The scientific definition of transformation is (1) The act, state or process of changing, such as in form or structure; the conversion from one form to another. (2) (biology) Any change in an organism that alters its general character and mode of life; post-natal biological transformation or metamorphosis.
In this human experience we are ever-learning, healing and transforming. There is a concept that says life will keep bringing us the same lesson until we fully learned it. It comes to us through people, interactions, thoughts and events.
For example, if our lesson is to learn how to deal with negative people, we may encounter random people on our way to work with negative outlooks, words and attitudes. At work we may need to book meetings with this perceived group of naysayers and at home, some of our friends and family could also be looking at their lives in a negative way. This, in turn, changes our mood, outlook and opinions.
How do we transform ourselves so that we are no longer triggered by other people’s opinions and negativity? The answer is surprisingly simple, we work on our own reactions. What is your default reaction to negativity in your own space?
As always, awareness is the first step to heal and transform. Every time we react to a negative person, word, event or thought, journal down how you feel. Take a moment and try to figure out why this reaction is so strong. Perhaps it is the way we were taught to react by society, our parents or our peers. Could our energy levels be so low that we react out of a state of burnt-out, frustration or deep sadness? Past traumas play a huge part in our current reactions too if they have not been fully healed.
We like to call this transformation the default reaction. Now that we understand WHY we are reacting a certain way, we can transform into how we WANT to respond. Occasionally it will be enough just to become aware and make a conscious decision to respond differently, if the trauma or lifelong skills no longer serve us, we may need to seek professional help in conjunction with a guided journal to heal and transform.
Sam mostly kept to herself, she would hardly interact with anyone at work and had no social interactions except for the necessary. Her co-workers described her as odd and she would react to seemingly harmless instructions in a very intense way that made her cross paths with human resources on a few occasions.
One day, Sam was handed a guided journal on loss and grief by one of the volunteers from an outreach in the community. After three weeks, people around her could notice a difference in her demeanor. In her performance review, her manager had the courage to ask her if there was something that changed for her. She simply nodded her head and continued her day. Months went by and at the year-end Christmas party, which she never attended since she started working there, Sam showed up to the surprise of everyone on her team.
Sam continued working for the company for another five years before she opened up about her life as she handed in her resignation. She grew up in an abusive household and when her father died from suicide, her community made him out to be a saint. Sam was only nine at the time. Her whole life she struggled with the contradiction of how a person that had done so many terrible things to her could be seen in such a positive way after his death. At her first Christmas after the incident she broke all the heads off the angels on the tree. To everyone’s dismay and she was scolded and further abused. Her family never took the time to explore the trigger. People called her father “an angel in heaven” after his death and this was Sam’s way of speaking her truth and trying to find resolution. From there, any instruction or criticism towards Sam triggered her back to those events. Her default reaction was to withdraw or get really angry.
The responsibility to heal and transform was Sam’s. She decided to take action and heal from her past trauma. Now, looking back on her reactions, she could clearly see that the universe wanted her to learn from this experience and the messengers were her emotions, led by her default reaction. Sam never returned to her place of work and took some much needed time to travel, something that she always wanted to do, but somehow felt she didn’t deserve. On the plane, the passenger next to her explained the instructions on how to use the emergency equipment, telling her how she should feel in case of turbulence.
Instead of Sam’s default reaction of becoming angry or withdrawn, she smiled and wrote in her journal:
Fly on the goose feather
For when I come back, I will have found the sun.
Inspired by a true story.
Keep Journaling, Keep Growing!