Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Trauma: Bringing it to Light

Traumas are common, possibly as common as sneezes. The problem is that we can’t see them, nor do we have a magic phrase that heals them. Perhaps it is their mysterious nature that makes us so uncomfortable with them. Obviously, their ability to cut so deep, imbed, infiltrate and immobilize adds to our cultural attempts to keep trauma underground.

There are little traumas and there are really big traumas. The big ones can seem so overwhelming that we try everything to deny them. The little ones most often go unnoticed, but can add up overtime and unconsciously affect the present quality of our lives.

I used to think I hadn’t experienced much trauma in my life because there was nothing ‘really big’ shadowing part of my past. But the more I began to learn about the nature of trauma and what makes something traumatic, the more I realized I had plenty. Some were obvious, like the deaths of grandparents and friends, but so many others had gone under the radar for so long (like pets disappearing, mean childhood pranks, the condescension of others, etc.)… And I realized that by not acknowledging them, I was denying a part of my own innocence and delaying part of my own growth.

We’ve all had traumatic experiences, and we’re all affected differently by them. What may be traumatic to one person might roll off another’s back. We can’t judge another’s emotion, pain or turmoil, but we can learn to face and manage our own. All feelings are valid and yet they should be explored so we do not become slave to them. We all have wounded parts. Those wounds should be tended to without over or under-exaggeration to let the healing begin.

Our own personal healing may be exactly what the world needs now.