Oh how much we have grown….not in the sense of size but personally. I first heard the term “post-traumatic growth” a couple of weeks ago at a Global Leadership Summit. I asked Shirley Hickman if she had heard this term before. Shirley replied:
“I had not heard this term before. I did look up the definition. It is what you and I are doing. It isn’t what we anticipated – but we are doing good with the outcome of our life changing event. There are always choices to be made. We could have sat and pulled away – remained in a victim state. We made choices – and those choices have helped us as individuals, our family and others.”
As I reflect on our Threads of Life families and everyone that has stepped out of their comfort zone to be a Volunteer Family Guide, a speaker, attend a Family Forum or volunteer at a tradeshow – you have experienced post-traumatic growth.
Post-traumatic growth has five different forms: Do you see yourself in one of these categories?
- Finding personal strength – “I am more vulnerable than I thought, but much stronger than I ever imagined”.
- Gaining appreciation – “I have a much deeper appreciation for what I used to take for granted: family, friends and simply being alive”.
- Forming deeper relationships – When people endure tragedies together or endure the same tragedy, it can strengthen the bonds between them. They learn to trust each other, be vulnerable with each other, and depend on each other.
- Discovering more meaning in life – This is a stronger sense of purpose rooted in a belief that one’s existence has significance.
- Seeing new possibilities – Some people ended up choosing different directions for their lives that they never would have considered before.
Last year at the family forum I asked a family member what has changed. Her answer was, “I am helping another family; I didn’t think I had it in me”. The change in this person was amazing. I am so proud of her.
I am blessed to be able to witness so many Threads of Life friends who have experienced post-traumatic growth.