Healing our Trauma, Healing our World

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“Our spiritual journey occurs not in spite of the ambiguous
and problematic experience
of our actual life,
but because of it.” -Reggie Ray

 

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Trauma is a universal experience. It’s something that unites us.
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As human beings, we all have some amount of unprocessed tension, fear, or grief stored within our bodies. This is the challenge of incarnation, the challenge of physical life.
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There’s trauma because there’s immense suffering happening on our planet. Wars, economic inequality, destruction of ecosystems, and racial prejudice are only a few of the most pressing matters. We all feel these horrors, to various degrees: their ripples are felt within our own bodies, as somatic sensations of discomfort and anxiety.

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On a smaller scale, in each of our lives, there’s also the countless moments of heartbreak and shattered trust. For example, emotional neglect from parents is a subtle, often hidden form of trauma that many of us do not even recognize as being trauma. Childhood bullies also leave the wounds of trauma. Even being subjected to a competitive grading system in school can leave a deep, negative imprint, a profound sense of “I’m not good enough.”

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As adults, coping mechanisms serve to hide our unresolved trauma. We drink alcohol or use drugs. We’re constantly texting or on social media. We overeat. We buy lots of things we don’t need. These activities seem normal because everyone else does them. But are they healthy? Are they the most conscious way of living? As we progress on our spiritual journey, we begin to see that we can become more aware of these shadowy coping mechanisms and find alternative routes.

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We can find freedom from the patterns that used to enslave us. We can find joy.

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On one level, it’s quite sad that trauma is a basic human problem. On the other hand, though, it’s a situation that unites us. No matter what country we live in, no matter what language we speak or religion we profess, we all have to deal with grief, sorrow, and pain. We all need to learn how to cry. We all need to learn how to process our emotions and express our needs in a healthy way. So, in a sense, we can feel gratitude that all of us are in this together. We can have empathy for each other and do what we can to help each other.

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We are truly living in ascension times. More people than ever before are waking up to the fact that they are a spiritual being. More people than ever before are realizing that the old-paradigm values of violence, greed, and competition need to die, and we need to be reborn on a planet that values peace, compassion, and sharing.

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We all desire healing. We all hope for a better world. So, how do we get there? A powerful way to move forward is to challenge our stories, our ingrained ways of thinking that have led us to this point.
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To heal our trauma, we must question the stories we have been told by others.
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We can ask questions such as: Is violence really an inevitable part of being a human? Is scarcity the truth of life on this planet, or is there, actually, enough for everyone? Does it feel better for me to compete and “win” over others, or does it feel better in my heart to share?

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As we ask questions and create new stories, we tap into an inner courage. If some others don’t understand us, that’s okay. If others mock us, that’s okay too. We let them go their own way, trusting that they will discover whatever they need for their own journey.

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Healing does not happen overnight. It’s an awakening process that takes time. For many of us who have undergone unspeakable events in life, that process may take many years. (For me, I’ve healed my PTSD, but I still have some very difficult, anxious days.) It can be tempting to want to rush the process, but the key is to allow healing to unfold at its own pace.

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As you heal, know that you have good company along the way! You have community. Mental health professionals, humanitarians, climate activists, and spiritual teachers of all creeds are talking more and more about the amazing potentials of healing trauma. Solutions are being found. Progress is being made. We are coming together. We are doing it.

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Indeed, in the collective healing of trauma, it all begins with conversation. Opening up to each other about things that may have, previously, been too terrifying to discuss. Being vulnerable. Listening.

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Along those lines, let’s open up some dialogue here now. I’d love to see your comments shared below. What’s your definition of trauma? What traumatic event(s) have you healed or would you like to heal in your life? What tools or techniques are helpful for you? What insights have you learned along the way?

5 thoughts on “Healing our Trauma, Healing our World

      1. I’m so glad those techniques helped you, Lori. I’m curious: Which one for you was the most powerful? What insights did you learn about yourself (or others) through using it?

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      2. EDMR was by far the most powerful experience, it’s hard to describe but after the session, I got really emotional, but felt a weight was lifted.
        “Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a form of psychotherapy developed by Francine Shapiro in the 1990s in which the person being treated is asked to recall distressing images; the therapist then directs the patient in one type of bilateral sensory input, such as side-to-side eye movements or hand tapping “. Wikipedia

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      3. Amazing! I’m glad EMDR was so powerful for you. I’d be curious to hear from practitioners of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which involves tapping, if these two techniques might have any crossover in aims and understandings. Hmmmm….Fascinating! Thanks again for sharing, sweet Lori 🙂

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