The gratitude in trauma

I’m more and more fascinated by the ways that reactions show up in my body. A constriction in the chest or belly, rush of blood to the head, a sinking feeling in the belly. What’s really interesting is when the reactions are out of step with what’s actually happening. For example, I get some feedback that something could have been different and/or better in some work I did (when I asked for the feedback), and it lands like I’ve been written up. Or someone emails me a month after I’d sent them an email, asking something rather vulnerable, and they don’t even mention it, and the reaction is as if someone died.

These are kind of extreme examples, but they are also real. What I find is that my body, my system is wired toward a kind of catastrophic feeling. In this, I don’t think I’m alone. Indeed, I think that from this lens, a number of things make more sense in the world. Some call this trauma informed,” I think.

We all experience some levels of trauma, and our reactions can look very similar, even if the cause is way different. Bringing a trauma informed approach can help us navigate some rather tricky situations. How smart are our bodies? How much have they protected us from? This adds another dimension, one that my friend Tara likes to point to: there’s a deep wisdom in how our bodies have organized. For me, this generates a deep gratitude.

Imagine what things might look like if we bring these ideas in front of us in what we are doing. Imagine.

May 1, 2019

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