Written By Tiarsha Harrison
Article Edited by: Artreyi Jaradutt
A tough childhood has the power to make, break or shape us into our future selves. Some people choose to dwell on negative experiences in their life, while others may choose to look at the brighter picture. “I don’t want to talk about the past, not because I am avoidant of it (I was for many years), but because God has truly healed me from it. He has given me a sense of peace and freedom for all the things that used to hold me hostage,” expressed Dr. Trillion Small, a successful entrepreneur, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified John Maxwell leadership development strategist.
Dr. Small feels it is good to allow God into your heart over situations that have hurt you. “God has restored the relationship I had with my biological father, and has strengthened my heart as it relates to trusting and loving again. It is important to look into the past and allow yourself to heal the root issue; once you have healed from it, it is time to shift your focus to the present.” Dr. Small’s father now enjoys gardening and is a pretty good cook. She has changed her perspective on their relationship, amazed at how the strength of forgiveness has healed her heart. She feels that some of her strength can be attributed to her mother. “We moved as a family from Texas, which was a bit rocky, to a sense of normalcy in Alabama where my mom remarried. My mom is my best friend. She is the backbone of the family and because of her, I am the strong confident woman that I am today.” The pain made the family stronger; it was purposeful.
It is important to look into the past and allow yourself to heal the root issue; once you have healed from it, it is time to shift your focus to the present.”
Dr. Small is now an adjunct professor in the Behavioral & Brain Sciences department at the University of Texas-Dallas. “This education process came about because I wanted to gain experience in the academic space and add value to college students. I am also fascinated by the brain, so this role continues to challenge me to dig deeper into the nuances of the brain and how it relates to relationship development and people.”
Dr. Small is not only extremely talented, she’s also very versatile. It was after changing her major from biology to psychology in college that she decided to become a counselor. “I chose to be a LMFT to focus on developing relationships and people from a systemic standpoint; meaning, we do not live in silos and that every relationship we have truly impacts us in a positive or negative way.” Aside from becoming a counselor, Dr. Small always had a goal to be a TED or TEDx Speaker. She made a few attempts to nominate herself and was rejected, but she never gave up. After finally applying to TEDxSMUWomen in Dallas, Texas, she was accepted as a speaker. “I prayed about what to speak on and it became very clear to me that it needed to be fear and love. I noticed that the majority of my clients were apprehensive when it came to love. I wanted to first understand this issue myself, then I wanted to provide content to help those who needed answers. I simply desire to help people heal their hearts so they can have a more free, fulfilling and joyous life.”
To make sure others have the same opportunities as she did, Dr. Small launched TEDxFrisco. She also owns Attachment Leadership, a counseling and coaching company. “I formed Attachment Leadership to have a formal business structure for mental health practice and later I added the leadership component. I created Prepare Academy to provide resources for the youth to prepare them for adulthood. I firmly believe that it is much better to PREPARE our youth rather than REPAIR them as adults who went through many traumas as a child but never dealt with it as it happened. We must equip them now with the tools to regulate their emotions, think critically, and make wiser decisions in life.”
I simply desire to help people heal their hearts so they can have a more free, fulfilling and joyous life.”
After accomplishing so much, Dr. Small was named Nashville’s Black 40 under 40. “I was shocked and humbled by the recognition. It was very rewarding, and they had a celebration for us that called for getting dolled up and having a very fun night with friends and family. This is a memory I hold dear.”
Dr. Small admits that she has a wonderful support system that inspires her. “My mom inspires me daily. She’s always so encouraging, motivating and supportive of my hopes and dreams. I also find inspiration daily from a variety of different pastors on YouTube. I have learned that we have to feed our souls just as much as we feed our natural bodies, so I stay grounded because the world is constantly pulling on our attention. I also guard my time very well. You learn what (and who) to say yes and no to. I haven’t always been that way, but eventually you realize that life really is too short; and every moment, every meeting, and every relationship needs to count and be purposeful. If it is notâ€¦then why are you wasting your time?”
To the women who are entering the journey of their true selves: “It is very common to find yourself while running from yourself. I have come across many women (and men), including myself, who pursue their careers, their goals, and relationships with great intensity only to discover that their drive for these external pleasures are an easy way to distract and run from what is going on inside. This is not always the case obviously. But, it typically is the case for the woman who has yet to slow down and learn her own identity. It typically is the case for the woman who has yet to find internal fulfillment but still seeks affirmation and validation from those people and things outside of herself.”
Spending time with God can help remove all external distractions. “Our greatest hindrance to reaching full self-actualization and obtaining all of our goals is the condition of our heart. It is the weight of our past that holds us back. It is the trauma and the pain that we have yet to process that holds us back. It is the lack of forgiveness and silent anger that we refuse to relinquish that holds us back. “
“Several years ago, God told me that my business will always be capped at the place where my emotional healing stopped. So, if you are wanting to reach that “promise land place,” then, God will first make sure that your heart is ready to receive it. Many people have so much untapped potential because of their unwillingness to deal with the condition of their heart. God is looking for soft-hearted women to go out into the marketplace and change the game for His glory! I can talk for days about this but I also discuss this more in depth in both of my books, “The Caged Free Heart: Letting Go of the Past that Incarcerates,” as well as my book called “She’s Possible: Finding Your Irresistible You.” Both books will take you through the heart journey (especially the former). The main take-away from this is to deal with the conditions of your heart and you will be much more equipped to chase after your dreams.”
Dr. Trillion Small can be found on the following social media platforms: