Seeking to define your path in life can be one of the biggest struggles women have. Finding your life path is a profound and transformational experience, but the striving and searching can be excruciating at times. It often feels like:
* You will never get it;
* You don't have a purpose like others clearly do;
* You don't know where to start; and
* You don't know what to look for.
This week's Trauma Bytes delves into the compelling exploration of purpose, shedding light on the challenges women often face when identifying their unique calling and how understanding this struggle through a trauma-informed lens can guide them toward clarity and fulfilment.
I believe trying to find your purpose is one of the biggest causes of suffering for women, and I want to turn it upside down right now!
Purpose isn't a destination; it's a lifelong journey that unfolds differently for each person. Your purpose is within you from the very beginning, and it's not external to you. It forms part of the existential inquiry of "Why am I here?"
In this edition of Trauma Bytes, we'll explore:
1. The Quest for Purpose;
2. The Impact of Trauma; and
3. Tools for Clarity.
1. The Quest for Purpose - Uncover the deep-seated desire for purpose that drives many women and the challenges they encounter along the way.
The quest for purpose is a journey that resonates deeply within the heart of every woman. It's a yearning to find meaning and direction in life, to make a difference, and to leave a lasting impact.
Healing Movement: I invite you to read this again and really take in the words. Can you feel this in your body, in your heart? If so, take some time sitting with this sensation. If not, then read it again slowly and see if you can feel it. Please don't rush this. You can come back and read this again any time.
This journey can be fraught with challenges. Societal expectations, often steeped in traditional gender roles, can shape women's perceptions of what their purpose should be. This external pressure can create a sense of conflict between personal aspirations and societal norms and expectations, adding complexity to the search for purpose.
Many women face a profound struggle when seeking their purpose, a quest that is often influenced by societal expectations, personal experiences, and past trauma.
Healing Movement: When you hear the soft and sometimes not-so-soft calling of the Soul to let you know why you are here, create some space for you to sit quietly with yourself and listen.
2. The Impact of Trauma - Discover how past traumatic experiences can cloud the search for purpose and hinder self-discovery.
Trauma can cast a shadow over your heart and Soul and obscure your purpose. Past unresolved traumatic experiences can leave you with feelings of unworthiness, self-doubt, not being good enough and fear of taking risks, making it difficult for women to uncover their life path.
These feelings of not enough and frustrations of somewhere deep within there is a knowing something different is possible can lead us to fall into the #1 block to finding our true life purpose. That block is comparing ourselves to others. Looking externally to ourselves *(jellyfish) instead of staying with the inner journey *(whale). I'll write a bit more on comparison in the next edition of Trauma Bytes.
Trauma often creates a web of limiting beliefs and emotional scars that obscure your inner calling, leaving you wanting something more. Trying to fill that empty feeling. Being disconnected from the truth of who you are.
Often what happens then is that we start to focus externally to ourselves and start to blame things in our lives such as dissatisfaction in our relationships, work, and everything. It can become an all-consuming experience.
Healing Movement: Take a moment to contemplate where you are unhappy with your life. Start with one area and notice how your body feels when you think about it. Make some notes if you like. Taking time to bring this into your awareness is a good first step.
* You can read about my analogy of the whale and jellyfish here.
3. Tools for Clarity - Learn practical techniques for uncovering your Purpose.
The very first requirement in finding your Unique Life Path is self-compassion. You need to learn how to be continuously kind to yourself, and that will need you to be aware of how you are speaking to yourself. Choose any of the following to begin working on:
* Untangle yourself from societal expectations, from your 'shoulds', and from your unresolved past, which includes the beliefs that do not serve you anymore.
* Begin to recognise that your life path is uniquely your own. No one else has what you have. That is the beauty of this human experience.
* Acknowledge the impact of past trauma, which is another crucial step. How have they shaped you? What did they make you believe about yourself?
* Seek support in this process. What I know to be true from my own experience and from working with many people who have had the same experience, is that our habitual patterns can stay out of our awareness. They are so familiar to us that it is very difficult to start noticing them.
* Connect to your inner strengths by using self-reflective processes. As in previous Trauma Bytes, we have looked at asking questions of ourselves as a way of getting more innerstanding.
The inner inquiry into why you are here is like winning the lottery. Once you innerstand deeply within every cell of your body why you are here, your life is irrevocably changed.
If you are ready to make lasting changes to your life and would like some support, then come and join our Transformative Alchemy Classes, where we delve deeper into the concepts written about in Trauma Bytes and provide you with the tools and community support needed to maintain positive transformations in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It's an opportunity to create sustainable, thriving, and holistic well-being that stands the test of time.
PS: I put this information out for you, so please don't hesitate to let me know if it's what you need or not. I have a very quick few-minute survey to help me to help you. I would appreciate you filling it out and letting me know your thoughts.
PPS: Transformative Alchemy is an opportunity to practice the kind of things I write about in Trauma Bytes. The bonus is that you get to do this with a group of women who are focused on healing at a deep level. You can join at any time. I’d love to have you join us so you can access support while you go through your change process.
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Linda has a Master of Gestalt Psychotherapy, is a Family Constellations Facilitator, and specializes in Trauma Recovery and Transgenerational Trauma Issues and Collective Trauma. She is very passionate about providing Trauma Sensitivity training to those who want to become more sensitive to trauma while working within any of the health, education, justice, and government systems.