Do you remember being born? Silly question eh? Most people don’t of course but there are some who do. And everyone has heard about the “trauma” of birth. Have you ever spoken to your mother about her birth?
But I suppose we always have the option of the life of quiet desperation; but do we?
For those of us who are at, near or past “retirement” age maybe the cracks are starting to appear. As long as our lives have purpose maybe not. Nagging doubts perhaps…
And yes we can all scoff at those who seem to spend all their waking hours indulging themselves in victimhood. However this is very easy to “re-frame”. Excepting the very small minority, someone who wants to release serious past pain should be applauded. It’s obvious quiet desperation and worse is not for them.
We are fortunate, if that’s the right word, to live in a time where solutions to the trauma of the world are emerging. For every individual who becomes (more) authentic, as their influence ripples out through others, the stock of humanity rises.
Can anyone say that our “leaders”, God forbid, are anything other than seriously troubled individuals? There doesn’t appear to be a queue forming any time soon for these psychopaths to seek resolution or redemption. So it is down to us.
There are certain “givens” in this post. If you wish to reject them, fine, maybe the gossip or sports pages have a greater appeal. Traumas (and a whole host of good stuff) are transmitted generationally. The foetus/babies are not equipped emotionally to deal with what the mother is experiencing during their time in the womb. And how were you conceived? Out of love, violence, an alcohol fuelled episode, a mistake, convenience or family pressures? Were your parents happy during your pregnancy?
Was it a shock emerging from a place (the womb) where you had been trapped for nine months into further dependency? What kind of (cellular) memories might you have been carrying from your ancestors?
Aren’t we all survivors?
Much of this, should it resonate with you, may sound profoundly depressing. But it isn’t! It is all capable of resolution! Let us proceed.
A useful piece of theory suggests we have three selves. Our trauma self, our survival self, and our healthy self. Our lives might be seen as a dance between these three. Put simply the trauma self (selves) is the one that experienced and internalised the trauma.
Trauma is more than extreme stress, more than fight or flight, it is when we freeze (imagine a cornered animal), fragment (it ‘splits’ our personality and may then become buried) and disassociate (detach from, or in extreme cases have an out of body experience). The word has hugely emotional overtones. How many of us want to admit to being traumatised? How many of us know we were traumatised? How many of us want to admit that we have a serious issue that requires resolution; surely it is better to suppress or ignore it? That is how we survive. Fortunately most of us, ignoring or escaping the dreaded workshop or therapy, believe we are sufficiently mentally healthy to deal with this. Or to cope. Or to spend our lives behind the mask of quiet desperation.
And I do find it interesting that any physical condition, like our cars when they break down, leads us to check in at the local hospital and have it fixed. When the condition becomes chronic (check out the global statistics, especially in the West, of the rise of chronic illness) it is put down to genetics, bad luck, randomness, or an obvious cause (e.g. smoking, obesity, asbestos). Rising cancer rates in particular are put down to an ageing population which is living longer. As the cancer incidence nears one in two people then I’m not sure the carrot of living longer is sufficient to compensate for the stick of conventional (or any) cancer treatment.
I love the idea, which is not an idea but fact, that by objectifying ourselves (biological machines) or even over analysing ourselves, perpetuates living as a survivor. Too much self-analysis is a symptom of something much deeper.
Many years ago I spent time helping male survivors of sex abuse. They had gone way beyond quiet desperation, masks, distraction, denial and bullshit. They wanted out of the trauma cell, and were sick of being labelled as survivors. They wanted to live, live a healthy, successful and fulfilled life. I cannot possibly say I helped them secure the latter, no way, but I know I opened the door of the trauma cell for most of them.
But none of you reading this could ever be labelled as a “survivor” could you?
Would you imagine being taken from your birth mother and given to the (truly wonderful) people who adopted you might be traumatic? That writing this moves me to tears suggests it could be. And yes, a nod to the cynics, I have spent quite a lot of time seeking resolution. But I could have imagined myself as a victim or a survivor which I never have nor ever will. Because this experience has driven me forward to find answers for myself and then to help others. And I suppose I might as well lose some more readers by saying I chose this prior to incarnation. I celebrate my adoption.
This is the first part of a two-part post. Yesterday I attended a workshop, my first in many years because prior to Vanessa’s passing I knew it all didn’t I? It blew me away. It was truly incredible. I’ll describe some of the dynamics in part two. I leave you with the thought that you don’t have to carry your “shit” around. You don’t need it, your friends and family don’t need it and believe me, the world needs you to let go of it.
And you can.
A beaming, elation-suppressed Jack Stewart who is going to master this process, signing off on a sunny Sunday morning in Malvern.
Blessings to you all, October 20, 2019.
P.S. There’s always an afterthought. And after an unsuccessful trip to buy cycling tights. Don’t think of me in cycling tights! Did I tell you something significant shifted internally yesterday? And guess what, the external world shifted “unexpectedly” too. First time I’ve listened to classical music for months. And a piano piece, as suggested by “spirit”. Dvorak. Fabulous.
Go now to part 2.