Summary of our weekly group discussion ~ 29th August 2016
Why is the word stronger highlighted? Because, 'stronger' is an obscure word, ambiguous and highly context dependent. To break down in the face of traumatic experiences is normal - if we lose a loved one, if we are diagnosed with cancer, yes, we become depressed and distraught. This is a normal reaction. So do these reactions then mean we are not strong?
How can we define strength in such circumstances?
Resilience is the way by which we rise rising from the point of breaking down. Resilience is not about being tough and numb, and avoidant. The first step to practicing resilience is acceptance and embracement, and to accept means to show flexibility in how we decide to engage with the trauma. This is the opposite of avoiding and turning away. Strength is the flexibility by which we engage with trauma, learn from it, and choose to be resilient.
We discovered that this is an incredibly hard practice, because it is so much easier to avoid, ignore, and inhibit and bury the source of trauma because we fear it may define us, limit us, and belittle us, hold us back and ultimately make us a victim to it.