How to Find Happiness Beyond Trauma
Are you struggling with fear and anxiety? Do you feel like you’re constantly running away from something you don’t recognize?
Millions of people struggle with their past traumas daily. It can be debilitating and keep us from living our lives to the fullest. But there is hope.
Gabby Bernstein, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Happy Days, offers you a step-by-step guide to breaking free from the pain of your past and creating a life you love. She shares how to survive and thrive after living life through trauma.
Get ready to transform the pain of your past into your newfound strength and freedom!
Recognize that you have unresolved traumas.
The first step is to remember and understand that you have unresolved traumas that need to be addressed and faced.
“If we don’t know of the trauma, how are we running from it?”
Many of you may not know or understand what you are running away from. It can be a memory that has been completely disconnected from your conscious awareness for decades. And so, remembering that might be horrific but also relieving because it will allow you to see what you’ve been avoiding or hiding from.
In that recognition, Gabby started to feel relief and a clear direction of how to move through because now she realized that she didn’t just have to be less extreme—she had to heal from her trauma.
This is the journey of what it is to know now and what she did once she knew. And now she got herself back to safety, to that place of freedom and inner peace.
Self-Protection: Signs of Trauma
We all have traumas, whether these came from being bullied as a kid, being told you’re stupid, not feeling good enough, or being neglected at home. These experiences are extreme.
And so whether we’re aware of them or not, consciously, we do everything we can to push them down so we don’t have their presence be known in our day-to-day adult life. We drink over it, use drugs, smoke, and fall into these addictive distractions.
Sometimes, we fall into patterns that may seem socially acceptable, like we tend to be controlling, overproductive, and develop OCD behaviors. These are all forms of protecting ourselves from feeling the impermissible feelings of trauma.
We know it’s there. We even protect ourselves from it. But how do we really overcome it?
Identify Your Triggers
You can’t just say that you are not aware of it.
Your nervous system is aware of it.
The body is aware of it.
Your energy is aware of it.
And so, it shows up in everything you do, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. It shows how you live, love, eat and breathe. And you’ve built up some major protection mechanisms to avoid having to face the truth of it.
Gabby encourages us to practice asking these three questions to notice the recurring patterns of your unresolved past:
- What triggers you?
- How does it feel?
- How are you running from and avoiding that trigger?
We’re only triggered if there’s an unaddressed wound or trauma from our past. Looking at the parts and moments of our lives where we get triggered is a helpful indicator. And if you notice that pattern enough, you can start to see there’s likely something underneath this.
Internal Family Systems Therapy
We have to have that bravery to look at and take inventory of what triggers us and how we run from it to begin the journey of starting to release the stronghold that those triggers have on us.
Internal family systems therapy is one of the most significant, most profound transformational experiences that you can go through to undo the traumas from your past.
That part of ourselves that carries the pain and fear, usually from childhood, is the exile part. The part of us that protects us from painful or traumatic experiences is known as the protectors or managers. We all collectively have the self—the internal parent who is always present, consistently doing a beautiful job to support us.
It’s actually the exile parts of us that get triggered.
And the managers come in to protect us. If you ask these managers, “If you weren’t in this extreme role, what else would you be doing?” you’d probably get answers like “I’d be playing,” “I’d be drawing,” or “I’d be relaxing.”
The goal is to recognize, honor, and respect the protectors or managers, and then give yourself permission to get closer to the exile parts and honor them as well.
It’s all in the past.
Past is past, but you can’t move forward as long as it resonates with an energetic disturbance to your present life.
We do look backward to propel forward.
It doesn’t mean we should spend all of our time in the past. Instead, we should do it from the lens of intentionally moving down the field.
Our goal is not just playing defense. It’s about scoring, getting to the finish line, achieving the end result you want, and creating the life you love. But you must be willing to act as a beginner again. You have to be coachable.
Starting a healing journey is committing to a life of mental, emotional, and spiritual freedom. It requires you to go back to the beginning and say, “there’s got to be a better way.” And when you say that, it’s like saying to the universe,
“I’m ready. Ready to have the path revealed. I’m ready for the next step. And I’m willing and courageous enough to take it even if that requires me to step into the unknown, do something I’ve never done before, release and let go of the comfort of familiar patterns, and say I’m worthy and deserving of a life of sustainable freedom, balance, and ease.”
And when that path unfolds, when the knowledge from the instruments of the universe comes, use it. Knowledge is not power. Applying the knowledge that you receive is. You’re only making progress when you apply what you know.
It’s okay to be vulnerable.
It’s human and natural to be asking hard questions and not have all the answers right away. No one ever has it all figured out. We’re all learning. It might be hard to see it now, but the life you want can be yours.
There is a path, and Gabby Berstein has laid it out for you. It may not exactly be like hers, but it has the power to transform you. Visit her website at https://gabbybernstein.com/, and don’t forget to grab a copy of her book, Happy Days! Watch out for our next podcast and more Coachable episodes!