The 10 Truths About Struggle Personal Transformation

The 10 Truths About Struggle: Truth 5 of 10

July 13, 2023
Boulder Crest Foundation

All Of Our Training and Experiences Matter

Looking back to move forward

When dealing with trauma and times of deep struggle, the past plays a central role. During my time working with veterans, they have taught me that ALL of my training and experiences matter.

Consider the rucksack that Soldiers carry – it’s a full, heavy pack. Each of us has our own rucksack to carry throughout life, filled up with experiences, both good and bad. Then a traumatic event hits: a heavy rock is added to the bag, and you were already carrying plenty in that pack before the addition of this new burden. Those pre-existing experiences help contribute to the weight of the current situation. Depending on how heavy they are by themselves, they might prevent you from ever putting the pack back on – and then you’re stuck.

How do you get unstuck? You need to examine what’s in the rucksack. Until and unless you understand the experiences you carry you will only ever manage to be the sum of your past training and experiences.

By pursuing an understanding of your past, you can repack the bag. You can keep your gifts and utilize them, and eliminate some of the heavier baggage.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate” – Carl Jung

When I was struggling in 2012 and 2013, all I could see were the real-time events that were overwhelming me. What I learned from the men and women I met through Boulder Crest was that I needed to back up and look broader, because the ways in which I thought about myself – my limitations and my opportunities – the ways in which I thought about other people, the ways in which I thought about the world, and my future, those were not shaped in 2012, but in 1980 when I was two years old. It is only by examining ALL of our training and experiences that we can begin to really understand and learn from ourselves. People say “I am what I am.” But that’s not true. You are the way you were trained to be. There are deliberate steps you can take to retrain yourself in a way that enables you to move forward with a lighter rucksack.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Be Well. Do Well. Struggle Well.

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