were even aware of. You have to recognize your strengths and let them flourish rather than always counting on your weaknesses, your good old standby-so-you-have-an-excuse-to-glorify-the-bad-choices you may have previously made. (It’s not my fault! It’s never my fault! Hello Narcissism! )
Life has it’s highs and lows, but here’s the thing – if you can get comfortable with the lows as easily as you do the highs, you can make peace with it all as each high or low passes in and out of your life. You’ll see that the low periods are simply a time for thought, growth, and regrouping. That quiet reflection is really just a breather so you can prepare to create that new high you’re searching for.
If you constantly let the low’s win out, (‘oh my God, my life sucks’), you’ll soon discover that happy is not around the corner. You are the one putting miles and miles between you and that happy-right-around-the-corner place. How’s that for a little reality check? Feels a little stupid, doesn’t it? What you tell yourself during a low period determines how everything that you’re looking for around that corner, turns out. Simply said—by investing more of yourself in the lows, you’re assuring yourself that this is as good as it gets. You’re forcing your brain to forget about all the highs you’ve experienced. All the ‘wins’ you’ve got under your belt suddenly become shadowed by dark clouds. You stop letting them make you feel good so you can continue to wallow in pity. Why do that when you have options?
A low spot is almost always temporary! Like I said before, the low spots should only be vehicles for transformation. You have to learn to force yourself to re-evaluate what it’s really going to take to make you happy and them jump back up in the saddle.
Here’s a perfect example of the high’s and lows.
I recently did two comedy shows in one week. The first one knocked my socks off. Best show of my life. I felt like I was ready to have my own HBO special. The second show knocked my lights out. Worst show ever! Wrong venue, wrong crowd—absolutely. But, what I learned from that one single week was that I was a bounce back kind a chick. Rather than stewing in that ‘low’, which really, really, really, made me feel like crap, I got busy writing my ass off for the next week. Jokes were pouring out of me like a waterfall even though the memory of that horrid ‘cricket’ audience was burning a hole in my brain. It pushed me to grow instead of making me want to throw in the towel. That second ‘bomb’ show was actually a gift to remind me that, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and I’m mother-fucking-tough! I actually thank every a-hole that sat in that audience because it made me rise to the occasion rather than sink in a hole of despair. And, all that took was for me to adapt my thinking so the high outweighed the low. My success could not, cannot, come from a place of complacency, and this experience was the exact kick in the ass I needed!
The lesson is—move on! Don’t dredge up and drag old shit along with you wherever you are in life now! Don’t let a bad day, a bad time, or a bad period in your life ruin everything in your now and in your future. Don’t let it create a life long problem where there is no respite! And please, please, please, don’t keep feeding kindling to a fire that should have long since burnt out! You are in charge of what you perceive to be your highs and lows! Change how you see them and you can change your life!