I have never struggled with an addiction or been involved with a “12 Step” program. But, I have been in meetings and gatherings, where I have observed something unique related to addiction, recovery, and 12 steps.
In these gatherings, when someone acknowledges that they have “struggled with addiction,” “are in recovery,” or “have benefitted from the 12 step program,” there are others in the room who light up in acknowledgement. These “others” are also people who have also dealt with their own shit.
Immediately upon hearing the words “addiction,” “recovery,” or “12 steps,” there is immediate comradery. There is an acknowledgement of: “You know, too!?!”
Even though, I am not a part of “that group,” it has been a pretty amazing thing to witness.
The “You Know’s” of Vertical Development
The more I talk about vertical development, my own vertical development journey, and the role that trauma and healing play as part of the vertical development journey, the more I am discovering a similar phenomenon as the “recovery” group described above.
I am learning that there is a unique community of people who light up in a “You know, too!?!” way whenever they hear someone talk about any of the following:
- Awakening to their trauma
- Awakening to the history of trauma in their family
- Working with a therapist to heal from trauma
- Trauma awakening/healing buzz terms, including EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing), dissociation, disintegration, “The body keeps the score,” healing, and several more
People who have been through their own awakening and healing journey are honestly unique people. There aren’t many of them, but they know things most people don’t know.
I can’t relate to the “recovery” people, but I consider myself fortunate to be someone who can relate to the “trauma/healing” people.
The people who have been on or through the “trauma/healing” journey are people who “know” vertical development.
In fact, I might dare say there are three groups of people:
- People who don’t know about vertical development
- People who know about vertical development
- People who know vertical development
As I have come to this realization, I am asking myself this question: What if an entire executive team was made up of people who know vertical development? They don’t just know about vertical development, they know it because they have experienced it.
I think they would be an incredibly sophisticated executive team. They would have a level of mental maturity that is unparalleled. They would have more candor, more psychological safety, and more value creation.
Check In With Yourself
Where are you at?
Are you someone who knows about vertical development, or are you someone who knows vertical development?
I promise that if you can make the leap, you will be a different person.
If you want to make that leap, I recommend the following:
- Read my book, The Elevated Leader: Level Up Your Leadership Through Vertical Development
- Read What Happened to You by Bruce Perry and Oprah Winfrey
- Read The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk
- Reach out to a trauma therapist to explore your trauma past (I recommend therapists that focus on EMDR and/or Internal Family Systems Therapy)
As I am meeting more and more people who know vertical development, I am consistently finding that they are very mature, mindful, present, and emotionally sophisticated people. They truly do operate on a different level than everyone else. And, “everyone else” has very little clue of what they are missing.
It is my hope that you engage in your own healing journey. It will be a beautiful and life-changing experience.