Reclaiming Your Power
A charismatic young Florida man was killed in a freak caving accident when his rope didn’t hold . Distraught, his family first had to come to terms with his sudden death. Then, the most remarkable things started to unfold. Grant had been an active member of a Christian youth group that did missionary work in some of the poorest villages in Africa. What if, his parents began to think, they could find a way to continue Grant’s work? With the support of his huge circle of friends and their church, the couple was able to create a school in Africa to help educate orphaned children.
In the years that followed, his family, particularly his younger brother and mother, stayed in close touch with the children in the school, sending essential supplies and Christmas gifts. They even visited the village, and got to see first-hand how Grant’s legacy continued to enrich the lives of so many others.
Instead of staying paralyzed by grief in the face of this untimely death, his family discovered they had reserves of strength, compassion and vision they didn’t know existed.
This transformational reaction to traumatic situations is so widespread it even has a name – PTG, or “Post Traumatic Growth.” University of North Carolina at Charlotte psychology professor Richard Tedeschi, PhD and his colleague Lawrence Calhoun, PhD created the term. It describes how people who face tragedy can not only survive, but actually become more self-aware, and permanently change in powerful and substantial ways.
People who are more able to bounce back from adversity seem to have several factors in common.
First, they have help. Whether it’s a spouse, other family members, caring friends or the strong support of a minister, therapist or group, they know they have someone they can lean on when the reality of their new circumstances is just too much to bear alone.
Second, they have a sense of purpose; something meaningful in their life to anchor them. Frequently, it’s the drive to be of service to others, maybe even those who are facing similar unexpected circumstances.
When more than 260 people sustained injuries during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, many of them lost limbs. Their feelings of despair and fear that they would never resume a normal life were overwhelming. That’s when dozens of people uniquely qualified to encourage the bombing victims entered the picture.
Military men and women who had also lost limbs visited the bombing survivors, listened to their stories and shared their own. They provided empathy and hope in a way no other people could. They had lived through a similar nightmare, and survived. And now they were reassuring the survivors that they could, and would, learn new skills to resume their lives. While changing the perspectives and lives of the bombing victims, the veterans were finding more meaning in their own.
Besides a supportive community and purpose, the third thing PTG people have is faith in something greater than themselves. Whether it’s a formal religion, trust in God or a spiritual belief in the power of compassion and love, facing a challenge and growing even stronger because of it requires faith.
Reclaiming your power after adversity is not only possible, it can be truly transformational. You discover new strengths. You gain a different perspective on your values, your friends and your world. Most importantly, you come face to face with the person for whom you have newfound trust, respect and love – yourself.
Open your mind to positive, powerful and lasting changes when you embark on a life-affirming visit to the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego or Austin, Texas. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.