We will be looking at my five ways of wellness. One post a week, starting with the foundation for wellness... WOUNDS FROM THE PAST.
We will be discussing the ways of wellness for the next five weeks. We will look at the most often overlooked causes of distress and dis-ease. The things in our lives that are most troublesome are common to most of us, however, feel insurmountable and the answers out of reach.
The first way to be well is to acknowledge that our past and childhood trauma is impacting the way we operate in our lives today. The way we view life, work, love, safety and the way we view relationships with ourselves and others, has its roots in our childhood.
This concept is becoming more and more mainstream. We realize that we are just as profoundly affected by the environment that nurtures us in our developing years, as we are by our genetics. It has been discovered that our environment can actually change how our genes are expressed. Wow! That means that not only are nature and nurture enormously instrumental in how we eventually see the world, but they are also actually playing off each other.
It's important to also look at the word “trauma”. When I say to clients in session that they have experienced a “trauma”, for some it is hard to swallow. We have come to believe that “trauma” must be severe abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters or accidents, to be relevant. I like to say that “trauma is anything that leaves a wound in the spirit.” Anything that has inextricably shifted your perception of self, world, safety and love. The residue of trauma is that it is insidious to the point of sometimes being imperceptible. We have learned to explain away so many characteristics of our presentation that it is now known as “just how I am.”
Acknowledging that we may have some residual from childhood or the past, that intercepts the way we want to show up, is foundational to being well. It is very unlikely that we can be well without processing, in detail or not, how our childhood has affected us. If there are untreated, unattended to or unhealed wounds from our past, we cannot be fully ourselves, know ourselves or be fully present. The past will always call to us when we least want it to and when we are least capable of managing it. There are times when it will render us unable to stand in our adult selves. This can be problematic if we need to be present for an adult relationship, disagreement, conversation or work meeting.
All is Well
Now for the good news. We can work through childhood patterns that show up in adulthood and live healthier more manageable lives. We may need to seek professional guidance, that could be self-help resources, Life Coaching or therapy. The severity of trauma will be the guide. There are some things that we have experienced that require a skilled and trained professional trauma therapist. However, not everything we are managing rises to that level of intervention.
In closing, the foundation for wellness is acknowledging and dealing with the current impact of past and childhood trauma.
Donna Lang LPCC, LICDC
December 6, 2022