Enjoy Life

Sharing – Does childhood adversity dilute life’s meaning? New research reveals surprising findings.

This is hopeful:

Across all three studies, while ACEs consistently reduced sense of coherence and significance in life, purpose emerged as a potentially adaptive facet, resilient to the detrimental effects of childhood adversity. This pattern highlights the potential for purpose as a therapeutic entry point in addressing the long-term impacts of adverse childhood experiences.

I think it’s hopeful because it presents an opportunity. We often don’t know what causes some kids to come from an adverse childhood and struggle with addiction or depression while others do not. The more we find out where we can positively impact, the better. We can’t simply count up all a child’s adverse experiences and conclude they are beyond repair. In addition to creating a world with fewer adverse experiences for all children, we also need to support the kids who will experience them anyway.

We can do a lot with prevention, but we can’t eliminate all adverse childhood experiences. Parents will still pass away, children will still get sick, and natural disasters will still happen. Even if we eliminated poverty, child abuse, domestic violence, etc., some kinds would still wind up with several adverse experiences. More resources are needed to help those kinds, and more research like this is required in order to identify what works. I think this idea of purpose fits with what we’ve seen in suicide prevention as well. We often talk about remaining connected to someone or something as a way to prevent suicide. You could consider that a “purpose.” I certainly would.

It doesn’t have to be a grand purpose either, just something that makes you want to return each day. It can be wanting to learn something new, be there for the important days for a friend or family member, see what happens with Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, or whatever makes you want to get up the next day to be part of it. That moves us to healing, showing up for our lives each day. That, to me, is purpose. What keeps you here? What keeps you connected to other people?

Do more of that.


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