Have you ever listened to children’s nursery rhymes and wondered where they came from? Well. . . I was thinking the other day about this poor traumatized llama, and I found myself wondering—what qualifies as trauma? So off I went to dictionary.com where I learned that trauma is ‘an experience that produces psychological injury or pain.’
Generally, we think of trauma as an extreme injury or a shocking event, in spite of the fact that we all have many small snippets of psychological injury or pain woven throughout our lives.
So what’s the bottom line?
The most sustained impact of traumas—large or small—is the fact that these painful experiences leave behind a residue of beliefs—about ourselves, others, the world, God. Often these beliefs are pretty profound—they sink in deep—and very often they skew our view of ourselves, our world, each other.
So how does this work?
If you are a toddler and you are watching as mama hits daddy (or the reverse), you begin to believe the world is not safe and this can establish a strong fear base for dealing with the world around you. This can in turn hog-tie you—keep you from taking common everyday risks that allow you to move ahead in your life.
Can you do anything about this now as an adult?
Yes! The first step is to recognize that you may have blocks that are holding you back from engaging with the world in ways you’d like to. From that point, you would probably do best to see a good therapist. Together you can process confining beliefs and learn to see the world through a new pair of glasses that can help you see your way to more joy.