Climate has historically felt like something “out there” for many of us, unrelated to our sense of identity and not included in our personal narrative as anything more than a backdrop for the “real story” of our lives. Now that climate is knocking at each of our life’s doors, refusing to remain in the background, many of us are unsure how to respond. We wonder whether we should integrate climate into our life story and sense of self, and if so, how. This article explores how the four F’s of trauma play into our response to climate’s knock and how parts work can help us move past feeling threatened to feeling resourced and empowered.
The focus on productivity is important for certain tasks at certain times, but it’s only one part of a holistic expression of our potential. If we conflate productivity with potential, we lose out on many rich aspects of our full selves, such as joy, rest, play, unstructured exploration and purposeless creativity. Trauma, culture and internalized ideologies can prime us toward a dysfunctional relationship with productivity, and thus with our understanding of our true potential. Jennifer explores these themes and shares resources for change in this article.
I’ve worked hard over the last year to find a sense of optimism and hope regarding the state of the world, especially regarding the climate emergency. I have found it is essential to diligently work through grief, despair, and paralysis. But for some of us, we are processing much more than just the state of the world: in facing the climate emergency, we are also facing our childhood trauma head on. How can we heal and find our unique voice and contribution to the collective? What role does compassion play passion play in the process of transmuting our grief and pain into committed action?
The intersection of trauma and giftedness is not a fun topic to explore. But it’s a real one, because there are many gifted adults in the world struggling to heal from their past trauma. I’ve been wanting to write an article on this topic for a long time, but I’ve struggled to do so, ironically, because of my own trauma. If you’re working through trauma, I hope reading my story and healing journey will help you on yours.