Traveling through Traumatic Experiences

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Traveling through Traumatic Experiences.

Who doesn’t love the idea of traveling and getting away?  

Back in May, I was able to travel with several members of my family to Alaska and Canada.  A trip we have planned and postponed for a few years.  Like so many of you we have looked forward to the day we could freely travel again.  We longed to spend time and make memories with family members, an adventure with nature as we viewed glaciers in all their majesty.  A trip of a lifetime.   We felt like the window of opportunity was open; the odds were in our favor.  Each one of us had been vaccinated and cleared by our physicians.  Even though I am not a world traveler, having traveled numerous times outside the USA, the idea of international travel has always excited me.  Now, a month later, looking back on our travels…after myself along with two other family members contracted COVID and were quarantined outside the United States, my thoughts about international travel have changed.  Thankfully, I can say that we all are finally home, recovering.  I personally believe that if we had not been vaccinated that at least one of us would have been on a ventilator, and still seriously ill.  We feel blessed and are thankful.  We are also wiser, but this comes after tens of thousands of dollars in charges, both medical and hotel; the cost of navigating COVID internationally.  We are mostly exhausted…mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.  A good friend and Physician summed it up yesterday when she said, “Lynn, you have experienced a trauma, and it will take time for you to recover.”


Trauma.  Time.  These are words no one wants to hear, but they are nevertheless true.  Whether you my friend have experienced a sudden illness and possibly had your vacation plans altered, or if you have been forced into circumstances beyond your control…even to the point of unfortunately loosing someone you loved to death.  The process is the same.  It takes time.

It is easy to encourage others to “take some time to process and rest.”  It is more difficult to give and take that time yourself.  In my own life I expect my body and spirit to bounce back. To get back up and move on.  I don’t want to work through the process.  I want to forget about it.  Sometimes this is appropriate, but most often our mind, body and spirit need to work through things and process them.


So how do we do this without getting stuck?

Well, that is the million-dollar question.  I think that being honest with ourselves is a place to start. I personally believe that every experience and person have their own individual timetable of healthy healing.   I usually know when I need to move on, when I am ruminating over something in an unhealthy way.  I also believe that having a friend, or colleague that can speak honestly and truthfully into us is a wonderful way to have a check and balance in life.  If you are not fortunate enough to have that someone, then a counselor or a pastor could be a powerful tool.  I find that spending time every morning in the truth of God’s word keeps me grounded and spiritually focused on the bigger picture of life.   When I look less on myself and more on others, then my desire is to move forward.

The last two weeks, I have nurtured myself.  Physically. Spiritually. Emotionally.  Every day I have spent time making sure that I have adequate rest, sleep, nutrition, spiritual and emotional support.  Giving Yourself Grace is not just a clique.  It is an important practice.  You cannot pour from an empty cup my friend.  Wherever you find yourself today, or in the next few weeks, I hope that you take the time to make sure that you are filling your cup.  That way you can nurture and love on those around you.

Oh, and just a side note: my next adventure/vacation will definitely be within the good ole USA.  Europe will unfortunately have to wait a while.