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Traumatized? Please don't tell me that what has happened to you should not have happened. I will listen to anything but that. We all have had our traumas, some more than others. Some have endured unspeakable traumas, no doubt about it. I don't seek to minimize or advocate denial as a way of coping. I seek only clarity, an intelligent way to lead us out of our suffering. What works to lead us back to joy, to sanity? I have come to see that it is what we have done to make sense of our traumas that hurts us the most. Somehow along the way we developed a set of rules and conditions to life, a long list of very firm and absolute beliefs about what should be and what shouldn't be.

Trauma happens. It happens and then it is over. We have a memory of it, sure, but it is not the memory that causes us to suffer, it is our belief that it should not have happened. We place that belief firmly on top of the memory and it becomes a guard locking us in our own prison of pain. Wounded and weakened, we keep pointing to the memory, to the original trauma as the source of our suffering. We can do that for years, for a lifetime, looking past the prison door that we ourselves have installed to justify how miserable we feel.

How do we know our traumas should not have happened? Do we know for sure, absolutely 100% for sure? They happened. That is what we know for sure. Beyond that, if we are brutally honest with ourselves, we can't say. Wouldn't you be at peace and more able to appreciate what is in front of you right now without the thought that your traumas should not have happened? Absolutely. Just seeing this is the beginning of freedom.

So don't tell me what happened to you yesterday or long ago should not have happened. Tell me how you are today. Look around, really look around, and tell me how your life is going today.

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