Dealing With Trauma – Writing Your Story

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“Love who you want, hate who you want, do not oppress anyone.”

— Shaykh Sharaawi

This post will be expanded on in my forthcoming book, Love Is Deeper Than Words.

I did a theme on this in the past, titled: Write Your Story

Here are the compilations from the Facebook posts:

  1. Journal your moments – process them later. This log can be used later to help one understand themselves as thoughts, feelings, and events are analyzed and explored. When you are removed from the trauma, it is best to process them in a healthier state of mind.
  2. Know that transformation begins with turning to God – We are not the source, we are the receiver. Once you realize that, you will seek your needs from Him. God might use people or whatever means He wills. And unlike human love, when Divine Love enters your heart, it purifies and expands. It will gradually take over. You will not fall out of love with God.
  3. Begin with the End In Mind – I have found reading the first chapter of the Quran – very beneficial. By reading this all the time, with reflection, seeking guidance, it will help you to walk in the right path. Reading on the daily sufferings can make one wonder – if God is with them or not.
  4. Describe Normal – When people are traumatized, they do not know what is normal. Hence, they need a solid foundation to connect with to help them rebuild from a traumatized state of mind.
  5. Two Faces of the Trial – Do you see the two faces or directions of the trial that God is testing you?
  6. Can I tell you about Al Fattah? – Al Fattah or the Opener and the Solver, the Easer of all that is locked, tied and hardened.
  7. Associate Repentance With Self-Love – Being traumatized, you do not want to heal by turning yourself into the perennial victim, where you go from the oppressed to the oppressor. Repentance was associated with guilt and shame from oppressors or abusers. Since abusers blamed you for everything, you want to associate repentance with pleasing God. Reclaim repentance and associate it with self-love. Not the self-love in self-help books, but healthy remorse breeds Divine Love.
  8. The Internal Story – When we are traumatized or oppressed, we are usually silenced. At times, our voices and thoughts are overpowered by a voice hog. Hence, we can connect to our voice, thoughts, and feelings. If we write them privately and share them with the Witness, God, seeking guidance, He will guide us.
  9. The Mirror and Reverse Mirror – As one grows, you will face people trying to attack you or project their reality unto you. By writing your story, you learn to distinguish between projection and someone sharing their opinion. Stay away from people who choose to project their reality unto others.
  10. A Mentor or Guide – Some psychologists, therapists, family, or meddlers, have poor ethics and integrity and try to manage and fix or edit your story with their own. Never take advice from a person with poor boundaries. A person who tries to control you or counter what you think or feel should be removed. Look for trustworthy people.
  11. Count Your Blessings – A traumatized person has been countered and invalidated so much that they lose sight of their blessings. Count your blessings to prevent the abuse from reaching your soul or gaining power over you. Stay in the present moment.
  12. Service – Service allows you to create a safe emotional distance between you and the trauma. It helps you to emerge to the present moment. If you keep it in mind or process it at the wrong time, you will enter a black hole.
  13. What is Emotional Abuse? – “…disguised as “helping.” Criticizing, advising, offering solutions, analyzing, probing, and questioning another person may be a sincere attempt to help. In some instances, however, these behaviors may be an attempt to belittle, control, or demean rather than help. The underlying judgmental ‘I know best’ tone the abuser takes in these situations is inappropriate and creates unequal footing in peer relationships.”
  14. Servitude – Many want to be the great of the past, without doing the work internally. There is a time for service and a time for servitude. When you develop a strong relationship with God, you want to graduate and do the service for the sake of God. Keep in mind not to engage in inappropriate behaviors disguised as “helping.”
  15. Enjoy Children – It might be good to follow healthy parenting accounts for support. This can be taken out of context to aid child abusers. This is meant to enjoy their laughter, the mess they make, their running, and the tantrum they throw. This helps you not seek to control them but to differentiate between control and guide.
  16. Good People of Faith – As you understand what is normal, seek people of good faith. The Prophets’ stories will give you an idea of what normal and healthy people sound like and how they interact with others in the name of God.

Going forward you can:

  1. Return projection – Now that you identified your voice, when someone tries to project their thoughts unto you, return it back to them.
  2. Change Habits – As you proceed with your life, you want to grow, grow and grow. Identify habits you would like to change. Since you have developed a connection with God, you can now identify areas of growth to increase your strengths. As you move gradually, you will slowly break cycles from the trauma.
  3. Understand humility – Hopefully, this reflection can help you understand the meaning of humility: “Thou canst [truly] warn only him who is willing to take the reminder to heart, and who stands in awe of the Most Gracious although He is beyond the reach of human perception: unto such, then, give the glad tiding of [God’s] forgiveness and of a most excellent reward!” (36:11)
  4. Beware of Egoism – Too many Muslims fall into this trap of superiority complex, rather than being humbled by the gift they have been given.
  5. Three Tools – Once you established a connection to God, turn to God in all your affairs, and make du`aa’ [supplication] continuously in whatever situation you find yourself.
  6. Ask Allah for Clean Heart – God is always showering His Blessings upon us. Our hearts receive them differently.
  7. Receive Faith with Your Whole Being – Reflect on what faith is. “That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did.” (Quran 36:65). The hardships Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings, went through were clear evidence of his Prophethood. It is easy to speak of enlightened realities; it is hard to practice and succeed. This is why service and servitude are important. They are means to receive faith with your whole being.
  8. Expect Struggles – Don’t judge yourself if you are not feeling, thinking, and acting like Prophet Muhammad, upon him peace and blessings. None of us will. Just take the feelings, thoughts, and actions and present them to God and seek His help and strength to face this difficulty.
  9. Don’t Test God – There is this idea that tawakkal [trust in God] is don’t use your mind or I don’t reason, I don’t reflect, I don’t seek clarification. I don’t verify or confirm. I don’t seek guidance. These are all false concepts of trust or tawakkal. To understand what true tawakkal or trust in God, requires we use our reason, and act according to our faith, and leave the results to God.
  10. What you focus on grows – Focus on what God will require of you on the Day of Judgement. Ask God for help while doing so: “Oh God, preoccupy our hearts with Your Love, and our tongues with Your Remembrance, and our limbs with Your Obedience, and our minds with pondering upon Your creation and understanding Your Revelation.”
  11. Receive His Love – What does this mean? Reflect on it or ask Him.
  12. Seek His Compassion and His Strength – Some teach you to turn to the self and seek compassion, forgiveness, love, and transformation. However, your ego is NOT your amigo. Seek God to protect you from its call to disobedience: “O Allah! Inspire in me guidance and deliver me from the evils within myself.” [Narrated by At-Tirmidhi]

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