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An Introduction to Trauma: What it is & Why it's so Important?

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Everything You Need to Know on Your Path to Healing and Self Recovery


More often than not the source of our suffering is rooted in adverse childhood experiences. Despite common misconception that Trauma is something bad that happened to us; trauma is actually the aftermath of what happens within us as a result of a traumatic event.


A traumatic event can range from having an absent father, an alcoholic mother, having workaholic parents, experiencing abuse, and any experience that can cause emotional harm or threatens survival. These experiences can lead to feelings of fear, vulnerability, and helplessness.


Trauma can also result from what didn't happen that should have happened during childhood.


Trauma is in an emotional wound; unlike a physical injury that we can see and attend to. Not only are we not taught to heal emotional wounds we often don't realize that they are there. The pain of trauma remains in the body and over time manifests in various ways, including depression, anxiety, & addiction. Trauma is is what happens within as a result of a traumatic event.


"Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives.

It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the

way we make sense of the world. It is the root of our

deepest wounds." -- Gabor Mate


Why Is Understanding Trauma So Important?

How Do We Identify the Core Issue?

Have More Questions or Wanting A Platform To Voice Your Concerns?


 

Why Is Understanding Trauma So Important?


Today the term "trauma" is often used loosely amongst our younger generation where you may hear people claiming they are traumatized. Similarly, I find the term "trauma" is also used loosely amongst professionals and service providers claiming they offer trauma-informed care. But in reality mental health, addiction, and lack of fulfillment in life has reached an all time high. In combination with my experience seeing people go through a revolving door of "failed" attempts at healing, raises the question of why?


The importance of understanding trauma is realizing that what people present as areas of struggle or concerns is a manifestation of our internal wounds and the ways we have learned to cope with our unmet attachment needs. So often what people describe as the problem is actually a solution to a deeper rooted issue and not the problem itself.


Unless we understand the source of our concerns and what purpose they serve we can't possible understand how to resolve them. So when people reach out for help, more often than not the focus is on what's happening on the surface rather than the underlying issue.


How Do We Identify the Core Issue?


Our greatest suffering comes from the dilemma of having to choose between two primary needs for healthy development. We all have a need for connection and as infants we cannot survive without the security of having someone care for us. We also have a need for authenticity, which is our ability to be our true self without fear of judgement, rejection, or punishment. To be authentic is to behave, feel, and respond in a way that aligns with our core values, beliefs, needs. To add the to complexity at the core of trauma is disconnection.


During our early years of life being faced with situations where our need to for connection puts our need for authenticity at risk, our brain naturally chooses connection to another. This leads to a disconnection with self. In simple terms if a parent is unable to attune to the needs of a child, where a child is limited in their capacity to express their needs, they naturally act our in an attempt to get parents attention. Over time, this can lead to people pleasing tendencies, tuning out, an inability to say no, and can further impact our view of self and the way they view the world. So much of mental health conditions and aspects of our personality are actually adaptations to our environment and ways of coping with discomfort.


Rather than teaching people new ways of coping to manage their discomfort, we get to the core root of their suffering. This doesn't always happen on a cognitive level because often the stories we tell ourselves are there to help ease suffering.


So to identify the core root of the issue, the key is to create an environment of safety, acceptance, and compassion. Through presence and curiosity we can break down the stories we tell ourselves. By asking the right questions we go down a path of understanding the core beliefs and emotions that drive our behaviours, thoughts, and feelings.


We also engage in a process of reconnecting with our body, which is where trauma lives and creates blocks within us preventing us from feeling whole. What we often find in the end is that what we see on the outside is a reflection of our unmet needs that stems from childhood.


Simply put, identifying the core root of our pain is to bring into awareness what's happening on an unconscious level.


Ignite The Healing Power Within You?


As infants brought into this world we can't control the environment that we were born into nor can we change the past. The truth of the matter is that we are brought up in a world that demoralizes people, creates an illusion of freedom, and built on a hierarchy or power.


Trauma can present itself through self-destructive mentalities: the victim/poor me mentality; no-one understands me or what I'm going through mentality; I'm alone; something must be wrong with me...


But what I've come to learn over the years is that we are never truly alone. Life naturally comes with painful experiences where we we are constantly faced with challenges to varying degrees; some people are just better equipped at hiding their pain.


At the end of day all we can really do is decide how we respond in the present moment. We all have the capacity within us to create the world we live in by the way we choose to live our life. Healing years and generations of trauma passed on to us takes time.

Healing involves breaking down the walls that we put up to protect ourselves and to escape suffering. As a basic principle the first step is to build a solid foundation based on trust, connection, and safety that allows us to unload our deepest vulnerabilities in a way that empowers us, and promotes growth.


The fact that we experience trauma to varying degrees based on a number of factors, healing can look very different from one person to another. Though the end goal is the same; to experience liberation, develop self-compassion, to live a life of fulfillment, and develop the capacity to be present and enjoy the little things that life has to offer.

What we often forget when we think of trauma being passed on from one generation to the next is that, what we also inherent from is the good stuff. We inherent resilience, an internal healing force present in all of use, and the strengths of our ancestors. Most importantly we all have the power of choice within us that comes to life when we develop the awareness that we are no longer the helpless child we once were.


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