By: Justine Froelker
Trauma can stay stuck, living in us for long past the harm.
Our body remembers, trauma gets stuck in our tissues, our hearts yearn, and our brain makes up stories to keep us as safe and comfortable as possible.
It often happened in my office when I was working with individual clients that they would say something like – I don’t know why I am struggling so much. And more times than not, I would remind them that it was an anniversary of some kind of trauma, loss, or tragedy.
Because trauma can and will stay stuck.
Trauma can and will also heal.
I had a day of total presence that day.
I also felt weird unexplainable peace.
I spent the day alone because Chad is hard at work restoring our cabin. I read, did some housework, played with and cared for the dogs, talked to some friends, watched church online, and made myself a delicious and healthy dinner.
I knew it was April 16th – I had thought about the date earlier in the week, remembering the upcoming anniversary. Eleven years. It wasn’t until I checked my FB memories, that I actually remembered the pain, grief, and anguish of that day eleven years ago.
She isn’t pregnant.
Our infertility journey ended in a thirty-second phone call without the baby version of the happy ending.
I, of course, felt the pang of trauma in the lump in my throat, the weight on my chest, and the pull of my stomach.
Because the body remembers.
More than that, the heart always loves.
Except, I felt it for just a pang.
A second, maybe.
Because at the exact same time, and especially even more so right after that pang, I felt what I have come to call the marvel.
The awe, wonder, gratitude, and undoneness alongside the yearning, loss, and grief. More than anything, I remembered and felt the love…the marvel that has come of one of the hardest seasons and the biggest loss of my life.
And yet, on the anniversary day, I felt a weird and unexplainable presence and peace.
Sure, it is because of the work of healing I have chosen to do.
I suppose it is also the passing of time a little too.
I think it is the power of the marvel the most, though.
It can and will stay stuck.
It can and will also heal.
Whatever your trauma, loss, or tragedy…
Honor it. Love. Receive the healing.
Live in the marvel.
About Justine Froelker
Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has over 20 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for seven years. Justine is the author of seven best-selling books and was also honored to do TEDx Talks at TEDxUMDearborn and TEDxLaSierraUniversity. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially surrounding such topics as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their two dogs and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch butterflies.
Justine’s next book, Marvel Undone: Living In & From God’s Love, will be released in July.
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