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What Does Trauma Have to Do with Purpose?

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I spoke with The Awareness Space about what trauma has to do with life purpose and why, even though we talk about these are two opposite things -- they're actually two sides in the same coin. You can't understand your purpose without unpacking your trauma. Listen + read for more.

Last week, I was on The Awareness Space talking about life purpose + trauma.

A lot of us think of those as opposites. Purpose is about alignment, success, creative expression. Isn’t trauma the thing that HOLD US BACK from purpose?

What if trauma is just the other side of the purpose coin?

What if trauma is deeply intertwined with purpose?


Purpose is about sensitivities. We experience life through our senses. When we were babies, way before we learned our purpose was supposed to be achievements like starting a business and writing a book…

We had sensitivities. Some babies were sensitive to Freedom and felt trapped really easily. Others were sensitive to music and could hear notes I can’t hear.

When we’re sensitive to something, we sense more there—we see, taste, touch, smell, hear more.

We have more desires. More expertise. And more trauma. Because we feel things deeper there.

Over the past 7 years, I’ve had the honor of mapping hundreds, maybe thousands, of sensitivities at this point. I’ve seen a lot of purpose on my whiteboard.

So I can say with pretty clear certainty that trauma—like every sensitivity we have—is deeply intertwined with purpose.

WHY something felt so traumatic. HOW it affected us. WHY we’re acting in a trauma response. WHAT we wanted to feel…

is all deeply a part of our purpose.

Purpose is about understanding ourselves. Our subconscious motivations. Our abilities. Our desires. Our trauma.

If it can’t answer why, then it isn’t purpose.

And, for most of us, our deepest desire to understand ourselves centers around our trauma.

Listen to this one up above.

Mike Iamele

Mike Iamele

I help people map their sensitivities and lived experiences to discover their purpose + brand. We call it Sacred Branding®.

Learn how to map your own sensitivities:

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