(Originally published Dec 11, 2016)
4 Tips for Coping with Collective Trauma
Collective trauma, like personal trauma, can easily disconnect us from the places of connection that make our life meaningful and diminish our hope about the future. So when you find yourself experiencing a collective trauma, like many of us are after the elections here in the US, it is important to remember there are four actions we can take to help mitigate the impact of the trauma.
1. A daily meaningful connection with another is the primary treatment. And by meaningful connection I don’t mean sharing our political despair or reactive angry diatribes. I mean a deep meaningful connection that opens up our hearts and our emotions.
2. And speaking of emotions, find the personal nerves that are left raw from the collective trauma. What rouses us the most socially and politically is also always personal. Find the personal nerve and let yourself have the emotions that come from that nerve being left raw, especially as you connect with another person. (It is through our own wounds we know what our people need. David Whyte)
3. Call on whatever big connections to Love you call on, be it a group of people, a God, or just the Source. Collective trauma needs to be met with a collective response or we often get lost in our personal reactivity or disconnection. Aligning ourselves with love is where we find the right flow forward.
4. Frequent forays into beauty can be so healing. Beauty is the salve for those raw nerves, can help open our constricted hearts to help us move through our emotions, and helps restore hope.
All of these steps will help us move through the emotional impact of the trauma, help build resilience in us, and helps us to become fierce and open-hearted in our response to the world around us. And the world sorely needs us to respond collectively with passionate and loving actions.
Facebook post, Dec. 11, 2016