We live in a world that is full of trouble and trauma. In this messiness, we may be tempted to judge others too quickly. After all, we do not know what they have gone through that has brought them to the current situation. We live in a world that is filled with people who have been personally touched by trauma.
We need to consider that those who have experienced trauma can become addicted to the physical, emotional and physiological experiences associated with the trauma. Traumatic experiences are connected to a flush of chemicals in the brain. Over time, they come to need the release of chemicals because they are part of what is normal in the body.
As such, those who experience trauma, especially in childhood, may have a chemical need to create trauma in their lives in an attempt to maintain their own experience of normal. The brain (along with the subconscious) will activate self-destructive behaviors that create drama, trauma, and attention in order to activate the release of the chemicals that are needed to create their “normal”.
On this path, those who have experienced trauma will perpetuate the cycle by traumatizing others. Very often, they hurt the ones that they care for the most. In turn, guilt and shame may become part of the challenge as various consequences of the self-destructive behavior become evident.
It is hard to break this cycle. In our entitled society, selfishness has become confused with self-love. It takes courage to release the destructive behavior and change the pattern of trauma. Ultimately, this problem cannot be remedied with self-indulgent behavior. To break the cycle, one needs to create a new pattern of self-respect and deep self-compassion.
The Course in Miracles guides us, “every mistake must be a call for love.”.
My intention and my prayer for those who may find themselves in a traumatic situation is to respond when love and compassion. If all non-loving behavior is a call for love, we have a "calling" to respond with compassion and love. May we view our world through the lens of compassion. May we create a safe space where those who are “lost” can reclaim their whole and holy selves.
We are the ones that will create the changes that are needed in our world. We are the ones and you are the hope. We just need to remember that LOVE WINS!