What are some words you associate “trauma” with?
Are they strong and aggressive words? Most times, they are. Like something BIG had to have happened to use such a strong word as TRAUMA.
But what does it really mean and whose misfortunes are considered traumatic? How bad does an experience need to be to have a profound effect on your psyche?
The truth is, not very much.
Let’s take a look at just a few different kinds of trauma.
Most people associate the word with one single experience that alters someone’s life in a negative way. Sometimes, it sure does! In reality, nearly all humans have experienced something traumatic that alters their way of viewing themselves and the external world. While a single event could be a spark of a consciousness awakening or universal lesson, it usually starts when we are small children.
By the age of 7, a child already has been taught how to judge themselves and others. They’ve developed a perception of who they might be in the world and tend to replicate behaviors of their family. That’s how some generational trauma is passed down. While positive experiences may repeat, so do negative patterns.
An example might be that your great grandmother wasn’t very close with her mother, so was not close with your grandmother because she didn't know how to be. So your grandmother wasn’t close with your mother either and you and your mom have drifted apart too. These are repeated patterns passed down not just in behavior and expectations, but in DNA. Yes, DNA. The good news is that it can be healed at any time. Healing and love must become the focus. Communication needs to move freely between those in any kind of relationship with you. It all begins (or ends!) with YOU.
Ending generational ‘curses’ is really taking an observational look at experiences in your life, or the life of your parents that may have led you to become a certain kind of way or think the way you do. The way you think has a profound effect on the kind of actions you take or don’t take in your life. Then your actions determine where your life is headed and who you essentially become. Manifesting anything begins with a single thought tied to an emotion.
The key is revisiting those memories and sorting through the emotions you felt during that time so you can heal from it.
Here is another example. This one is personal.
My parents were young when they had me and divorced by the time I was 3 years old. Back and forth each month between households was common the majority of my young childhood, and I’ll never forget the moment in life that changed me.
It was my dad’s weekend, and back then it may have been difficult for him to give me the time and attention I needed. Regardless, I packed my little pink suitcase and was excited to spend the weekend with him! My mom and I walked up the stairs to his apartment and knocked quite a few times. Over and over for what felt like forever. My mom eventually getting frustrated, “Don’t you want to see your daughter? I can hear you in there!”
He finally cracked the door open just a peek… in his underwear, hungover, accompanied by his new girlfriend behind him yelling at my mom. She asked him again, calmly, “We are here and it’s your weekend. Don’t you want to see her?”
He looked RIGHT AT ME.
Right into my little hopeful soul as I smiled at him, expecting him to say, “Of course!”
He did not.
Instead, he just looked at me and closed the door. Then locked it.
This may have been a seemingly small and regular occurrence for my mother. Just some ‘normal’ baby daddy drama. But for me...it broke me.
It made me believe I was not worthy of love. I felt abandoned. This led to a terrible relationship with him as a teen, but that’s a much longer story for another day...
After that, I lived the next 25 years of my life struggling to love myself and others. I was angry, cold-hearted, and sought revenge on anyone who hurt me again in the future. My relationships were TOXIC AF. I thought I was here on accident and perhaps it was just a mistake; that God had forgotten about me. I came to think I was a lost soul wandering earth just trying to survive until the inevitable.
All because of an unhealed moment in time.
I’ve had quite the spiritual awakening since then and learned to recognize why I feel the way I do about things. I began to understand where it came from. When you know where to look, you can heal it. Now, I move through those emotions quickly and continue to come back to the truth of who I am and why I’m here. Meditation and mindfulness brought me comfort and allowing myself to shed light on the shadows of my past that I’ve subconsciously suppressed… set me free.
I’d like to share another example about what a friend of mine overcame. While my spiritual growth was in the healing of my generational trauma, hers was sudden and she learned what she was made of through her traumatic experience.
Libby was only 28 when she was diagnosed with cancer, and it shook every leaf off the tree of life she spent so much time tending to and growing. She had 3 young kids with her husband of 10 years that very early on, couldn’t deal with the added stress. He eventually left her when she needed him the most.
Being ill with 3 small children and no help was the biggest challenge she ever faced in her life; yet she remained resilient. Even in front of the kids, she never cried or broke down. It was only by herself that she took time to let the emotional rollercoaster whisk her away. But something deep inside of her told her to keep fighting and to move on. Her oldest was 7 and was able to help out a lot when she was suffering from the treatments. He watched over the other 2 siblings and took care of his mom the best he could. He made her soup when she could barely keep anything else down, told jokes and did funny dances to lighten the mood somedays.
She ended up beating cancer.
When talking with Libby, she said she knew it was a lesson she needed to learn. She was a workaholic before her diagnosis and relied heavily on her husband to take care of the kids. She rarely spent time with them and was constantly ‘making it up to them.’ She was living a life that was simply passing her by. But this experience taught her what the most important thing in her life truly was, her family.
Nothing else mattered.
Libby said it made her into a stronger woman in general and much better mother. Her ex showed his true colors when he thought she was going to die. That is his karma to deal with in this life or the next. However, she had been awakened and given a second chance. Her cancer changed the way she lived life. Her traumatic experience helped her become who she wanted and needed to be for her young family.
Trauma can be many things and happens to all of us. Not all days are sunny and that’s okay. But we are meant to move through the emotions that don’t feel so good. How does your soul know what it wants if it doesn’t know what it does not want? It’s when we suppress emotions and leave issues unresolved that it becomes negative generational karma. It can even make you physically ill. It’s when we choose to remain the same and actively resist change that we become burdened by life. So be the one who calls out the trauma for what it is, heals from it and ends the karmic cycle.
If you’re reading this and you relate to any of it, just know that becoming aware of how your triggers came to be is important. This is the first step in beginning to heal from traumatic experiences. I want you to know that everyone experiences hardships and they are ‘tests’ from the universe that prepare you for the next phase in your life. Both the light and dark will always co-exist, but which one will you let consume you?
Growth is good, Change is good, Healing is necessary.
Peace be with you my friends!