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#4 Having a parent who’s focused on appearance.

We still view trauma as the result of an extreme, life-threatening event or situation like war, a natural disaster, or a violent crime.

However, sometimes trauma can be silent and subtle, yet extremely deep. It can affect every decision we make and transform every part of our being — even if we have no idea it is there, deep within us.

For example, relational trauma is what happens when a child’s sense of being safe and loved within the family is disrupted — usually because the parents are too self-involved to focus on the child’s needs.

Or, because one of…

#4 You’re having physical symptoms you’ve never had before.

A dark night of the the soul is defined as a spiritual journey that forces you to shed previous beliefs, habits and relationships, so that you can make the transition to a more mindful, fulfilling life.

It shakes every aspect of your life. It makes you question every aspect of your existence. Basically, it drives you nuts.

The good news is, there’s a purpose behind it. I’ve been going through my own dark night of the soul for over a year now, and no matter how painful it has been, I can say with confidence that I needed it. I…

Your wounds will never heal if they’re not given the space to breathe and regenerate.

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. I have no idea who the author of this quote is, but this is some of the best advice you’ll ever get.

How many of us spend months, or even years, trying to find peace in the midst of chaos? How many of us blame ourselves for not being as strong, as brave, as secure, as unbreakable as we wanted to be?

We do our best to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but what if we’ve been seeing that light for so long that we…

Are you paying attention to your inner voices?

If we pay attention to our inner world, we realize that we have two voices within us: the voice of our ego and the voice of our consciousness, which we often call intuition.

The ego is that part of us that wants to keep us safe at all costs. It makes up stories and creates beliefs that lead us to always play safe and stay in our comfort zones. It lives in constant fear: fear of getting hurt, fear of rejection, fear of the past repeating itself.

On the other hand, our consciousness knows how to live in the present…

There’s more than fight, flight and freeze.

When we talk about trauma, we often mention the fight-flight-freeze response. We know it’s our body’s natural reaction to perceived threats, which allows us to act quickly so that we can protect ourselves.

However, there’s a fourth type of response: fawn. People who fawn use people-pleasing behavior to feel secure in their relationships and deescalate potential problems, trying to blend in at all costs.

The term was first used by Pete Walker, a psychotherapist and trauma expert who describes fawning as “seeking safety through appeasing the needs and wishes of others”. …

#1 You trust your intuition.

Most us us have lost touch with our true self at some point in our lives. We were taught to forget our dreams, ignore our inner guidance and instead follow the path we’re supposed to follow.

Even when we believe we’re following our dreams, sometimes we end up realizing that those dreams were never really ours. They were the dreams that our family, our friends and society at large wanted us to follow.

Essentially, we were simply seeking acceptance and external validation — and, like a sponge, we absorbed the expectations others had for us.

After years of living like…

We cling to what we’re familiar with.

Many of us spend years trying to figure out why we keep attracting unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships.

We feel stuck in patterns of conflict and insecurities, and we tell ourselves this is the last time I’m doing this, only to find ourselves in a similar situation that reinforces our feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness.

Sometimes, if we’ve lost contact with our intuition, we don’t even realize the relationship we’re in is unhealthy — we accept it as it is, and we believe it is normal.

But if we’re lucky enough, we do reach a point where it becomes obvious there’s something…

#2 They’re deeply invested in black-and-white thinking.

Dealing with a highly narcissistic individual is one of the most painful, confusing, distressing experiences one can go through.

This is particularly true when we’re talking about intimate circles — when the narcissist is your boyfriend, your wife, your father, or your sister. There are no words to describe the mental and emotional abuse you endure.

One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to deal with them is their inability to accept other people for who they are. …

Your life will never be the same.

Listen, I know. I know how it feels like to spend every single day leaving your needs behind, ignoring your desires, suppressing your emotions, pretending you’re fine so that you can make everyone else feel comfortable.

We people-pleasers have learned very early in life that our worth is based on our ability to be nice and agreeable.

We’ve learned that we will only be loved if we comply and say yes to everything, without ever expressing our individual boundaries or reflecting on our authentic wishes.

What if I tell you it’s all lies? What if I tell your worth is…

#1 You find it very difficult to trust people.

Many of us are so used to chaotic relationships that we actually believe these relationships are normal.

We believe instability is normal. We believe constant arguing is normal. We believe that living in an unstable, chaotic environment where you can rarely feel at peace is normal.

In fact, this is so ingrained in our subconscious mind that we can’t even imagine relationships that make us feel safe, heard and loved.

For years, this was my life. I was unconsciously addicted to chaos because I had lived amidst chaos my entire life. I pushed emotionally stable, healthy, mature people away because…

Patrícia S. Williams

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