This is an interesting time to Be. Corona is turning everything on its head. Most of us in the US are only beginning the journey of coping with the upheaval of health, social and economic change. On a personal level, we have many opportunities to practice being in the moment, to practice gratitude, to practice compassion. And we will have many more.
Here are some helpful words adapted from my newest book, Traveling Light, Moving Our Awareness Beyond the Five Senses (p. 156-57):
A’riquea: Everyone does have some kind of “negative” experiences… It is not possible to be human and not have some loss. Loss can come in many forms, of course. Loss of innocence, loss of trust, loss of family connections, loss of Home location. How an event will affect one person is variable, depending on their previous choices and learning.
Trauma defines significant or multiple losses, something that stretches a person’s coping ability in such a way that new ways of being are required to go forward. Look up trauma.
Trauma is defined as both an experience and its aftermath: it is an experience that is deeply disturbing or distressing, and it is also the shock (physical, emotional, psychic) that follows such an event. ‘Trauma’ comes from the greek word for ‘wound’.
So it is a shock to the system. If it is literally a wound, then that is an opening. Openings in the skin are a place where either germs enter and destroy tissue, or new tissue is beautifully created out of Life Force to seal that opening. A scar is evidence of healing.
Yes, an opening is made. An opening is made in the way that a person thinks about the world. The opening is such that the person cannot go back to thinking the way that they did before the trauma occurred. Sometimes people have difficulty making the change, and it may take a long time. Sometimes the change is never made, and people choose to cover their confusion and loss with addictions.
Addiction is like keeping a dirty bandage on a wound. The wound will not be seen, but it will also not be healed. Healing a wound requires that one look at it, address it, take care of it. It needs to be kept clean, so that it does not collect harmful debris. It needs air and nutrition and rest. It needs Love. Everything needs Love, including wounds. Sometimes this is very painful. That is the new tissue forming. The scar is a sign of Love.
Groups must have a way of thinking as well.
It is a similar principle but applied on a more complicated level. Groups do have their own way of thinking, although sometimes this is not very visible. People in the group know that things are done in a certain way, but the reasons may not be clear. Many thoughts and behaviors keep a group identity in place and offer stability. Hopefully, these thoughts and behaviors also promote growth.
When groups of people are traumatized, each person has to cope with the trauma, but there will also be coping by the group. Just as there is the possibility of disagreement and dysfunction, there is also the opportunity for new ideas and more cohesive relationships…
Massive changes like we are going through now with the corona virus are going to affect us as individuals and as groups. What is really eye-opening about this to me, however, is that it is not just our community, or our state, or even our country going through this. Every person on planet earth is experiencing this right now. At the same time. Not in the same ways, but it is affecting us all. We have the opportunity to consider not only short-term but also longer-range coping, to decide how we want to move forward––both through this and what we hope to be when we come out the other side. Do we choose selfishness, greed and consumerism? Or caring, compassion and community? Each one of us sets the tone.