There is a big ask in front of us right now on just about every level of living. That being, can we take what is happening and open ourselves to new possibilities? Or will we hunker down, lock down, and wait for it to be over?
The reason why it is such a big ask is that when we are in a state of trauma, which we all are now and have been long before this past year given the world we live in, we are locked out of accurately assessing what is happening. In other words, stuck in a collective trauma response, we are destined to see everything through the lens of false fears and exaggerated dangers. We are subject to looking at the world and what is happening through the window of all the past hurts and harms, large and small, that we have ever experienced, and that have never been recognized or resolved.
From this place, creativity shuts down because truly who needs to be creatively solving a problem when you feel as though your very life is at stake? I know this may sound extreme, or that it might be impossible for you to believe you have been traumatized because our old way of understanding trauma was to believe it had to be the really big things like being abused or raped. But all of the current understandings in this area now rest on the fact that trauma occurs in all shapes and sizes. And that it is subjective with the impact depending on so many things. Like the level of support you do or do not have, constitutional factors, your ability to re-write the trauma experience, and more.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because without a thorough and deep examination of what each of us is bringing to the table at this particular time in history, we will never be in a position to effectively and accurately resolve what stands before us. Instead, we will be fated to repeating over and over again what we fear most.
I’ll give you an example. Because I grew up in an alcoholic home where the wrong things were in charge, where real human needs were denied, and where we were all controlled by something harmful, I have a tendency to look out at what is happening now and fall into a kind of fear and desperation when I see agendas or mandates that I believe are not in keeping with real human needs. So this has been my work for the past year. The process of clearing up those old hurts and trauma-based projections so that I am in a position to not only heal myself, but to be part of a real solution for the world.
Make sense? If so, try this. Pinpoint what you are most afraid of at this time. And then see if it in any way links to anything you have ever experienced. It is a kind of following bread crumbs through the forest with no agenda other than to find the next one, while allowing it to lead you where it will. It is helpful to do this when you have some space. So make the space.
And if not for you, how about for the rest of us?