How to (Re)Claim Your Power

Grant’s parents were heartbroken when their son died in an accident while caving. But then they began to think about how he could still make a difference; it just took some help from friends and Grant’s Christian youth group that did missionary work in Africa. With the support of many, the family created a school in Grant’s name that continues to provide education for orphaned children across Africa.

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, Ph.D., and his colleague Lawrence Calhoun, Ph.D. 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, but it can also 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 OHI. 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) 588-0809 to make your reservation.