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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Looking and moving forward

Updated: Apr 10

Everything happens for a reason. Do you believe that? I hear that, and think about some of the awful, big, emotionally-heavy events I have been through, I have struggled through and I find that expression to be loaded. In fact, the phrase can feel like a round kick to the face (especially those who’ve been through trauma). It’s cringey at best and harmful at worst.

Here's the thing: part of moving forward is dealing with the past. A large part of the recovery process from trauma is making meaning out of what happened to us. This not only applies to trauma, but across the board for any scenarios we’ve been through that hurt us that we have trouble letting go of.

For some of us, it’s not about chalking our past up to a grand plan that’s out of our hands, but looking for what’s next; looking toward who we are now–after–and how we can reclaim and/or redefine ourselves.

Making meaning of the past is a superpower. Growth is the act of seeking what it means to you to recover from it, what you’ve learned from it and what you’ll do differently from there on out.

Maybe this is not the time to do this next self-exploration exercise.

Trust your gut: if this doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

If it does feel like this is a good time, find a comfortable space and place and ask yourself some questions, especially if there’s something in your past that still bothers you:

  • What strength do I have now that I didn’t then?

  • Who’s in my life now that wasn’t before?

  • What am I aware of now that I wasn’t then?

If these questions rub you the wrong way or feel too hot to handle, it’s probably not time to ask them yet. I am by no means a counselor, and offer this as a journaling activity only, as a way to gain insights and perspective. Maybe, though, you'll gain some valuable insights, and move forward.

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