As we go through life we all have experiences which we wish we never had. Nobody, who is born into this world, is immune to the effects of trauma. When I talk about trauma, I am not just talking about the major ones such as physical and sexual abuse but I am also including so called minor trauma, which are not so minor when you think about their effects. These include household dysfunction that involves a family member including relationship strife, substance abuse and mental illness.
Many children suffer trauma in their school environment through racism, bullying, being ostracized for appearing different than others and many other reasons. This is all to easy now with the popularity of various forms of social media and does not have to be done in person.
What happens to a child that is traumatized? Most children cannot handle the pain of the emotions they feel because they don’t have the maturity or the knowledge to handle those feelings. This is why those emotions are suppressed but the problem is that those emotions can become trapped in the body and lead to symptoms and chronic disease. They can also resurface when that some individual, later on in life, faces a stressful situation. This will disrupt their ability to deal with the stress effectively which leads to chronic stress which has long-term implications for overall health and wellbeing. In fact, unresolved trauma is one of the main reasons why people become anxious, depressed or addicted to alcohol and illicit substances.
Then there is the issue of ancestral trauma. The history of humanity is that of one nation or ethnic group trying to subdue another through force and coercion in the form of war. From the Christian Crusades to the Mongol Empire to the genocide that the British empire has perpetrated all around the world to modern day wars, World War 1 and 2, the Vietnam War and recent genocides in various parts of the world including Cambodia, Rwanda and the Middle East, no part of the world is free of the effects of ancestral trauma. This gets passed down through generations.
The question then arises, if we are all traumatized then what do we do about it? All conventional medicine has to offer is drugs and therapy. Drugs have already been shown to be ineffective and although therapy may be beneficial. in the beginning, it does not resolve the effects of trauma in the long run, as studies have shown. What is the solution then?
It is shadow work? What is shadow work? If its diving deep into the depths of your inner world and exorcising your inner demons of negative thinking, limiting beliefs and suppressed emotions to get to the core essence of who you are where you will find unconditional love, beauty and serenity. These are the source of your healing and how we can heal all off humanity from trauma.
The question then arises, How does one even begin to do this shadow work? This will be the topic of my next article. In the mean time, take some time this week to look at your life and see if you are suffering the effects of trauma. If you are then ask yourself whether you can afford not to do the shadow work to heal yourself.
Dr. Nauman Naeem