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Finding Your Light After Childhood Sexual Abuse

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

Guest Blog by Travis M White


Defining Your Darkness

Words create worlds. This was a core truth I failed to see for much of my life. I had resigned myself to living in this “as good as it gets mindset” where I experienced a beautiful family and many friends while being constantly plagued by what I call my monster of internal darkness. I knew where it came from: I was sexually abused twice as a child and, as a result, struggled with addictions and poor choices for many years.

The story I came to believe about myself held me in pervasive bondage, until one day, my life almost fell apart. I was forced to look inside. I came to see the depth of fear and shame that had fueled the lies and limiting beliefs of being worthless, unlovable, and never enough for those I loved.

By realizing that all my darkness (fear, shame, and pain) was born out of my own story and those words I came to believe, I finally experienced the beginning of my journey to freedom. Vulnerability, something I feared for years, became one of my superpowers. I learned I had a lot of power, but I used it to support lies and pain.

Words create worlds, and I discovered we either write our story or our story writes us. I am living proof in the freedom that comes from knowing that even all the bad parts of our story, which most of us want to forget or hide from, can be redeemed for good and healing. That has made all the difference in my life.

What is it about Fireflies?

As I began to share my story with others and write my book, I would often ask why the obsession with fireflies? First, and most simply, many of us in our forties and up can recall times of catching fireflies in a jar and watching them glow.

My earliest memories of that are at the same time as my first sexual abuse experience. I would put the jar near my bedside, hoping the glow of the fireflies would protect me from the darkness, from the abuse. It never did.

As I shared this with a friend at my lowest point in life, he made this statement that changed the trajectory of my journey to freedom: “the light from the fireflies is theirs; it was never meant to protect you. What if you are the firefly, and you’ve just lost the connection to your inner light?”

That is the day the mantra for my book was born: we carry all the light we will ever need to illuminate all the darkness we will ever face. It is true of us all. No matter the trauma, the pain, or the darkness born out of unshakable fear and shame, we were all created with the potential to live our best lives.

Like the firefly, I want to shine this light of mine that I have reconnected to in hopes it will lead others to find theirs. The world needs my story; it needs your story. No one else has had our unique set of experiences that have led us to this point.

Why a Sherpa?

When describing my coaching approaches and methods with potential clients, I often call myself a Sherpa. You know, a guide, someone that has been where you want to go.

After working with a particular client for six months and helping them experience exponential growth and change in life, they came to me and said, “you know, I do not think you are a Sherpa; I think you are more of a sage.” I smiled and told them to thank you, but I disagreed. I see myself as more of a Sherpa; I shared with this client because I have made their journey many times. I see the sage as someone with innate wisdom about something, and they comfortably dispense that wisdom to help others.

I have experienced all the pitfalls and mistakes. I have the bruises and scars that I witness not pursuing the better options in many life situations. But the thing is, even though I failed many times, I found that better way, the safer path.

That is where my wisdom came from. I carry all the wisdom that I share with others very near to my heart, never forgetting the high cost it came with. And that is what gives me unending joy in guiding others on their journeys of freedom, healing, and growth in the most positive ways possible.

A.W.E. (Awakening, Wonder, Expectancy)

My book, We Are All Fireflies, is now available everywhere. The sixteen chapters chronicle my journey from darkness to light and how the passion drives me to help others know that same life path.

Chapters 1-4 are about Awakening to the internal narrative we carry with us and how that story has equal power to build us up or tear us down. It is here that we strive for freedom.

Chapters 5-8 are about experiencing the Wonder of who we were created to be without the burdens of darkness, fear, shame, and any other pain wrought out of past trauma. It is here that we strive for healing.

Chapters 9-16 are about carrying the Expectancy of the eight mindsets we work to plant into our daily lives to help us on a continued path of joy, peace, and purpose. It is here that we strive for growth.

I am completing a 12-week self-paced course called Finding Your Light in Life, a Mastermind group that will be held several times a year, 1-1 intensive coaching, and an online community where we will experience A.W.E. together.



Integrative Life Coach, Author, Speaker

Join us Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm mountain for the interview

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