There are life lessons to be seen everywhere, one just needs to have the right spectacles in order to properly see them.
The camp that I went to used to take us to a racquetball club on Fridays. This location had racquetball courts, basketball courts, aerobics classes and fitness equipment.
The last Friday that we went there, one of the campers got hurt on the treadmill. For reasons known only to him at the time, he set the treadmill to start at the fastest setting. Since he couldn’t start that quickly, he immediately fell, and his skin was damaged from landing face first on this fast moving treadmill. It took quite a bit until someone came and shut the machine for him.
Someone finally asked him why he started it on that setting. He replied “Last week I was on the treadmill for 45 minutes, and by the last five minutes, I was on that setting. I figured I would continue where I left off.”
This logic sounds so flawed when it comes to the treadmill, yet people try to apply this flawed logic to other areas as well.
One needs to build gradually in order to reach the level where they can run at the fastest speed. Starting at the fastest speed is a recipe for disaster.
You can’t start at your goal, you need to work towards your goal. Starting at your goal either means that your goal is too low, or that you won’t be able to successfully maintain your goal, due to the lack of buildup.
As foolish as this sounds when it comes to the treadmill, people do this all the time when it comes to dealing with trauma.
People tell others (or the victims try to tell themselves) that they “just need to get over it”.
If there were a pill that people who suffered from trauma (whether it be physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, or any of the countless other traumas a person might have to deal with during their lifetime) that would help them “move on with their life”, trust me, they would take that pill.
Dealing with a trauma, any type of trauma is a process. No different than many of the other processes in life. There are many steps, and there is a basic order than one must go through.
Please don’t try to convince someone (or yourself if you have had trauma) that they can circumvent the process by cutting to the finish line to “acceptance”
If you want to help someone suffering, be empathetic, be a listening ear. Assist them in getting the help that fits their need. Connect them with resources that are available to someone in their situation.
Under no circumstances should you tell them that they need to move on. Trust me, they already know that they need to. They want to.
Processes take time. Sometimes they take much more time than one would like.
Yisroel Picker is a Social Worker who lives in Jerusalem. He has a private practice which specializes in working with people of all ages helping them understand their own thought processes, enabling them to improve their level of functioning, awareness, social skills and more. He also lectures on the topics of communication and child safety.
You can email Yisroel at firstname.lastname@example.org
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