“Either we develop a more heart-full relationship with the Earth that sustains us, or we destroy ourselves and life on the planet.”
From: We Need to Relearn That We’re a Part of Nature, Not Separate From It
(This essay is absolutely worth reading in its entirety.)
This morning I saw the above essay and as I read it I felt spontaneous breath restored into my body, the life force breath of resonating with something that is a profound truth.
We are part of nature, yet mostly live in inner states that block our perception of that.
We have so many incredibly well-intentioned, important movements for social change that deal with issues as if they occur in a vacuum. Perhaps that is yet another symptom of the generalized disconnect.
For those who seek a more peaceful world, e.g. ending domestic, campus, or street violence, genocide, mass atrocities, and etc. — how can we truly progress in those areas without dramatically increasing provisions for traumatized people to resolve the trauma that is part of the root cause of what perpetuates violent reactivity and prevents conflicts from being resolved more peacefully in the first place? How can we expect next generations to be any different, given that trauma is trans-generational, unless the adults are given opportunities to heal?
For those concerned about the world’s refugee populations that are ever-increasing due to global conflicts — how can we ignore climate change knowing that numbers of displaced will increase exponentially due to more natural disasters and areas that become uninhabitable, also increasing global conflicts due to resource scarcity? (Not to mention that natural disasters and resource scarcity also contribute to stress and trauma, substantiating again the need to be planning ahead for how we will deal with this. We need far more people willing to get well-trained in trauma recovery.)
For those that want to address climate change — how can we possibly be as effective as we really need to be when our society is stuck in a cultural / global epidemic of unresolved trauma that holds us captive in contraction, stuck in focusing on self-survival and blocks us from perceiving essential truths such as ‘we are a part of nature, not separate from it’?
Education and advocacy are extremely important, but often not effective enough. Why? Chronic stress and unresolved trauma hold people in states of anxiety, overwhelm and dissociation that greatly decrease receptivity to taking in information, intellectually and emotionally. This applies to the messenger as well as the recipient of the message.
We need a cultural shift that comes about by individual and collective healing from within. We need to make the connection that a culture rooted in self-survival is a traumatized culture desperately needing to recover. Only then can we find the path to move forward according to a changed paradigm, living from a more compassionate species-survival state that emerges as a result of resolved trauma. Only then will we be able to perceive that we are part of nature, and part of one another.
With that in mind, I want to mention two upcoming events.
First, for those interested in learning more about trauma recovery, who want to learn TRE for the first time, or are seeking a deeper experience now that you have learned the exercises for your own personal benefit, or want to get certified to teach others, we will be offering Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) Global Certification Module I Training in San Diego May 1-3. Early registration is available through March 31. This 3-day training is a professional level training that is the first step toward certification – and — it is also open to the general public. Please contact me if you have questions.
Second, please save this date: Sunday, April 19th. In advance of Earth Day, Orange County for Climate Action (OCCA) will be hosting a day full of options in order to build community, calm our nervous systems, re-connect with ourselves, each other, and nature. Watch for more info soon.
Barbara English, LMFT
Founder and Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
[Ubuntu] n. Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human beings.