Trauma is at the root of human dysfunction.
It is the residue of all the experiences that couldn’t be digested, individually and collectively. When we cannot process an experience because it is ‘too much, too soon or too fast’, the intensity of this experience will take on a life of its own inside us, creating symptoms and dis-ease.
We have two ways to deal with this residual trauma energy we carry: Either it will drive and sabotage our life from deep within, and we will recreate it or pass it on to others…or we take up the work of trauma healing and bring relationship, presence and compassion to our previously unfelt intensity and pain. This, over time, transforms the pain and turns us into wiser, more mature and compassionate human beings. This is the alchemy of trauma healing.
Working through trauma can be a gateway into previously unimagined levels of inner freedom, aliveness and appreciation for life. It is demanding, yet rewarding work. At each stage along the healing journey, one can appreciate the growth and progress as well as look back and see the alternative to doing this work: a life governed by inner pain and the strategies to manage or escape that pain. On the other side lies a life of increasing possibility, vitality, and empowered choice.
The depth of undigested collective pain is much bigger than we may realise; although we only have to look at the state of our world to observe its impact.
I believe it is critical that we engage with our own individual as well as collective trauma healing in these challenging times. We must be courageous enough to undertake this work so that we can participate in our lives more fully, and so we don’t keep perpetuating the cycle of passing on trauma to one another and the next generation.
Individually, trauma healing leads us to more inner freedom, understanding, empowerment and compassion. On a collective level, there are far reaching cultural, political and environmental consequences: Freed from the grip of unresolved trauma, we can create a different, more life-affirming culture and future together.