Kiran Thiara

Conversations on Trauma and Awakening: Kiran Thiara

“Trust the process of the universe and continually rediscover yourself, because you are not the same person you once were and you are not meant to be that same person. Trust because there is no better experience in life than coming out the other side stronger, wiser and elevated to a new level of energy causing you to realize that what you thought had broken you didn’t break you, rather it made you rise.”

Hi my name is Kiran, and I am from Vancouver, Canada. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Double Minor in Criminology and Philosophy. I am passionate about wellness, self-discovery, and constant spiritual growth. Through my own journey of healing, self-discovery and growth, has led me to my budding career as a holistic counsellor. 

I am a trained Wellness & Trauma informed Counsellor. My aim is to help individuals find a deep connection within themselves, through somatic experience and through that connection step into their own light and power. 

I am an introverted deep thinker and soul. Who also loves to write, spend time in small coffee shops, and in nature or by the water. 

Instagram: @warriorsoulhealing

Describe yourself in three words.

Empath, strong, and spiritual. 

How would those you love and respect you describe you?

I asked my loved ones to answer this question and what they told me is: caring, intelligent, helpful, good understanding, and spiritual. 

What helps you feel safe and grounded?

I think what helps me feel safe and grounded is my connection with my spirituality. Throughout my life, whenever I have faced adversity, it is when I bring myself to surrender and with humility bring myself to a place of connection with the spiritual side. These are the times I have gained peace and clarity, and have felt safe. My parents are also a huge blessing in my life; being near them brings a sense of safety for me as well. I am very thankful that they brought their love and connection to spirituality into my life from an early age. 

I can think of moments when I have been overcome with anxiety, or have faced something really difficult. When I have relied on my faith, I have found this inner strength to carry me through. I surrender my pain, hurt and ego into God's hands and recite my prayers. As I recite these mantras (My background is of Sikh faith). It brings me to a place of safety, calmness, and strength. I feel the energy within my body transitioning from worried, chaotic, or distressed. to inner peace and being grounded and strong. 

I remember coming out of high school, and from 18 years old to 21 years old I immersed myself in praying and going to the temple. I had been bullied and excluded for 4 years in high school, I didn’t feel safe. The faculty during that time wasn’t much help either, at the end I remember feeling lost and I think that is why at a young age I ended up immersing myself in my faith. I was seeking that feeling of wanting to feel safe and grounded from the trauma I had experienced. 

Having understanding of my Sikh faith helps, because it has a history of finding strength, peace and overcoming adversity. The prayers and mantras are formatted in beautiful poetry and consist of deep, insightful philosophy. As I recite those words and expand the energy of those words into my soul and spirit, I experience deep healing. For instance, one prayer which is recited in the evening is of complete protection, adding energy and helping when one feels physically weak. It’s written by the 5th Sikh Guru.  The translation of this prayer is:

God Himself is looking out for us,
gives us the light, and takes care of our affairs.
God is merciful, and never forgets us.
God guides us, giving us good people to help us.
God does not allow hurt to come to us.
I take comfort in the thought of God.
When I remember God, I feel peaceful and happy
and all my pain departs.

Over the years in my adulthood, the more I started to find myself and connect with my authentic self. I also started to expand my spiritual understanding and practice.Exploring other avenues of spirituality such as energy healing, and meditation/yoga. Overtime I’ve realized how important having a daily spiritual practice is for me. I am not perfect, and my humanness can take over at times, where I can neglect my spiritual practice. I’ve noticed when I do that, that is when I start to feel dysregulated, and anxious.

I have also come to understand myself as an empath, which I wish I had known much earlier on in my life. Being an empath is not easy at times, and again that connection to spirituality is what helps me protect my energy and bring a sense of feeling grounded. 

How would you define trauma?

I would define trauma as something that comes into your life and knocks you down to your feet. It tests you in every way possible, testing your mental, physical strength and your spirit. It leaves you broken, making you feel vulnerable and helpless. 

How has trauma contributed to your suffering?

How trauma has contributed to my suffering is in many ways, I don’t even know where to start. It’s contributed to my  low confidence and self-esteem which I still struggle with till this day. It has contributed to me having doubt within myself and not believing in myself. It contributes to the immense fear and paranoia I hold against people.

