Eventually the energy finds escape. We find ourselves being aggressors, victims, and perpetuators
of the various forms of trauma.
According to ABC News, there [i] have been 132 mass shootings in the United States this year. All demographic groups of race, ethnicity, and sex experienced increases in suicide risk since 2011. Ten to twenty-four year-olds account for 14% of all suicides according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.[ii]
My life experience informs me that this crisis has been brewing for a long time. Herein is what it reports about the root of the problem and how to eradicate it.
For thirty years, collaborating with middle school teachers, administrators, and parents, my organization worked on cultural diversity issues in education in North Carolina.
This fieldwork informed something deeply disturbing in schools reflected in all parts of society. In schools, for example, co-workers from different ethnic backgrounds were kept separate from each other unless their duties made them reluctantly interact, school administrators often felt that parents and students from low-income and immigrant families were not worthy of their time to hear their opinion, and teachers often segregated students by ethnicity during breaks and at school meetings.
Wanting to know more about the effects of these behaviors on young people, eight- to twelve-year-olds drew their impressions of human relationships around them.
Figures 1 and 2, are examples of hundreds of drawings that show an emotional malaise that is already deeply rooted in their existence.
This was most evident when they, with indifference, declared that "the world is plagued by prejudice and mistrust. And that it's a world full of fear." Everything in their delivery style spoke of hopelessness.
Figure 1 A Caucasian man is beating a Black man. Another individual next door is laughing.
“Can We Go Beyond Stereotypes?” Exhibit. 2000
Figure 2 Above: A Caucasian is a scholar Medium: A young Black man is in jail Bottom: An Indigenous man disappears under colonization structures. “Can We Go Beyond Stereotypes?” Exhibit. 2000
And while the adult world continues to be engulfed and blinded by conditioned narratives about the world's problems and who we are, as individuals and collectivity we continue to maintain narratives that hold with them bottled emotions that cause anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and loneliness. These are the emotions that fuel children and young adults to violently lash out at others and commit suicide.
Root of the Dysfunction
Through time as civilizations, from generation to generation, we have drowned swimming in a sea of accumulated emotions which does not allow us to make the adaptations of an ever-changing world.
A basic web search on the history of human civilizations informs us that all civilizations prior to the United States — Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Incas, the Maya, Great Britain — after achieving glory fell for similar reasons — greed, corruption, and concentration of wealth that devastate us today.
The power of this knowledge is immeasurable since, by uniting the past and the present, our direct experience tells us that nothing about this has changed in the human condition. Today, climate change and environmental injustice only add to mistrust, fear, and suffering.
A basic principle of the science of physics informs us that the engine of the universe is energy. The body and the human experience are energetic instruments. The accumulation of unprocessed emotions blocks the flow of energy in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual human body. Eventually the energy finds escape and we find ourselves being aggressors, victims, and perpetuators of the various forms of trauma.
Trauma is the accumulation of unprocessed emotions that reside in the heart. Its perpetuation is caused by the content of the conditioned mind that interprets everything through false concepts. An example is the belief in the existence of different human races and our inability to accept what all sciences and direct experience indicate: the concept of the existence of different human races is a social construct. All of us are carriers of trauma. Trauma is the root of violence.
Since ancient times we have known that the heart is our emotional center. That is where the real blockage takes place and where unprocessed emotions accumulate.
The cure is to unblock the flow of energy by releasing the emotions that weigh down the heart. This is an individual task that must be supported by the collective.
One way to do this is for fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, corporate and political leaders, media professionals, doctors, counselors, therapists, healers, at home and publicly, to share with their children that they have come to understand that they are right in their assessment of the world and that they also sometimes feel depressed, anxious, lonely, and suicidal.
We must then be an example by identifying and letting go of problematic emotions by understanding that the painful memory is just that, a memory of pain and not the pain itself.
There are individuals who can do this work on their own, with family and friends and in the company of nature. Others need professional assistance. Whatever the choice, to minimize the perpetuation of trauma, we must ensure that those who help the process are or have done this kind of work with themselves.
Trauma healing helps restore the flow of energy and with it the connection between our intuitive and rational nature. And it is precisely within this connection that we can find the strength, trust and compassion towards ourselves, others and the planet and the peace and harmony that our soul desires.
With a fluid mind we can expand our ability to discern from so much information that we receive what sounds true and apply our knowledge and skills to make sense of the world again, enjoy life and find solutions to the big problems we have.
A DNA study can help us untangle our ancestral lineage and connection to world history, and the science of epigenetics can educate us about the effects that historical, cultural, and intergenerational trauma can have on our genetic makeup.
Finally, trauma healing can help us see that what makes the difference between peace and anxiety is understanding that we are not concerned about what happens to us, but about how we choose to respond to what happens to us.
These feasible steps can help us restore our vision of the present, update our narratives, live a better life, and leave a better world for our children.
[i] ABC News - More than 11,500 people killed in gun violence so far in 2023. Kiara Alfonseca. April 10, 2023 [ii] Pew Charitable Trusts The risk of youth suicide increased in the last decade. Farzana Akkas. March 3, 2023
(c) Aura Camacho-Maas. All Rights Reserved. April 28, 2023.