Spirituality and Trauma

The oxford dictionary defines trauma as a deeply disturbing or distressing experience; when a person is referred to as having trauma or being traumatic the implication is that they have been through distressing, frightening, or stressful life events or experiences. Most people have had at least one traumatic experience in their lives. There are sources that define trauma as an emotional or psychological response to a single tragic event; however, it is not necessarily so, trauma can be an emotional or psychological response to series of events in a particular period of one’s life.

The thing about trauma is that it can, in a major way, determine the quality and the direction of one’s life. A big traumatic event can have a serious impact on an individual’s life in regards to how they react and approach the different levels and aspects of life. Also, it is due to traumatic experiences that most people turn to religion and spirituality in an effort to heal from the deep emotional and psychological wounds caused by such events.

There is a theory which suggests that the main purpose behind incarnation of the individual soul on earth is to grow through experiences and events, good or bad. Looking at traumatic events from this perspective one might be tempted to say that it is all part of the divine plan, it all serves a greater purpose, which is to help the soul grow and evolve. Come to think of it, a traumatic even can either make or break you depending on how you handle and process it; if you handle it well, the end result is you becoming a better person, thoughtful, compassionate, loving, and, understanding, because you’ve been there and you understand better what another might be going through; it gives you this sympathetic and empathetic understanding of another person’s situation.

The objective behind spirituality and spiritual practices is to draw us nearer to Divine love. And if through traumatic events the spiritual spark within us is ignited, then for those adversely affected by traumatic events and those undergoing trauma can always take a step back and try to look at an event considered tragic from a different angle; from an angle that the event is trying to impart a lesson which would in turn help the individual, rather the soul to grow and evolve.

Another theory which is slightly different from the previous one is that one of the key purposes behind soul incarnation is to shed off negative karma from previous lifetimes, which again, serves more or less the same purpose to help the soul grow. Looking at traumatic experiences from both perspectives, we can conclude that even though some traumatic events are extremely painful the objective behind such events from a bigger picture is to help the affected person grow in character, as well as spiritually, and emotionally, which in essence is a good thing though it might not feel like it at that particular moment.

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