Another heart-expanding day
Being highly sensitive, I didn’t think I would be able to handle being a trauma therapist. I studied psychology with the key intention of learning about how to prevent mental health difficulties and teaching people how to increase their mental wellbeing.
Part of me feared that my heart would be too fragile to hold space for the pain and unimaginable trauma that some of our fellow precious human beings have been through. I thought my heart might break. I imagined myself bawling my eyes out and being unable to control my own emotional responses, interfering with the person’s ability to share their experiences.
Gradually trauma work found me though, and I am glad it did. Yes, it does move me to tears some days. I don’t see this as a weakness or a problem though. I have learned how to hold space for another and let myself express my own emotions later if I need to (e.g. a few long drives home with tears running down my face!). Good self-care is an absolute must, and not taking too much work at any one time is another essential.
What I have found is that instead of breaking apart into a thousand pieces, my heart has broken open and expanded more with every experience. It feels like a muscle (which I guess it is! J) that has grown bigger and stronger with every use. This work has changed me, I don’t see the world in the same way that I once did. I understand far more deeply the cruelty that exists, but I also am inspired beyond belief of what human beings are capable of overcoming. I have listened to people who have been through hell that I can’t even conceive of, and I have heard the depth of the empathy and care that they hold for others despite this. I have met many people who could have easily kept their hearts closed to the world after the pain they have been through, but they continue to share their kindness in whatever ways they can.
When people fear what the world is coming to when they watch the news, I don’t. I know what human beings are capable of overcoming through the power of their own hearts, and I know this is what will continue to contribute to a world where we all care for each other.