Imagine your safe space.
Your safe space is a real place that lives inside your perfect life.
What does your perfect life look like?
Give or take a few details, most of us would describe our perfect lives as peaceful, with a loving partner (or partners), our family and friends in good health, time and space to explore, and a clear heart and mind.
We’re not shackled to jobs we hate because we want to keep our healthcare. We’re not running our bodies in a war-time economy, sacrificing higher reasoning for survival and functionality. We’re not stiff-upper-lipping it through another coffee-drinking, tie-tightening, numbing-and-distracting day.
That’s why it’s our happy place, right?
It’s a fantasy.
Well… it’s some people’s fantasies. For others, it’s reality.
Because of the miracle of post-traumatic growth, there are people who’ve been able to pressurize and metabolize their trauma and live in the peace that they used to have to imagine in order to escape from their presents.
They describe that feeling as finally coming home – back into their bodies, their minds, themselves.
A place they hadn’t been in a long, long time… And the last time they were there, they didn’t know they wouldn’t see home again for so long.
Here are a few of the reasons we get so blocked when it comes to handling our own traumas…
The Dunning-Kruger Effect
There’s an interesting study that was conducted in the ‘90s centered around our human cognitive biases.
What the conductors found was that the lower your competency, the likelier you are to overestimate it, and the higher your competency, the likelier you are to underestimate it.
The less you know, the more you think you know, because you’re not aware of how much more there is to know.
It’s not because you’re stupid, or wrong, or pathetic. It’s because there’s more of the world you haven’t seen. When we don’t know what healed people look like, we’re more likely to assume it looks like us – everyone drinks a six-pack to unwind in front of the TV, right?
Everyone snaps at their partners when they’re frustrated, right? Everyone beats themselves up and roces their tired bodies through another day of hell, right?
The more you’re aware of what’s available to a healed person, the more the Dunning-Kruger scales come into balance.
Physicality is King
We don’t tend to acknowledge problems in the West unless they manifest in a physically provable way.
Think back to the early campaigns fighting for mental health awareness – what was depression often likened to? A broken leg? The flu?
A lot of times, in healing work, older patients come in with other ailments – and I’ve seen this in my practice, specifically – that I work up a healing protocol for. But then they don’t want to do it. And we start to dig a little deeper, and it turns out they have traumas around taking care of themselves that have effectively made it difficult to follow those instructions.
And it’s no coincidence that an onslaught of physical medical issues start to show up around ages fifty, sixty, etc.
That’s about as long as people can really carry and live with little t trauma after little t trauma, coding to themselves that it’s no big deal while their bodies and spirits are burdened under an unfathomable and unattended weight…
Unless our pain is physically impairing our lives, we often choose to ignore it.
We’re Hurting Each Other
It’s easy not to heal when everyone you know is also in dire need of healing.
We’re social creatures – we want to have amazing relationships, support those we love, and move the obstacles that are in their way.
So a few things end up happening…
One, we find a noble reason to distract ourselves from our own healing. Someone else is suffering!
Two, we retraumatize ourselves and our loved ones constantly over and over again when we’re not healed because we’re not coming from a place of pure love.
And three, we allow ourselves to be leveraged by our traumas that set the stones before us to misplace hate and blame, and that’s how we get racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and any number of other human ills. Which only traumatizes more people.
I chatted with renowned healer Misa Hopkins during her Amazing Relationships summit – where she invites experts from all over the healing force to talk about what we can do to fortify the love we have for each other – and we got into it through a trauma-informed lens.
I’d highly recommend you listen, because Misa is a healer I’ve come to trust and respect over the years.
She signed up to watch the “Trauma” series that Nick and I made…
And by the way, don’t forget that the last episode airs tonight. It’s your last chance to sign up to watch it!