Can You Be Done With The Past?

Discover the courage to overcome trauma. The first is hoping for a better future. The second is practicing radical self-compassion, knowing you're a survivor

Overcoming Trauma

Overcoming trauma takes two herculean acts of courage.  The first is the will to fight back against the fear, anger, and resentment of your past.  This eureka moment to not accept the terrifying past you lived and to hope for a better future takes time and grit.  It takes 1,000 of those eureka moments. But, with time, you will heal from whatever pain haunts you.  With focus you will develop the skills necessary to live your aspirations.  That is the first act of courage.

The second is more complicated.  While you dedicated yourself to fight against the debilitating effects of your past, this does not wipe it clean.  Your past will always remain your past.  Throughout your life there will be moments that bring you right back to the pain and horror you overcame.  Maybe you catch a smell of your abusive mother’s perfume on your loving wife’s blouse.  Maybe your best friend uses a catch phrase that the neighbor down the street used every time he hurt you.  Maybe you’re sitting at your daughter’s bat mitzvah. As she sings with her friends and you’re recording this scene as a precious home video you are hit with the sobering realization that for your bat mitzvah there was no party.  You were surviving. 

It’s these moments that will demand a very different type of courage.  Here you will have to learn how to hold yourself with radical self compassion.  All your work in the first stage was not meaningless.  You are a survivor and you have overcome.  None of these flashbacks are a sign of failure.  They are a badge that declares how far you’ve come.  Self compassion is not forgiving yourself for your past grabbing you.  It’s the deep knowledge that of course these moments will certainly happen.  You are not at fault.  You are not weak.  You are not lost.  You are a beautiful human being.

Yonasan Bender, SW graduated from Hebrew University’s School of Social Work. He has his psychotherapy practice at The Place: The Jerusalem Centre for Emotional Wellbeing. To share your thoughts, experiences, questions, or a different perspective, you can reach Yonasan Bender at 053-808-0435 or email him by clicking HERE. To learn more about him and his work, click HERE.

The Place

The Place is where therapists, individuals and the community connect to create safety, strength and success. At The Place, men and women discover the freedom and safety to move past those issues which are preventing them from living life to its fullest. Our goal is to help each of our clients discover his or her own strengths as powerful tools in the healing process.

The Place is a multi-faceted clinic offering both individual and group therapy, support groups, interactive evenings and lectures, educational classes, and drop-in hours. Our comfortable, confidential, relaxed environment allows clients and their families to explore sensitive issues and create positive change. We believe that the key to mental health and emotional well-being is inside you.

At The Place, male and female therapists work independently or as a team to explore sensitive issues and facilitate positive change for individuals, couples and families from all sectors of the community. Some of our specialties include emotional eating, grief counseling, internet addiction, phobias, anxiety & OCD, childhood challenges, premarital counseling, couples therapy and intimacy issues, postpartum support, personality disorders, psychiatric care, and more. Connect with a caring professional in person at our comfortable Jerusalem offices, or by video, phone, and text. We’re here for you.

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