There can be no argument that surviving a traumatic event can leave one feeling hardened and cold. As humans, we tend to see our entire lives shaded by what happened that left scars on our hearts and minds. It is harder to find joy and to enjoy life.

Some things that can help are listed below. This is by no means a complete list, but just some suggestions to get you started seeing the beauty instead of living in tragedy.

Look Up

I know that this may seem too simple, but have you ever spent time looking at the sky? There is much to see. On a sunny day, the sky is gorgeous. You can get lost in the vastness of our blue planet, just basking in the warmth of the sun and enjoying the deep blue hues of our planet’s atmosphere.

Looking up at the clouds and imagine seeing different figures, you may spy a huge dog or an elephant floating by. Have you spent time watching a storm? The power of a storm is invigorating. Watching the dark, ominous clouds roll in with the wind, with lightning and thunder can make one feel alive again.

When was the last time you walked to work during a light shower and enjoyed the sound of the raindrops pattering on your umbrella? Let’s not forget the smell of the rain, it is marvelous.

Then there are the stars. It’s lovely to sit and look at the lights in the sky, as humans have for millennia. Even though you may recognize some of the twinkling lights above as planets, that does not in any way detract from their beauty.

While sitting and watching as Mars moves slowly across the sky, allow yourself to daydream about visiting there, and wonder at man’s future.


I know that children can be highly triggering after you have survived childhood trauma or lost a child. But watching kids play and talking to them is lovely. Kids are so observant and honest.

If you need a laugh, count on children. Even though their vocabulary grows daily, they sometimes make the funniest mistakes.

Watching kids play is quite therapeutic. They wrestle and make-believe with gleeful abandon. Here is a pretend fort, there is a monster that must be tamed. Their minds are a sea of imagination that we seem to lose in our traumatized brains.

Kids instinctively know that it is alright to just be children. By celebrating this fact, and by enjoying the innocence and honesty of all the kids you encounter, we all can lighten the heavy burdens we carry after trauma.


Have you spent much time noticing flowers? They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. They range from beautiful perfumed red blooms to the humble dandelion.

Roses bring a smile to almost anyone who encounters them. They do come in many different varieties and colors, but oh the red ones, they are so beautiful. Humans throughout time have romanticized these lovely blooms, and what woman doesn’t like receiving a dozen from her lover.

People like to say dandelions are a weed, but that’s because they haven’t looked at them for what they are, gorgeous. Dandelions are harbingers of spring, springing up as soon as the ground becomes warm enough to do so. Their bright yellow blossoms have always brought me hope and comfort.


Whether you are a dog lover, cat lover, or both, there can be no denying the joy of having an animal in your life can bring. Animals add a new dimension to our lives.

Because they are reliant on our feeding them and for their comfort, this gives us something to live for when depression rears its ugly head. Some animals are trained to respond when we who have any form of post-traumatic stress disorder find ourselves lost in the past.

Other animals are trained to recognize when their owner has dissociated and to keep them safe.

Running your fingers through the fur of a pet dog or cat has a soothing effect on both our minds and our bodies. The sound of a canary singing or a parakeet chirping can help us rise up out of ourselves and think about the beauty around us.

Taking an Inventory

One cannot discount taking inventory of what we can do and have. Have you thought about being grateful for the things that you take for granted every day?

Consider the following list:

  • Can you see?
  • Can you hear?
  • Can you walk?
  • Have you enough food?
  • Have you enough clothing?
  • Do you have a roof over your head?
  • Do you have air conditioning in summer?
  • Do you have warmth in winter?
  • Do you have clean water to drink?
  • Do you have friends?
  • Do you have faith?
  • Can you think and reason?
  • Do you live in a land where there is no war?

Many people around the world and in your own town do not have or cannot do at least one, but often more, of the above items.

I think you can see from the above information that none of these things cost money. In fact, there is a saying that goes, “the best things in life are free,” and they are entirely correct.

Take a Look

Allowing ourselves to peek out from behind the clouds of despair that often follows a traumatic event and to see the beauty around us is life-giving.

Sometimes even life-saving.

Poke your nose out of the reality that is your trauma and begin to enjoy the beauty that is all around you today.

You won’t regret it.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith

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