In dynamic psychotherapy and several holistic traditions there is an implicit idea that we walk around with all kinds of childhood trauma and defenses that continuously limit our functioning. That somewhere underneath there is always the presence of our fear of rejection, some unmet need for love or some deep lonely sadness. It somehow suggests that real happiness is not possible before we have totally worked through and freed ourselves of these traumas.
This is a very imprisoning idea and, I believe, incorrect. We better view trauma in terms of as emotional states that can be activated. We are made up of many different emotional states that are formed throughout our lives. There are indeed many times we may be pulled in states in which we feel old pain from our life, limit ourselves and behave in way we criticize: our self at worst.
It is absolutely liberating to acknowledge that in spite of these childhood trauma there are many times when we are in other states where we feel safe, proud, truly close and really joyful: better selves or our self at best. There is nothing repressed our underneath these good moments that we have to worry about and we can fully enjoy and own them without reserves or guilt.
Cool! That’s a clever way of looking at it!