As we recover from traumatic experiences, we will come to know and inhabit our inner spaces. Feelings of love will follow. God’s spirit conveys his love. Feelings of love, peace, joy, patience, and kindness, all flow from this divine source (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Be patient with yourself. You are stronger than you think and more powerful than you know. Spiritual learning and emotional healing are incremental; it happens step by step. Even when we feel like God doesn’t hear us, he can guide our path to people and ideas that will resonate with our spirits and bring healing.
Love for neighbor and self can lessen the division we create between “us” and “them.” Our unresolved trauma separates us from those who believe or live differently than we do. It is easy to direct fear and anger toward those who don’t agree with our views. It is harder to consider our emotions and think about why those feelings arise.
The process of becoming trauma-informed can help us to develop compassion. We can overcome personal barriers that prevent us from reaching out to others in loving ways. We will be able to feel and share more of God’s love.
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I wrote this column for the Faith section of our local paper, The Frontiersman, in Palmer, Alaska. It provides a basic introduction to trauma, ACEs, and trauma-informed care. Then connects loving ourselves and others to ideas for developing a trauma-informed faith or congregation.