If You Had a Magic Wand…

I recently asked some people in my audience a couple of questions related to how trauma has impacted their lives. The results were so interesting I wanted to share them with you.

The first question I asked was “If you could magically change one thing associated with the trauma you’ve experienced what would it be?”

These are just a few of my favorite answers:

 “What I would like to change with my magic wand is that I would want honest and ethical practices from the adoption industry it’s one thing to take a traumatized child with informed consent; it’s totally another thing to be lied to and then live through two decades of painful trauma parenting feeling betrayed and manipulated.”

“I would’ve quit accepting other people’s excuses for why they hurt me a very long time ago. It was never my fault to begin with because it was never about me. Healthy people don’t go about destroying other people’s lives. If I had understood this sooner maybe I wouldn’t have suffered from the effects of internalizing my feelings.”

“Having a clear path to being able to renew myself over and over to meet the challenges. I knew my trauma. I didn’t know to renew, to soothe, or build resilience.”

The second question I asked was a little different. I wasn’t sure I liked it, but the answers people gave to it spoke to my heart. The question was “If you could wave a magic wand and make the trauma you’ve experienced fade away, what would your life look like and feel like?”

“My trauma has made me who I am for good and bad. I think the trauma has made me more compassionate, and it has made me more trusting in God and more forgiving in general,l but I also think without it that so many parts of my current life would be so much better. I mourn those losses.”

“I would stop being traumatized by my trauma.”


“Fake. I like to look back and see how far we have all come. I like the lessons I’ve learned, even though I didn’t think I could survive them – I did. I think I am a better person because of it. So for me, I think I might have been a more shallow and fake and definitely more judgmental person.”

“I have no idea. My trauma, along with my joys and successes, have helped shape who I am. I am stronger for what I have endured and what it has taught me. My faith is stronger. My love is fierce. When I experience peace it is the most amazing feeling because I have also known the chaos of trauma.”

What about you? Can you relate to any of this? I know I sure could!

This stuff isn’t easy. Unfortunately, we can’t go back and change the past. We can’t call back the dead, and pretending it didn’t happen doesn’t work. It did, and it left a mark.

I’m curious, though. What would your answers be to either of these questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your answers. I’d love to hear them.

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