Many of us may feel overwhelmed by the recent advances in communication technology: social media, 24/7 news coverage, and feature stories about “15-minute” celebrities as well as “real” superstars. Amidst rapid-fire sound-bites, continual distractions and unrelenting interruptions, our psyches are bombarded with information that disappears as quickly as it appears. The added insult of “fake news” and “alternative facts” create chaos and make it difficult to “know” anything accurately.
In this fast-paced world, important information can be missed if it doesn’t capture our attention. Targeted disruptions make it easy to glide past whatever makes us uncomfortable. Living in a culture that advocates “not knowing” is demonstrated in our preoccupation with the “quick fix.” In the past it was the glossy magazine ads and whimsical TV commercials that peddled alcohol and cigarettes as a cure-all for whatever ailed you. Now drug corporations’ feel-bad-feel-better messaging provides a ready remedy without exploring the cause of symptoms. With no lens to view ourselves, in a culture where feelings are taboo, we are left with “quick fix” solutions that numb our ability to “know” who we are and what we need.
For those who experience traumatic injury it is difficult to feel secure in a fast-paced dismissive world. However, they are not doomed to live in misery (as we explored in last year’s focus on the “Adult Child.”) As we journeyed with them, we came to understand the emotional weight of their burdens and the high price of hiding their secret shame. While “not knowing” shielded them from acknowledging generational dysfunction, it didn’t protect them and their families from suffering.
Healing the emotional wounds in the “Adult Child” necessitated slowing down in order to willingly look at the menacing beliefs and distractions that kept them stuck. As they made room for “knowing,” their anxiety quieted. We also learned how going inward to explore self-defeating behaviors could promote awareness and change. When the “Adult Child” courageously dared to experience confusion, pain and sorrow, we witnessed their developing self-esteem. Throughout their healing journey, they peeled away their defenses and found their lost puzzle pieces - parts of themselves that liberated their personal “knowing” and supported congruent confidence.
This year, we will continue to explore the debilitating impact of trauma. We will spend time discovering varied emotional adaptations of “not knowing” and “knowing” needed to cope with challenging life-circumstances. We will continue to retrieve lost puzzle pieces and increase our understanding about how connecting once-lost puzzle pieces can promote emotional well-being and wholeness.