I recently attended a conference on “Building Resilience.” It was an awesome day as I gained new insight into how we survive trauma. Those in attendance were social workers, Minnesota Department of Health crisis staff, psychologists, non-profits dealing with the homeless and sex trafficking victims, women’s group facilitator, medical professionals, and wellness advocates like me. It was a delightful day of meeting new people and learning new information.
I’m excited to learn that the information I present in my blogs is both timely and accurate. Some of the new insights I learned are amazing as we live with acute trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here are some of the things I know or learned:
- An estimated two-thirds of American adults have experienced one or more potentially traumatic exposures in their lifetime.
- Stemming from events or circumstances experienced as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening, trauma can result in significantly diminished mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being; leading to lost productivity, function and social participation.-George Family Foundation Catalyst Initiative
- Trauma doesn’t define who we are.
- The most intimate relationship is between you and the Divine.
- The Divine isn’t outside of us — the Divine is within us.
- When we internalize our own inner Divine we can connect and extend the Divine to others — this is the power of love.
- Creating circles of people dispenses hierarchy.
- You can meditate with your eyes open. This technique is especially great for those of us who have experienced trauma and are afraid to close our eyes. It’s okay — you can still meditate — with your eyes open!
- We can’t connect with others if we’re not connected to ourselves first.
- Margaret Mitchell said, “Every problem has two handles. You can grab it by the handle of fear or the handle of hope.”
- Depression is the #1 cause of disability in the U.S.
- Sleep is the missing link in recovering from depression.
- The first arrow causes us physical pain, which we can’t ignore. The second arrow is the mental pain and suffering we add on top of the physical pain. -Buddhist Teaching
- The first thought you have in the morning is what you worship.
Trauma impacts a large toll on us and those around us — and society as a whole. According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention, “In 2014 (latest available data), there were 42,773 reported suicide deaths.” The inability to copy with trauma and increased depression affect us all. Isn’t it time we eliminate the trauma in our homes and society, and the resulting depression and illness, and find ways to connect with trauma survivors to build a better quality of Life?
I think so! And I’ll never give up!