During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been living a time of collective trauma. In the midst of it, it may be helpful to hear this again and repeat it to ourselves; we need reminders to be gentle with ourselves and one another.
These things are true as well:
-It’s okay to be upset and in a place of need in our lives.
-It’s okay to feel confused and unsure of what to do about it.
-It’s okay (and good, even if it doesn’t feel easy) to seek help for trauma, pain, or difficulty.
For the sake of our own health, that of our family, and that of our community, I think this is a good time to learn more about trauma — not only because of this collective one we’re facing, but also, because some of us have been carrying and processing previous traumas for a good while now. Or we may feel stuck in physical trauma reactions without knowing that’s what’s happening inside our nervous systems. This is particularly true if we are cycling through these physical fight, flight, freeze, or fawn reactions, but are not quite aware of a single event or storyline to point to as their cause. (<— Helpful link there)
I really appreciated this image that I placed at the top of today’s post. It’s a list from Souldipity Coaching. I offer it as encouragement, particularly if we want to celebrate the ways we have already healed. It reads,
Signs you are healing from trauma
-You are aware of your triggers and patterns
-You are not as easily and intensely triggered
-Quicker return to your normal state after you’ve gone into fight/flight/freeze
-Your emotional intelligence has improved
-Feelings of powerlessness and helplessness change into confidence, worthiness and inner strength
-Selfsabotage, shame, and guilt are diminishing
-Feelings of being stuck turn into realisation that taking a step forward is possible
That’s encouraging, isn’t it? And if you read this and think, “I’m not there yet…” I still want to offer that encouragement. We’re always in process, and these things can become true for us:
–You can become aware of your triggers and patterns
–You can learn how to regulate your nervous system so it’s not so easily and intensely triggered
–You can have quicker return to your normal state after you’ve gone into fight/flight/freeze/fawn
–You can grow in your emotional intelligence
–You can change your powerlessness and helplessness into confidence, worthiness and inner strength
–You can diminish self sabotage, shame, and guilt
–You can shift your feelings of being stuck and realize that a step forward is possible
Therapy is crucial for healing trauma. If you can, please seek it out.
Community is crucial for healing trauma (it can’t stand in for a therapist, but it’s also just as important). If you can, please seek this out.
Our best inner resources are crucial for healing trauma, and we all have them. If you can, please activate them. And remember, you don’t have to do this all by yourself or by your own strength alone.
Opportunities to check in with each other are crucial during times of collective trauma. It’s good to check in personally with loved ones and invite others to check in with us. I hope you hear that intention in this post too. If you need someone to talk to, I will listen.