Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness... It is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood and untreated cause of human suffering. — Peter Levine
Trauma is a psychic wound that hardens you psychologically and then interferes with your ability to grow and develop. It pains you and now you’re acting out of pain. It induces fear and now you’re acting out of fear. Trauma is not what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you as a result of what happened to you. Trauma is that scarring that makes you less flexible, more rigid, less feeling and more defended.
— Gabor Maté
Our past trauma robs us of our sense of safety to be ourselves. We close off parts of our vital authentic spirit, never feeling secure enough to come to the surface. From this place of hiding, or constantly trying to prove our worth by overdoing, we are in fact sending signals to our body that we are unsafe. Even if there is no real external threat, our wise bodies know that there is something that doesn't feel right and asks us to pay closer attention.
When we are carrying around past trauma in our bodies, we are often unconsciously stuck in feeling unsafe - in flight, fight, freeze and fawn responses. Our autonomous nervous system relays these messages of unsafety and translates them as being under attack, informing our immune system to respond - which it does in the form of inflammation, much as if the body was being invaded by a virus or bacteria. Inflammation is the protective response of the immune system when it is trying to fight off an attack. Inflammation is the root of most illness, and this response to perceived threat, or a trauma that has happened in the past, can lead to a variety of chronic and acute health conditions. If the body does not know it is safe, it will not heal because it does not know it can.
There are many forms of acute and chronic trauma we carry with us, often unconsciously - relational/developmental trauma, shock trauma, intergenerational trauma and collective trauma to name a few.
Healing trauma takes patience and practice, and is an act of true bravery. It is a lifelong journey of self-discovery to reclaim your sovereignty, your safety and your power.
My trauma-informed approach takes the understanding that we all have limiting beliefs that are perhaps not serving us anymore, and even causing us harm, telling our bodies that we are under threat. Together we can work gently with the root cause of disease by looking at these messages of unsafety held in the body, our beliefs and our stories.