Dedicated to my dear friend Kelli who radiates clarity, empathy, and freedom. Thank you for your devotion to life. You are a beacon.
Hello and welcome to this glorious Friday, June 18, 2021. Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again.
We can give away only what we have. If I don’t have ten dollars, I can’t give you ten dollars. If I don’t have an answer to a question, I can’t help you to answer that question. However, if I do have ten dollars, I have ten dollars that I can give. If I’ve been educated, I might be able to help you to answer a question. If I’m happy, I have happiness to share. If I’m imbued with compassion, loving-kindness, and empathy, I have these qualities to share. On the other hand, if I’m overcome with resentment, remorse, anger, or even bigotry, these are what I have to pass on to you.
If I experienced trauma (I believe that we all have) and was unable to heal, then the effects of this trauma are unhealthy states of being. These unhealthy states of being will ultimately be passed on those with whom I interact, including my children and other family members.
Trauma is more involved than I thought. It turns out that trauma is not only the tragic things that happen to us: we are additionally traumatized by how we respond to these events. As trauma and addiction expert, Dr. Gabor Maté suggests (see link below), trauma leads to disconnection, not only with those around us, but also ourselves.
While I won’t go into detail about my trauma, I will share that for as long as I can remember, it felt unsafe to talk about my experiences. I didn’t want to think about my trauma. The feelings were overwhelming. This discomfort kept me from interacting with confidence and self-assuredness. I felt different. I felt alone. I felt insecure. I felt ashamed. I felt scared.
The unsettling feelings often associated with trauma-producing events are so distressing that we tend to do anything we can to avoid feeling these feelings. We distract. We numb. We ingest intoxicants. We disconnect from ourselves. We ignore the pain, and we move from our body and into our head. Our thoughts become our reality and our thoughts tell us to avoid feeling these painful feelings.
In striving to avoid feeling the feelings, we are unable to experience and ultimately let them go. We often tell ourselves stories about the event exacerbating the traumatic effects. We can’t heal. Instead, these pent-up emotions and isolating thoughts are like toxins eroding our well-being. It’s like driving on flat tires; you’re still moving about, but not efficiently and you’re destroying your wheels. Because it’s so painful to look at and fix the tires, you address everything else in the car – you change the oil, clean the seats, wash the windows, and you may even get the car painted. As good as you look on the outside, eventually, you break down.
In all our interactions, we pass on to others what we refuse to address within ourselves. Throughout our life, we have received the effects of unresolved trauma. Many of the difficulties that you have experienced are a result of traumatic events that happened generations ago.
Yesterday, I had lunch with my childhood friend Kelli. As we we’re engaging in an deep conversation on the effects of sexual trauma, she reminded me that when we heal ourselves of trauma – trauma which disconnects us from who we are – we not only heal ourselves, but we also heal the seven generations before us and the next seven generations to come.
Our lives are not our own and everything we do has rippling effects. These ripples can have traumatic consequences, or they can be healing. We must heal ourselves so that we can stop the trauma cycle.
Among other means, some have found the freedom from their trauma through religion, some through therapy, and yes, we can even heal through a comprehensive Mindfulness practice.
As previously mentioned, the primary outcome of unresolved trauma is disconnection. An essential function, if not the function, of a Mindfulness practice is to cultivate healthy and meaningful relationships, including the relationship with ourselves. As a trained Mindfulness instructor/mentor and as a certified Life Coach, I am fully qualified to help you to reconnect with who you are – to live authentically and wholly. If you believe that Mindfulness may be a good fit for you, I am here to help.
If you are interested in learning more about trauma and its detrimental effects on our well-being, I highly encourage you to watch Dr. Gabor Maté’s movie, “The Wisdom of Trauma.” Please note that currently the movie is only available to stream until Sunday, June 20th. https://wisdomoftrauma.com/event-replays/
You are Loved by me, Unconditionally!
Contribute to the Turning Leaf Foundation
If you would like to help bring Mindfulness to the less fortunate and to help pay for current services, your generosity is deeply appreciated.