Traumatic Words

I overheard a conversation in my gym the other day about how people take things too personally and how it might be easier if people could let go of things quicker. This brought up a mix of emotions from me as I believe there is truth to this and a sense of privilege. We all need to be able to find some humor and humility in our humanness, but we need to recognize how much privilege there is in having a safe enough life/existence to doing this.

In working with clients who have experienced trauma and having experienced my own, I know we take things more personally than would be beneficial for us. Our active fight or flight systems are constantly alert for danger and sometimes we can read into small, non-threatening gestures. This makes it hard to “let go of things”.

We may need as a society to get better at treating each other with kindness, including ourselves. If you’ve experienced trauma (big T or little t) this might mean getting some help to be less activated in the world and healing old wounds so you can find more joy. If you haven’t experienced trauma in your life you may need to learn more about how this can impact people so you can find more empathy when the people around you get hurt, triggered or offended by what you are doing or saying.

Ultimately words matter. They impact people and set off a chain of internal stories and narratives you may have no idea they are carrying around. So, my advice is to be kinder to others, learn to laugh at and with yourself and if you have the privilege of walking in this world trauma free remember how lucky you are and know that it will be easier for you to “let things go”.

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