Healing Trauma: What It Means To Heal

This was originally a guest post over at Elin Stebbins Waldal’s beautiful blog and I wanted to share it here:

Traumatic experiences can dramatically interrupt our lives, like a mighty ice storm, and instantly change the landscape. We then face the question of whether we are going to remain frozen in the position the storm left us, or smash the ice and begin the journey that healing asks of us.

For a few months after my husband’s suicide, I was compelled to share the story with total strangers. I couldn’t explain why and it drove my kids nuts, but I needed to do it. It was uncomfortable for some, but for others I became a safe container to share their pain. One day, I struck up a conversation with a middle-aged man at a coffee shop. After hearing my woeful tale, he touched my arm, looked intently into my eyes and whispered, “I’ve never shared this with anyone. My dad killed himself when I was 13 and I still haven’t gotten over it,” he said as he slumped onto my shoulder, sobbing. “I would stand naked on a freeway for a day just to have 10 minutes with my dad now.”

I realized I was in the presence of the 13-year-old boy, not the 55-year-old man. His unhealed sorrow, fresh and raw, vibrating between us like a hummingbird briefly released from captivity, knowing it was soon to be caged again in solitary agony.

His mother forbade him from speaking of the suicide, or his father, which forever bound him to his grief. Rather than being allowed to explore the contours of his loss, the man was imprisoned by his shame, his soul interminably tethered to the wound bound in suffering.

Over the last four years, I have come to believe that we can exponentially increase our capacity to heal by allowing the agony of our heartbreak to escape, little by little, out into the open, incrementally creating more space in our being for love and compassion. Then, we can slowly integrate the pain so we are not defined by it, but rather deepened and enriched by its presence.

I see now that sharing my story with others was an extrapolation of this process. A way of examining the experience by stringing the painful events up on an invisible clothes line of sorts to be aired out, caressed by other hearts and touched by healing energy. Otherwise, it would have become a cemented mass, manacled to my soul, plunging me down to the depths.

It was my way of smashing the ice, so I could begin the healing journey.

We are forever changed by trauma and pain, no matter how big or small. Making the choice to heal aligns us with our own unique internal compass, which always seeks to steer us home to our true self and requires nothing short of radical surrender and conscious intent.

I do not believe the universe wants us to collapse under the weight of our wounds, clutching our pain and enduring a lopsided existence.

I truly believe the universe wants us to alight upon the mysterious and magical powers that exist within and around us and wholeheartedly embrace the messy details of our days and lives. By doing this, we hold the key to our well being, and each moment creates another loop in the kaleidoscopic net we are continuously casting out into the universe in the hopes of harnessing the beauty and joy of being alive.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  7 comments for “Healing Trauma: What It Means To Heal

  1. August 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    This post… thank you for this beautiful post.
    My father committed suicide when I was 12.
    I did not begin healing, in earnest, until I was 44.
    I feel I am now, at 49, once again finally able to “harness the beauty and joy of being alive.” It’s been an amazing journey.
    I think your words here will mean the world to those who are still struggling in the dark with their loss and trauma. Thank you.

    • Dianna Bonny
      August 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you for your beautiful comment. I am so glad to know that you are healing and honored to have you here. xo

  2. August 6, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Hi Dianna,

    Very touching and inspiring post. Sharing, exploring and setting our grief free is definitely necessary, I have found. I think there are traumas in all of us, big and small, where we are still that child. It is important to help the child let go.

    • Dianna Bonny
      August 7, 2013 at 7:43 am

      Hi Keith: Appreciate your comment. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all connect with the inner child and heal our wounds. Thank you for being here. db

  3. Zumi
    March 10, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Dianna ~ I also shared my traumatic experience with total strangers, not knowing why I was telling them. But it did help. Thanks for your blog and for sharing.

    • Dianna Bonny
      March 11, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks Zumi! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and kind words. xo db

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