Forging a way from trauma to wholeness

Crisis and trauma throw us back on our own resources and we have to draw on whatever wells of strength and ingenuity we can muster to get through.  At such times it can feel as if our very lives hang by a thread.  And that may well be the case.

If we survive it can be a long road back to something approaching normal, and our lives are unlikely ever to be the same again.  We can't deny that things have changed or pretend nothing has happened.  Everything has happened.  We then have the challenge of gradually incorporating the legacy of those events into the fabric of our lives.  If we can do it.  It doesn't always seem to be possible, but I believe it's worth striving for. 

Traumatic experiences bring up responses in ourselves that most of us would rather not acknowledge: violence and hatred are likely to be among them, for a time, bringing with them danger to ourselves and others.  We have to find ways of working with these forces constructively and to find safe ways of expressing them.  

In looking at difficulties I often find it helpful to consider nature and see what goes on there.  Nature includes all the seasons and climatic variations.  All have their time and place: storms, eruptions, earthquakes, and dying back are part of that and are then followed by seasons of new growth and renewal.  

Since we are part of the natural world it makes sense that the equivalent forces in our own circumstance be respected.  Used constructively the energy of those difficult survival responses, which are instinctive, can provide the engine power needed to change what is happening and get us back on track.  This is no easy task and it's not surprising that most of us need help in doing so. 

This can be a huge challenge.  The alternative is that we maintain ourselves in a fragmented state, which means we have only a partial existence.  This presents another problem: it takes energy to stay divided within ourselves.  And the whole thing may erupt again and we may  find ourselves in a worse muddle than before. 

I'm sure that increased strength can arise from fully owning our griefs and imperfections.  With it comes greater self-knowledge and the likelihood of greater compassion for others.  And finally, it throws open the door to a whole new realm of possibilities which would not otherwise be there.

This has been true for me.  The problems I faced from the past have forced me to explore things in ways I wouldn't otherwise have done, and the direction of my outer life has changed very much as a result.  I'm a better person for it and more whole.  

This is not going to be everyone's choice.  We each have to find our own way.  I wish you strength with yours.   

To go to the next article click this link:
Trauma in the world around us and striving for peace

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