Mental health, Mindset, Stress / Anxiety

Traumatic Wisdom: How To Use Setbacks As Fuel to Your Fire

We are all one.

Although we are all one, it doesn’t mean we’re all the same.

As we grow up, it becomes apparent that we all come from different walks of life.

We have different life experiences.

Some very privileged experiences – Some of us were born with opportunities others could never have dreamed of.

Some very disadvantaged experiences – Some of us have been carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders since day 1.


Some of this heavy weight becomes trauma. Trauma that’s become embedded in us. 

These life experiences – whether advantaged, disadvantaged or somewhere in between – shape us. They change us and mold us into the beings that we are today. 

Sometimes these life events set us back. 

Sometimes they hold us back.

Sometimes they become the reason for not living up to our full potential. 

But what we don’t always know – and what I wish someone would have told ME when I was growing up – is that these events, these struggles, these traumas…

… Don’t HAVE to hold us back. 

Yes, these experiences shape us, a part of them is ingrained in us forever. 

And yes, they have a drastic impact on who we are and the people we become. 

BUT –

They do not limit you. 

Or limit the person you can become.

Traumatic Wisdom

I was first introduced to this term by Dr. Gabor Mate, a renowned speaker, and bestselling author who specializes in addiction, stress, trauma and childhood development.

“Trauma cannot always be conquered, fixed, or resolved, but it can be heard, held and loved.”

Dr. Gabor Mate

Dr. Gabor Mate opened my eyes. He reminded me that we cannot change or always resolve our traumas. But we can choose to understand them and use them as fuel towards a better future for ourselves.

His words helped me in my own personal life, but also helped me in my work with my students – many of which came from traumatic backgrounds that I never dreamed of imaginable. 

I could help my students make sense of their traumas. 

To help them understand all of us carry trauma – although it may look different. 

That trauma comes in different forms and manifests differently for everyone.

And to remind them (and myself)…

That they have the power to change their course

That they don’t have to remain a victim of their circumstances.

The Power of Choice

The thing is, we always have a choice.

We have a choice in perspective.

A choice in how we see our circumstances.

A choice to use our circumstances and life experiences as setbacks or opportunities.

Choice is the most powerful thing in the world. And can be used in the most powerful of ways

As long as we can be conscious of the fact that we ALWAYS have a choice.

We can ALWAYS alter our course.

And with that, I’ll leave you with one final quote:

“I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.”

– Stephen R. Covey

With love,

Miss T.

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