For many years, I couldn’t see the benefits of my experiences and trauma. I couldn’t see that growing up in foster care, or the abuse I lived through or that being the mother of special needs child would come to me with purpose and that there were lessons to be learned.

For the longest time, I was the victim of my story. I blamed my parents, the system, the social workers, the foster family and the other abusers I encountered in my life.

The woe is me and please take pity on me because my parents didn’t love me or because men seem to think it’s okay to violate me and holy crap why was I the one to have a special needs child.

You don’t know what you don’t know and it can be hard to see yourself as a victim and notice that is how you are showing up as such. And as my son was fighting for his life, something broke inside of me and cracked me wide open.

And in the process, I made some new discoveries about myself and noted how the trauma I experienced actually gave me some powerful skills and a mindset to know that I can, in fact, overcome anything that comes my way.

I have a tremendous amount of strength

We can’t always see that strength. We think that we could never go through this or handle that, but the truth of the matter is that we are all stronger than we believe. We do the things we have to do because sometimes we are not giving a choice, but we still muster on through!

I am resilient

There is no doubt that resilience plays a huge factor in why I am who I am today and where I am today. We all have that resilience. We all can overcome any challenge or hurdle. There is this understanding that we don’t have to live in the past nor in that story and we create our reality.

I am creative

With each struggle and frustration, that I have encountered it requires a certain amount of creativity to get out of that. It becomes a matter of sitting down and realizing that we have options and that seeing this means we can be creative in achieving whatever it is we want.

I am open-minded

There truly is no wrong or right way, there is your way. This means that we need to be open-minded about other people’s teaching, advice or sharing their experience. Allowing new information to enter our awareness, allows us to modify and adapt what we like or don’t like.

I have grit and tenacity

Whenever a challenge, a trauma or a hurdle of any kind, your strength and resilience is supported by your grit and tenacity. Sometimes getting up in the morning can be hard when life feels like a crapshoot, but the fact that you still get up, well you have grit and tenacity too. It doesn’t always have to be big to embrace all this badassery!

I can love and accept myself

Even when other people have shunned me away or judged me because of my views and opinions, I can and do love and accept myself. Other people’s opinion of me doesn’t impact my life because validation comes from within. We don’t ever need someone else’s approval of who we are and what we are doing.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation

No is a complete sentence and I don’t have to explain myself to anyone unless I choose too. The notion that we have to explain our thoughts and actions to other people is saying we are not enough and to prove our worth we must forever sacrifice ourselves and give to others. But one of the biggest lessons for me as a recovering co-dependent is that I don’t have to explain myself. I don’t owe anything to anyone and either they are okay with it or not.

I choose what I allow

I always have a choice to allow negativity or positivity. I have a choice in allowing people into my world that either tries to bring me down or lift me up. And you have that choice.

If you want to improve your life, cutting out people that bring us down, by playing the victim or spewing negativity, we can remove them from our lives. Choosing to focus on positive influences and people that genuinely support us will ultimately help us grow!

And one of the biggest things that I have learned over the years, due to my experiences is how to handle frustration. Trauma has the power to fuel frustration because you don’t feel in control but when you choose you and commit to you, you can handle this life like a champ!

Petra Monaco

Petra Monaco

The Rebels Den

Author + Artist, a Goal Coach + Business Strategist. Petra helps freedom-seeking Rebels + Creatives to follow their intuition, embrace who they are while they taking action towards their dreams + goals - whether it’s writing a book, starting a business or just focusing on personal goals. Petra uses her personal story to inspire and motivate people into doing the work they need to do to create change because she believes that your excuses are just avoidance. You can have the cake and eat it too if you're willing to show up for it!
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