Healing collective trauma

I have been watching an online summit on Healing Collective Trauma organized by Thomas Hübl and it has opened a part of me that is incredibly vulnerable—a younger, traumatized aspect that stands as a sentry at the entrance to my healing and full awakening.

I’ve gained much from an individual, inner journey to know the Divine, and for all who have and continue to do that work, thank you! My sense is that it was preparation for powerfully holding sacred space as the Divine now calls us to join together in healing the collective.

In my late teens I read a book called Are You Really Too Sensitive, by Marcy Calhoun, which helped me understand my empathic capacities and navigate them better. I described the empathic experience as “living without skin” because I felt the pain of the world so intensely and took all of it to be my own. It drove me to want to wake people up, and to heal the world so I could be more comfortable here.

I’m reluctant to entertain the possibility of playing a larger role in healing collective trauma. It feels like I could get overwhelmed again. Yet I also see the need to deal with the unresolved feelings of not belonging or having a valid voice in the world or in my family. I desire not only to be seen and received fully for my uniqueness, but also to make offerings that will release others from their unexpressed pain. The motivation behind that is not wanting to feel the collective pain, not wanting to numb myself to it, and not wanting to turn to a spiritual escape from it. It’s time to transform it to its higher potential.

I have a tendency to seek acceptance, particularly when it comes to family. I want to be seen as someone whose world view matters, even when mine isn’t the shared perspective. My desire to share comes from wanting all beings to thrive. However, many of my offerings are not of interest, and rightly so, to others who have not arrived at the same conclusions. In this case, extending my unwanted beliefs is not caring; it is a sticky and admittedly codependent attempt to be included and seen as valuable. I also confess to wanting the world in general to become more aware of consciousness, but I cringe at the idea of being a proselytizer. I think a balance is struck by being so rooted in the truth of my own being that what I want to share is evident in my energy and in how I live my life.

As a part of the summit on healing the collective trauma, I listened to Woman Stands Shining (Pat McCabe of the Dine Nation). She shared that their tradition forbids anyone from interfering in someone else’s path. I inwardly bow in recognition of my double-edged error, both of placing the responsibility for my self-worth on my family and of giving offerings where they weren’t wanted.

As I rest in the perfection of how the universe turns me back to myself as the only place to look for true  approval, I also get the gift of compassion for my father. He was a man whose offerings often met a stone wall because they were somewhat authoritarian and, at least from my perspective, didn’t often hold up factually or logically. This caused him to isolate emotionally and feel not welcomed or included.

Dad, I’m sorry I didn’t have the tools to navigate that more skillfully. In retrospect, I could have invited him to share more about his perspective, and I could have shown an authentic desire to understand his world, rather than automatically dismissing or simply tuning him out. Creating this type of safe container is what is now called “presencing.”

While the spiritual path took me inward as the starting point for creating an essential still point, the unhealed aspect of the collective that’s showing up in me is making it clear that our evolution as a species requires that we have the courage to open what feels like Pandora’s Box. The experts from the trauma summit all stressed that the numbing of humanity to our collective trauma is at the heart of the pickle we find ourselves in and that, while personal growth work is important, this trauma isn’t individual and can’t be fully resolved on that level. We have to do it together.

It is powerful work for us to learn to create sacred containers for valuing difference and creating inclusion. I highly recommend checking out the work of Thomas Hübl and the other experts from the summit. You may not be able to access the free talks by the time this blog is posted, but you should be able to review the speakers and see what topics resonate with you to explore.

Image by MetsikGarden from Pixabay

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