Continued from previous post…….
So, one only needs to look at one’s country’s history to get an idea of how much historical violence, wounding and unspoken suffering has occurred over the centuries. If we then consider how this cultural and collective trauma is tightly interconnected with our individual and familial traumas and legacies we can understand that it all creates a vicious ongoing cycle. The repercussions of this experience manifests as the residual energy from the traumas in our bodies and the accompanying symptoms, toxic narratives and practices, which are passed down through generations until people decide to acknowledge, break the silence and heal.
One of the speakers of the summit, Dr Scilla Elworthy, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Award three times, believes that personal and collective trauma drives war and that the cycle of violence in many places where there is conflict will only stop through acknowledging, integrating events and healing, both at a collective level and at a personal level, through stillness and inner work and facing our fears.
She shares one activity she has used to do inner work, a type of Gestalt practice to work with her inner critic or inner dragon (we all have a critical inner part), especially, when it wakes her up at 3 in the morning. So, she uses two cushions (or chairs) and allows a dialogue to take place between her adult self and this younger inner part as she actually switches seats. The inner dragon usually has a gem (of insights and truths) under his paw. From an Internal family Systems approach this critical inner part might have been viewed as a protector created a long time ago to prevent us from fully showing up and doing things in order to keep us safe in situations where silence and hiding were adaptive in the past.
More insights in brief from the Collective Trauma online summit
We need to move from trauma organised societies to trauma informed societies to healing oriented societies
It is now necessary to build trauma informed health, medicine, educational, cultural, religious, spiritual, political and economic contexts and systems
Most trauma occurs in relational fields, and relational safety is important for recovery and resilience. It is important to share stories in safe spaces and in communities
Destructive instincts are essentially our life instincts traumatized and distorted and turned into death instincts
Trauma is about broken connection to our body, our cells, others and reality
More on the physiology of trauma in next post…..