Anyone who experiences present pain caused by past trauma knows how distressing it can be. While the event may have been over long ago, it feels very existent right now.

Well-meaning guidance suggests that we simply set the incident down, like an old suitcase we no longer need to lug around. Or perhaps try harder to forgive and forget. And those with a spiritual bent might even propound a metaphysical viewpoint that it never happened – it’s just an illusion.

All these pieces of advice are actually quite easy. Easy, that is, for those not experiencing the pain.

But definitely not loving.

A much more helpful approach is to recognize, “It still hurts. But I no longer want to carry the weight.”

That step – of feeling the kick in gut but acknowledging we want to move beyond it – begins the process of shifting from experiencer to observer. From there we open to the possibility of another way of seeing.

While we feel fairly certain that our discomfort is the result of what happened, we become receptive to the understanding that all suffering is ultimately the result of choosing our ego mind.

From there, we turn to our inner guide asking for help to see this differently. This is the “little willingness” of which A Course in Miracles speaks. And then, to the best of our ability, we step out of our need to judge, our need to be right, thereby enabling our body to become a channel for love.

Being gentle and kind with ourselves in how we view past trauma opens the door for experiencing less pain while propelling us on our path toward awakening.

Join me in Thursday’s Zoom discussion where we’ll explore the nature of trauma and means by which we can open to the miracle of peace. I look forward to seeing you then.