Are We All Traumatized?
Every culture, religion, and people group throughout time creates stories that become a paradigm through which they explain and understand their world. For the purpose of this blog post, I want you to consider my paradigm in answering the question, "are we all traumatized?" I am not asking you to buy into my view of the world and how it works. I am sharing my paradigm as another lens through which to consider our world and how trauma comes to be.
Here's my paradigm:
God or some supernatural forces created the world, by what means, I have no idea so I am open to any logical theory, yes, it probably lies within science. (I am a firm believer in the mixing of science and spirituality!)
In order to have authentic relationships, human beings possess the same power of choice as God and other supernatural beings making us all spiritual beings in essence.
Our choices aren't always fantastic so we have created our own dynamic in the world which can create a bit of push and pull chaos between humans, which was never the intent, but you can't have authentic relationship without choice, so the supernatural forces needed to suspend puppet-master control in exchange for choiceful relationship.
The invitation towards greatness is always open, thus all human beings are either in a process towards that greatness or away from that greatness, both doing damage and good along the way.
Okay, whether you are in agreement or not, I think we can all agree there is
an interplay of light and dark in our world at all times.
How that interplay came about is up for interpretation.
Using my paradigm as a guide, it would stand to reason that we are all therefore traumatized. (I dropped out of logic and reason class in college, so my reasoning might be off here!) Trauma is caused by brokenness. Humans make broken choices. Humans are in a constant state of evolution. No one human has ever made perfect choices for an entire lifetime. Even the greats like Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr. all cite regrets that they could have chosen better.
It feels like it has become trendy to say "I experienced trauma", but maybe we need to look at it a different way. Maybe we have a greater awareness that in a broken world, no one escapes pain and trauma in some degree.
Regardless, trauma has backlash and that backlash does hit other people. The rise in mass shootings is a literal and figurative example of this. The shooter unleashes their personal unhealed trauma literally in the form of deadly force. Victims are literally killed and wounded, meaning they are traumatized. That is followed by a ripple effect of trauma that often reaches entire nations, even into the global community.
When one suffers, we all suffer.
When one rises, we all are invited to rise.
There is no easy answer to trauma. However, we are wasting our energy arguing about what constitutes trauma. If your amygdala is throwing you into fight, flight, or freeze mode, trauma is nearby. One truth still stands! We always have a choice.
We ALWAYS have a choice!!!
While there is no easy answer for healing trauma, there is one tried and true remedy for lessening the darkness and brokenness of our world. Intentionally bringing love, kindness, and empathy into every interaction with our fellow human beings grows the light. When the light grows, traumatized people have hope. Hope that goodness still exists. Hope that love still wins. Hope that healing is available.
We can't end trauma in a broken world. We can move towards healing one small and powerful choice at a time.