As you all have read, I am on a trauma kick lately. I am super into why what happens to us in the world is processed (or not) inside us. This has become a screen saver in my mind, constantly running in the background, sorting, filtering, moving things around so that I try to make sense of new information, merge it and find a home for it within my skin.
It has altered my world.
I have begun to see the world differently. Each person I encounter I have begun to examine their conduct, manner, ideas, words through the trauma filter. I find myself wondering, “what has happened to them in this life?” “How did what happened outside to them, affect them inside?”
All day long yesterday, every person I encountered: my mom, my pets, my children, people on the freeway, the clerk at CVS, a man at lunch, the servers at the restaurant, my employees, people in meetings, my boss...everyone.
And here is what hit me: We are all running around with these marginally addressed traumas, mostly living life trying to avoid them, not deal with them, suppress them, pretend they aren’t there. But every single being I encountered yesterday has their own traumas. And every single person has dealt with them internally to some degree. Some people drink to cope, that is a favorite and is most socially acceptable. Of course, I can’t do that so I am forced to seek relief elsewhere...so I found myself thinking, what would happen if everyone were given the vocabulary of healing? What if everyone was given the skills, tools and coping strategies to be developed into living skills? What would the world look like then???
It is an awesome thought...and by awesome I mean huge, gigantic...and it is also positive. What if we were taught to deal with our traumas, heal them and assimilate them into our whole beings? What would the human race look like then?
I don’t know but I am sure that I want to find out...
For me, I think it begins as a practice as viewing and identifying the traumas I can see in other people: the things that have left virtual scars on their personality. People will always tell you if you listen carefully. I can spend fifteen minutes with a person and usually figure out their top three and know that there is at least two others they hide deeply within the confines of their soul. Maybe someone knows, but likely, they have not ever told anyone.
So I just decided to front people trauma. To allow for all of their conduct and behavior to be a traumatic response that they are only marginally in control of or even aware of...and I decided to see if I could allow this to change my view of them, their conduct, behavior, belief systems. Can I use a trauma lens to change the way I see people and their actions, and can just that change in perspective for me, change the way I think and feel about them? Can I use this trauma filter to bring me to a more active and pervasive view of the world about me?
Yesterday I began and it was marginally successful. I ran into a couple of people who vexed me. I tried to see their trauma but my mind was super resistant...I just wanted to label them a dick and move the fuck on. It was hard to stay there because my mind really, really wanted me to grant them no grace, and NEXT! But I stayed with it even though it was psychically painful. It was hard for me to extend to them this altered view. I didn’t want to. I resisted. I had a hard time staying with the thought, the idea and the purpose.
And that right there is why I have to continue. If it were easy, I would just do it and move on. But it is not. It is a challenge. So much easier to see the world with a judgmental eye and only a superficial glance. It is hard to dig deeper and really look at the people before you...which is why we as a people don’t do it.
But I like this new view. I like that it causes me untold amounts of stress and anxiety. I like that I feel compelled to shut these thoughts down and stop them in their tracks. I like that I am being lit up like the 4th of July inside. It means that I am alive, I am growing and I am evolving. And that is what I want to do with this life of mine. I want to grow and understand more deeply...myself, others, the world, our time. I want to always accept the challenge of being human, to accept and rise above our base desires and move always toward the light.