Connection and belonging: helping connection (post 2 of 5)

It is only natural that when someone experiences trauma and survives they may wish to help others. Interestingly, by helping others who have been through similar experiences we create more opportunities to make meaningful connections. Social connections help ourselves get better. The connections we create when helping others also serve to develop stronger sense of self and healing within.

Helping experiences straddle multiple types of connections that are beneficial to both the recipient and the helper: the joy of helping others; connecting with our own values and self; and staying in the moment grounded in the present, including a sense of place. Empathizing with others within appropriate contexts can have a big impact on how we experience our own emotional response to trauma.

Helping connections

Shared experiences – even around separate incidents with similar stories – can bring people together and foster a sense of belonging.

When we share our truth – about the experiences that have shaped us – we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and show our authentic selves to others. We can form stronger connections both with those we share experiences with and the places in which we experience them. From this can form a sense of belonging (reducing instances of loneliness).

One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel completely alone and believe that it will never get better. Yet the greatest hope and healing can come from knowing these moments of loneliness are finite – that the feeling will have an end; and that we belong to a community in which we do not have to face our hardships alone.

Can you think of a hard thing that you have experienced that others may have similar experiences with? How can you connect with others and help around this common hardship?


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About Trish

family legacy curator, social justice advocate, blogger, amateur photographer, reader, cyclist, runner & swimmer, mom of two