Are you still affected by trauma?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you say to yourself: “Here we go again!”

And you wonder: “Why do I even bother when it always ends up like this?”

Career, Personal Relationships, Family, Health, Confidence, Success: we all run individual patterns of behaviour time and time again – some of which work well for us, others less so – until we learn we have a choice. And then can we choose.

‘Trauma’ is a powerful word that conjures up all sorts of images. The reality is that it can be as dramatic as physical or emotional abuse or as simple as being ignored by a teacher or made to feel stupid at work.  No matter what the trauma may have been: a trauma is a trauma for that person. There’s no scale for the ‘most serious’ type and trauma can happen at any time of life.

Time passes and the residue of trauma, held outside our conscious awareness, is colloquially referred to as ‘Stuff’. This article is about releasing both the legacy of Trauma and how it shows up in our everyday life; Stuff.

SO WHERE DOES TRAUMA COME FROM?

The patterns we repeatedly experience throughout our lives – pain, disappointment, fear, upset, anger etc – are the result of past unresolved events which we didn’t have the wherewithal or strength to manage or make sense of at the time. Often it is because we were very young, but it can also be that we were over-whelmed by people in a position of authority over us and so became dis-empowered.

Whether the experience was repeated over time, or had a powerful impact only once, it now acts as a template of associations which the mind re-accesses and acts upon in any ‘similar’ situation.

The danger is that if we don’t address our various traumas in any real way (BTW lamenting over them isn’t addressing them) they grow ever larger; like boulders in a river that alter the flow of our lives.

WHAT’S THAT GOT TO DO WITH WHAT’S GOING ON NOW?

Well, human beings are very good at learning and generally need do something only once to know whether it was a good idea or not; e.g. put a finger in a flame. Most of us don’t need to repeat the exercise. We’ll see a flame and avoid it.

But the extra-clever thing is that it’s not only that particular flame. It might have been a Bunsen burner at the time, but by resonating with ‘flame’ we are now able to generalise it also to a cooker, a match or a bonfire; and this is what keeps us safe.

While trauma can be physical it can also be psychological or emotional and the effects can be extremely precise or they can be general. Let’s take the experience of someone being told they were stupid as a child.

One youngster will experience the put down and handle it by turning to a parent or teacher for reassurance or by making light of it with friends. This enables them to reject what was said. They don’t buy into the put down; it doesn’t resonate with them.

But for another youngster, being told they were stupid does resonate with them and their only recourse is to come to terms with what was said and must therefore be true; e.g. I am stupid.

Ever keen to avoid the new flame (stupid) their radar scans for signs of danger. Not only the Bunsen burner but the cooker, match and bonfire too; spiralling to a picture or even just a thought.

And so it is we carry our patterns through to adulthood – only now the Bunsen burner is Career and Cooker becomes Relationship. So how might this be showing up now?

Well, the legacy from our example is likely to create anxiety around making decisions or speaking up and a failure to achieve potential; for example, by not applying for a promotion that everyone else sees they are both capable of and deserve.

TIME TO CHOOSE

The Good News is that we can change it all – rapidly and painlessly – and the moment we do, the pattern becomes an opportunity and the ‘issue’ becomes a kick start to a new future.

Even Better News is that nowadays there’s no need to trawl back over the past; no need to re-experience events. It can all be done in the present by focusing on the effect it’s having on you now.

The key is in looking at where your life is being blocked and acknowledging the presence of a pattern. Patterns hold emotions. Connecting with and releasing the emotion allows you to choose a new response; a whole new lease of life.

And it’s such a cool thing to do!

Everyone deserves to live a life where they can get up in the morning, achieve great things and enjoy the experience; unencumbered.

Getting Stuff and Trauma out of the way is the first step to freedom.

Please send your comments and questions to: caroline.day@wellbeingdynamics.com

Or to talk about a particular case, ring Caroline on 020 8213 5898

Caroline D’ay
Director
Wellbeing Dynamics

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