Turn Trauma Into Triumph

Is it because I grew up in a military town that I tend to gravitate toward stories about soldiers who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?  Have I been seeing more of these stories lately since our biggest patriotic holiday here in the US just occurred?  For whatever reason, I keep running across these stories.  And they got me thinking… is there something beyond post traumatic?  Some sort of benefit that could come from experiencing a trauma?

Could there be such a thing as post traumatic growth?

First off, who am I talking about here?  Who is considered part of a group who has experienced something traumatic?  Since I’m no therapist, and don’t claim to be an authority on PTSD, I’m taking it down a notch and not focusing on the disorder, but rather focusing on trauma in general — anyone who has experienced a sense of acute anxiety fits in this category.

And who is that?

Who reading this has ever witnessed ongoing family violence?  Been raped?  Sexually abused?  Robbed?  Attacked?  Unfortunately, this list can be quite lengthy.  And equally unfortunate, the majority of eyes reading this right now can relate.


So, who in their right mind would associate trauma to triumph, as today’s title suggests?

This is who:

The person who goes through something horrific and because of it, comes out stronger.  Someone who figures out how to grow out of the stress and make it to the other side, whole, and intact.

And this person, by the way, is also keenly aware of how to appreciate the wonders and beauty of life, because they’ve experienced the flip side of the coin.

Experiencing the downs makes us appreciate and recognize the ups.

Experiencing the downs gives us the capability to empathize with others.

Experiencing the downs teaches us life skills that lend themselves to traits like tenacity, perseverance, endurance, intestinal fortitude.  Life skills that we can put in our tool belt and later transfer to other facets of our lives.

Surprisingly enough, there is much good that comes from the ‘down times’ (sounds less ominous than trauma, huh?).  In fact, these down times actually prepare us to better handle true trauma when it appears.

Here’s what we have in common, TLT readers:

  • we have all had down times
  • quite a few of us have experienced trauma
  • visiting this site tells me you’re seeking Truth
  • and if you’re a seeker of Truth, then you’re strong as Hell
  • strong people are strong because they’ve experienced Life
  • they’re also the people who can turn lemons into lemonade
  • people who can turn trauma into triumph

And These People Are YOU

You have the ability to turn trauma into triumph in your life.  It may not be the easiest thing you’ve ever done; chances are it’ll take some effort.  In fact, you may even need to seek assistance.  But I believe You Can, and You Will.

Start making some lemonade, folks!  With the summer heat down here in Texas, I would not turn down a glass if you offered me one!  In fact, I’d be honored to sit and sip lemonade with you.  And maybe as we drank, you’d tell me Your Story of Trauma to Triumph.

By sharing our stories, we help others to learn and grow.  And through the act of telling our stories, we may even learn and grow ourselves.

For more information on sharing your story, click here.  And to read a true story on this topic (of a time my heart was broken…), click here.

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are stronger at the broken places.”  ~Ernest Hemingway


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You Are The Light. SHINE!

People are Drawn to the Light.

Know your strengths and place yourself in situations where you shine brightest. 


Pass on and brighten a friend’s day.  Click to share.  Love, Leslie


“Imagine a Woman”

Please sit back and enjoy this beautiful, inspirational poem by guest blogger Patricia Lynn Reilly.

“Imagine a Woman”

Imagine a woman who is interested in her own life.
A woman who embraces her life as teacher, healer, and challenge.
Who is grateful for the ordinary moments of beauty and grace.

Imagine a woman who participates in her own life.
A woman who meets each challenge with creativity.
Who takes action on her own behalf with clarity and strength.

Imagine a woman who has crafted a fully-formed solitude.
A woman who is available to herself.
Who chooses friends and lovers with the capacity to respect her solitude.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the full range of human emotion.
A woman who expresses her feelings clearly and directly.
Who allows them to pass through her as naturally as the breath.

Imagine a woman who tells the truth.
A woman who trusts her experience of the world and expresses it.
Who refuses to defer to the perceptions, thoughts, and responses of others.

Imagine a woman who follows her creative impulses.
A woman who produces original creations.
Who refuses to color inside someone else’s lines.

Imagine a woman who has relinquished the desire for intellectual approval.
A woman who makes a powerful statement with every action she takes.
Who asserts to herself the right to reorder the world.

Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself.
A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her own life.
Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.

Imagine yourself as this woman.


Thank you, Patricia, for allowing me to share your beautiful words with my readers.

This specific poem is “Imagine a Woman II“.  For additional poetry, books, and information regarding Imagine a Woman, please click here.

‘Feelings in a Suitcase’ Clarification

Regarding yesterday’s post, “What An Odd Place to Hide Feelings” ….

Funny how being in one’s own head has advantages and disadvantages, especially when that head is mine!  I had a very clear idea of the message I was attempting to communicate yesterday, however, I fell short on the delivery.

After receiving your feedback and emails, I went to bed last night with a 50/50 split: folks asking if I really believed it’s a good idea to keep your feelings in a suitcase, and others indicating it was nice to hear support for expressing your feelings and making sure they’re NOT being trapped in a suitcase.

Clearly, I was unclear.  First, my apologies.  Secondly, thank you for the questions/comments.  Had you not sent them, I would have never known that my message was so poorly delivered.

So today, let me be clear.  I believe feelings should come out;  they should not be crammed in a suitcase, they should not be ignored or dismissed.  I believe that when we stuff our feelings, all sorts of additional stuff creeps up.  The additional stuff I’m referring to can manifest in tons of different ways — I’m not even going to attempt to open that can of worms.  My point is, I don’t believe it’s healthy to keep your feelings locked up inside.

Before writing yesterday’s article and responding to the questions that followed, I honestly hadn’t given much thought to any instance where you’d purposely want to keep your feelings inside.  However, after giving it a bit more thought, there are limited instances where the suitcase might come in handy (these would be the exception, not the rule).  Here’s how I responded to a reader when asked if you should ever keep your feelings in a suitcase:

“My .2 on the suitcase…. the times are few and far between that the suitcase is a good place to store your feelings. Feelings may get stored there for a short period while you’re 1) sorting out your thoughts and/or 2) gaining your strength.  However, I don’t suggest keeping them there long-term.  And to your point on letting out our feelings with tears, I believe you’re correct, there’s a reason we have the ability to cry — so cry when you feel like crying.”  :-)

And sometimes, there’s nothing better than a good cleansing cry.