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Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

“There are times we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do.” — Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Here we are, having survived 2020 (some of us), feeling like we can no longer trust the very ground beneath our feet. We have been faced with a collective trauma, this pandemic, like a low-grade fever we carry around, trying to still do our work and show up for our families and ourselves. But some days we don’t succeed. …


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Image by David Mark from Pixabay

“…If you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” ~ Dalai Lama

As we head into the eighth month of a worldwide pandemic, I’m hearing more and more about “pandemic fatigue.” We are tired of masking, tired of not hugging, tired of not gathering, not going to movies, or theatre, or concerts. We are tired of our television and our phones. We are just plain tired.

Coupled with this feeling are news bytes telling us it will be a long time before we have a vaccine or before we can let our guard (or our masks) down. Dire reports put us fighting this into the end of 2021 if not longer. A vaccine seems our only hope, but of course we need it to be safe, which takes time. …


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Photo by Enrique Lopez Garre on Pixabay.

“Happiness lies not in finding what is missing, but in finding what is present.” ~ Tara Brach

As we all deal with a global pandemic in our own individual ways, one fundamental seems to bother us the most — a loss of freedom. We are constricted in our work, our play, even within our families and friends there is restriction. Compounding feeling restricted and tight and broken and crazy we are told to wear masks if we have to go out. The masks are also restricting and sometimes tight and add to the claustrophobia burgeoning in our minds. …


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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“The fact is, that we are being breathed.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

The breath.

It is our first act outside the womb, and our final act as well. With our first breath, our life begins and our bodies miraculously continue to perform this function automatically, without much thought from us, for the rest of our life. And anything that does not require much thought, is prime for being taken for granted.

As 2020 has unfolded, the central theme I keep coming back to is breath. There are many issues in the world, but it seems that breathing is moving to the forefront. I see it in climate change, Covid-19, and fallen brother George Floyd. …


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Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay

The paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect.” — Peter A. Levine

Lately, I’ve been conscious of trauma as it applies to society. Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the world is currently in a state of collective trauma. Collective trauma refers to the psychological reactions to a traumatic event that can affect an entire society. For most of us, our daily way of life has drastically changed in the last few weeks. …


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“Remember…the entrance to the sanctuary is inside you.” ~ Rumi

I remember feeling, for a long time in my life, that no place was safe. I did not feel safe at work, out in public, and sadly, not at home. We’ve often heard that our home is our sanctuary. It is our place of refuge, respite, and renewal. For survivors of trauma, our sense of sanctuary can disappear. And now, in this startling age of staying “safe-at-home” it can be a challenge for some to truly feel safe at home.

Home may be a safe refuge, or a place that reminds us of trauma, or a place where trauma still happens. How can home become a sanctuary? How can we feel safe in our homes with the virus spreading outside? We must shift our concept of sanctuary being a physical place. …


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Image by https://pixabay.com/users/mohamed_hassan-5229782/

HOLDING OUR COLLECTIVE BREATH

“When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.” ~ Anonymous

I woke up very early the other day, too early for the time I’d gone to bed. As I tried to get myself back to sleep for a bit, I took a very, very deep inhale of breath. It shocked me how good (and foreign) it felt. I realized that in this era of global pandemic, I’ve basically been holding my breath. Many of us have.

But wait, I’ve been meditating, praying, doing some yoga, practicing good breathing. And I realized that’s the only time I’ve actually been breathing. The rest of the time, I’m in a state of fight or flight shallow breathing, which eventually feels almost like holding your breath. …


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True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr

On a recent visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., I was struck by this quote. I stood frozen, reading and re-reading these words. It left me with a question. “Can we find peace where there has been no justice?”

Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words in relation to the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. He realized that ending a tense situation in the African- American struggle for civil rights was not a true peace. More was needed. …


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Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

“The sooner we heal our traumas, the sooner we liberate ourselves from the people who hurt us. By hating them, we hold onto them. We cannot heal.” — Vironika Tugaleva

As I have studied, learned and written about healing trauma, I find I’m guilty of assuming that if you have been through trauma, you must want to heal. I forget that some souls perhaps don’t want to look at it, deal with it, or get better; at least, not now. I forget it until I’m face to face with such a person and I realize they are still holding onto a trauma from long ago — sometimes decades ago. …


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“In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring each other that our costumes of identity are on straight.” ~ Ram Dass

Here we are again — in recovery from the holidays. We tried to show up at the family table and be “normal.” As survivors of trauma, we often feel an unspoken pressure to join in at the holidays and pretend we are just fine. I truly hope you are just fine this holiday season, but for those who are not, read on.

I’m going to let you off the hook.

The Ram Dass quote above is so true, isn’t it? We all present these costumes of identity to each other, but when trauma has touched our lives, the costumes change, don’t they? And as profoundly as our friends and family know, deeply know, that trauma has changed us, they still want us to show up and be “normal.” …

About

Victoria McGee

I write about the spiritual aspect of healing from trauma. My blog can be found at www.stillbeloved.com.

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