Lent: First Week, Thursday – Post-traumatic growth syndrome
With crises, some people dig deeper into their entrenched identities and hide in the pup tent of their old beliefs. Many people simply numb themselves with television or self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. Some people blame all their pain on others and never examine their own role in creating problems. Other sufferers shrink their worlds into something small and manageable but actually quite false. People with eating disorders are an example of this narrowing of scope. The questions of the day boil down to simply “Have I gained weight?”
For all people, regardless of the crisis, the cure is always growth . . . As Parker Palmer said in an interview, “To move closer to God is to move closer to everything, both joy and sorrow, light and darkness.” We may experience post-traumatic stress reactions, but we are beginning a process of post-traumatic growth syndrome. Darkness and loss signal to us more clearly than anything else that it is time to expand our point of view.