Episode 33

Post-Traumatic…Growth? Yes. In this week’s episode the Jew and the Gentile discuss Post-Traumatic Growth. We felt that after 32 episodes we had traumatized our listeners and owed you all something.

Post-Traumatic Growth or PTG: Unwanted painful events that can take people to growthful places in themselves and life that would not have been possible if they hadn’t had the terrible encounters in the first place and also the wherewithal to see and embrace the promises such experiences had to offer. (From: “Perspective: The Calm Within the Storm” by Robert J. Wicks; chapter 4: Seeing in the Darkness: Appreciating the Paradox of Post-Traumatic Growth)

From “A Whole New Life” by Reynolds Price: “Have one hard cry, if the tears will come. Then stanch the grief, by whatever legal means. Next find your way to be somebody else, the next viable you—a stripped-down whole other clear-eyed person, realistic as a sawed-off shotgun and thankful for air, not to speak of the human kindness you’ll meet if you get normal luck. Your mate, your children, your friends at work—anyone who knew or loved you in your old life—will be hard at work in the fierce endeavor to revive your old self, the self they recall with love or respect. Their motives are frequently admirable, and at times that effort counts for a lot—they prove that you’re valued and wanted at least—but again their care is often a brake on the way you must go. At the crucial juncture, when you turn toward the future, they’ll likely have little help to offer; and it’s no fault of theirs (they were trained like you, in inertia). More likely they’ll stall you in the effort to learn who you need to be now and how to be him or her by tomorrow or Monday at the latest. Yet if you don’t discover that next appropriate incarnation of who you must be, and then become that person at a stiff trot, you’ll be no good whatever again to the ruins of your old self nor to any friend or mate who’s standing beside you in hopes of a hint that you’re feeling better this instant and are glad of company.”

We also cited this TED talk by Jane McDonigal.

-My priorities have changed—I’m not afraid to do what makes me happy

-I feel closer to my friends and family

-I understand myself better, I know who I really am now

-I have a new sense of meaning and purpose

-I’m better able to focus on my goals and dreams

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