US News interviews people who’ve been touched by tragedies, and then found ways to “embrace pain” and experience revelations about their lives followed by “post-traumatic growth.”
“As foreign as a place as I was, there was also enormous beauty,” Kristen Spexarth tells US News about the effects of taking up meditation and exploring nature after she lost a son to suicide. “My senses were heightened. Walking out the door, every little thing was alive. I had never had that kind of sensitivity to my environment.”
“The idea is that the trauma triggers a shattering of an assumptive world view. Everything is shaken, and they have to reconstruct that world,” says psychologist Melinda Moore. Moore says she herself experienced “post-traumatic growth” after her husband committed suicide.
“Extreme pain helped me break through the illusion [of avoiding pain], and it has so enriched my life,” Spexarth says. “There is pain in life. Don’t be afraid of it. Through our difficulties, we discover our humanity.”
How Trauma Can Help You Grow (US News, September 8, 2014)