I am not going to get into too much of the complexity of traumas I have experienced throughout life. Growing up, from childhood through my teen years I went through a period of being constantly put down and bullied by various people. Coming from a collectivistic culture, family was important. I lived in a joint family household with my grandparents, parents, and aunt and uncle.  There were  many relatives who immensely humiliated me growing up. Two of my aunts  made me believe I wasn’t smart enough and couldn’t do anything right. My grandpa, and aunts would constantly ridicule me, the way I walked, talked, and simply for the way I was. One aunt would tell me again and again how I would not be able to get into university. It’s not until I actually did go to university and really enjoyed philosophy, and talked to the professors did I realize how smart I was. Even University was a struggle, because deep down there was this embedded doubt that I can’t do this. I am not worthy enough to be here.

My parents have always been amazing and supportive, they did the best they could. I realized that they had their own trauma to deal with. These same relatives had also destroyed my parents' confidence and self-esteem. Due to cultural conditioning, my parents felt obligated to stay loyal to these family members. But I am thankful that through my own healing, I have been able to take my parents and brother along this journey with me, where they have been able to heal as well. 

Going through this period of being humiliated and ridiculed during my developmental years - when you bully a child, or make them feel they are not worthy.  The child’s brain isn’t developed enough to think for itself, the innocence of the child believes that whatever the adult is telling me must be right. I carried that with me into my adulthood where I can sense this incredible potential I hold, yet feel this blocked energy unable to display this potential. A deep embedded belief into my core that does not leave me. Like it feels wrong to shine. 

However, there was one person in my life who would always try to remind me how much I needed to let my light shine.  I saw her as my security blanket as a child, one of the very few adults in my childhood that  I felt safe with. My safe haven, my confidant and became my best friend in my adulthood. She was my aunt (my mom’s baby sister). She was my safe person and that one person I could not see myself do life without. When I was 26, she passed away suddenly at the age of 39. On her last night she held me in her arms. When she passed, I went into a state of shock and deep denial. My body, mind completely shut down for the next four years. 

How has suffering contributed to your personal awakening or evolution?

I am thankful for my suffering. I believe it is God’s way of coming close to us, you see when we are happy most often, we don’t feel the need to remember God or see life in a meaningful way. It is when we are tested and challenged do we come to a point to rely on divine support and start to see and understand life and others with empathy, and depth. 

I have experienced a deep awakening, as suffering has pushed me deep to find my inner strength and the light which was dimmed so long ago. Suffering has elevated my mind, body and spirit. It has led me to be the person I am today and led me to my chosen career path. My spiritual connection is much more enriched, and I walk in the essence of my true spirit. Holding much more awareness within me and around me than I did before. I feel I live a life that is meaningful and has value, which is very fulfilling for me. 

I understand that all of us carry some sort of trauma in our life, that may bring out the unhealed parts of ourselves. Which ends up as projecting toxic behaviour out in the world. But what happens with such behaviour is a person completely unaware ends up hurting and breaking another person.  I believe it is not our fault what happens to us, but it is our responsibility to heal and how we choose to carry and look at that trauma within us.  I have learned to turn  my suffering into empathy and care to give to others. What I feel I couldn’t receive from others when I needed it, I now choose to not let the suffering I have experienced ruin me but show kindness and understanding where it is needed in the world. 

What words of wisdom would you offer to those who are stuck in suffering that is similar to what you have been through in the past?

Don’t look at your suffering as something negative, don’t judge it. It wants to be seen and heard, so listen to what it has to say to you. No matter how hard it may seem, or how difficult some days may be, keep going and keep persisting. There’s a reason this suffering found you. So trust the process of the universe and rediscover yourself, because you are not the same person you once were before, and you are not meant to be that same person.  Trust, because there is no better experience in life than when you come out on the other side stronger, wiser and elevated to a new level of energy of the universe. Making you realize what was meant to break you, didn’t break you, rather it made you rise. 

For me my experience has been that I feel like a phoenix arising from the ashes, that holds much more power and strength than meets the eye. It is important to understand, however, that phoenix  is still rising, a work in progress. Because till the end of life, you will never stop being tested or presented with challenges. What matters is what you have learned and how you choose to carry that wisdom with you throughout life.