Life in the Catalyst Intensive Week 5 - "Oneness"
noun one·ness \ˈwən-nəs\
Definition of oneness : the quality or state or fact of being one: as
a : singleness
b : integrity, wholeness
c : harmony
d : sameness, identity
e : unity, union
"Oneness." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.
While week five was all about the topic of TRAUMA, the resounding sentiment I left with was ONENESS. No, that’s not a typo and no I’m not someone who is hell bent on finding the tiniest glimmer of positive in the darkest parts of the abyss.
Trauma is something that, in one form or another, we have all endured during the course of our lives. For as long as I can remember, I’ve operated under the assumption that while the presence of trauma is not unique to any one person and we can empathize with each other’s trials and tribulations; our experiences are ours and ours alone, completely unique. We can choose to make them a part of who we are, and share our stories or we can allow them to BE who we are. Ultimately my trauma is mine. For me, it’s a part of my past that I prefer to store in a box in the back of my closet with things like old high school yearbooks.
I’m happy that I no longer experience the shame I once associated with trauma, but I’ve never viewed it as a “go to” tool in my relationship building tool box either. Sure it’s useful once in a while when it can be used to lend empathy and support just like a yearbook can make your teen feel better about the notion that everyone goes through an “awkward” phase. That doesn’t mean however, that I would display either of those on my mantel. My trauma doesn’t define me and it doesn’t own me, but it has a specific application for when and how sharing is deemed appropriate, or so I thought.
So you can imagine my surprise when I realized that what stuck with me after the Catalyst Intensive course on trauma was the feeling of “Oneness." I know, that sounds totally weird and backwards right? But it’s true! I had never considered that trauma could be considered a building block in the foundation on which a community of positive intention, growth, and forward motion could be built. However, the thoughtful discussions during, and after, class showed me that trauma is not ours and ours alone. Our individual experiences with trauma are indeed unique but that’s what makes us all the same. That’s what puts us on the same team and on a level playing field.
I’ve come to realize that through our respective traumas we have more in common than we could have ever anticipated. We are “One.” We’re not alone in our trials, our shame, our guilt, our heartache, and the best part. . . our successes that come as a result from all of that!