Trauma

 “As a raw, sensitive human being, life will inevitably bring experience to us that we are not able to consciously embody, tend to, and digest. In this way, trauma is experience (psychic, emotional, and somatic) that we cannot bear.


Life at times is unbearable. We all know this, some of us in more devastating ways than others.


The experience of trauma is not evidence that there is something fundamentally wrong with us but that we are alive. That we have a nervous system and a heart and brain and body that is rippling with life.


The journey of re-embodying, very slowly, according to a timeline that is unique for us and whispered to us from beyond, is one that is laid out before us all. To provide breath where no breath was found. To bring warmth to the frozen. To provide sanctuary for the grief, the rage, the pain, the blood, and the tears.


To discover a larger context in which we can make sense of our experience in a new way. To find meaning, somehow, where it had originally been shattered.


While we cannot always hold what is given, we may discover that we are always being held. But the nature of this holding is of the mystery and we must each discover its essence and qualities in the fire of our own experience.


We cannot integrate love, for it is just too vast for that. But it can and is always integrating us.


While it can feel so overwhelming at times, new pathways can be unearthed in the psyche and new grooves can be laid down in a tender, responsive, and flexible nervous system. A new story can be told. A new dream can be dreamed. New cloth can be woven.  We can receive a new vision. We can imagine ourselves, others, and the world in a new way.


It is possible. I have been honored to witness this reorganization in the lives of many courageous women and men over the years. It is heartbreaking and heart-expanding. It is not easy and asks everything of us.


It is an act of mercy, kindness, and compassion to remind one another of this revolutionary possibility, especially during times of struggle, that there is hope. Even in the core of the most profound hopelessness, a small light of hope is buried there, the flame is still alive.”

~

Matt Licata

Elaine McQuade