In the days following up to the transition of winter to spring here in New York city, the day of the spring equinox and I find myself hearing my internal dialogue operating at a million. I’m not good enough and do you love me played over and over again? I was stalking myself as I looked for evidence in all the faces, all the looks, and all the conversations I was having that I don’ t belong, that there is something wrong with me. I found myself looking back for the validation of old relationships lost and hearts broken. Questioning why, those people are not here. My little girl is yearning for love and looking for it in all the wrong places. Its like a drug these fucking negative thoughts, to detox from them is to hold myself very still and just go through the motions, the tears, the fear. Undoing them moment to moment, not getting caught up, not picking up the phone, not texting, not looking back, not entertaining the possibility of being worthless. So, I sat my little girl down and said Listen little girl, we are not doing this shit this spring. We are whole perfect and complete. We are loved and well those not here today with us its there loss cause we turned out to be fantabulous!
Injustice is created by people, Justice is created by people! Trauma happens in community, healing happens in community! People create this world and if they don’t know or have never seen this world be anything different then they will recreate it even when it no longer exists. From historical violence, legendary & inter-generational trauma passed down we walk both in the past of girls and women’s resiliency and past incomplete hurt and pain.
Trauma leads lives, movements, creates families, and organizations and we are at the forefront of it all. The illusion of control and the superwomen syndrome we carry to ensure that not one more women, not one more girl , breeds a cycle of violence some of us don’t know how to get out of. Women all over the world are surviving crimes against humanity, rape, war, sexual harassment and assault, domestic violence, torture, intimate partner violence, relationship abuse, incest, child sexual abuse, molestation, murder and poverty. Those of us who get to see another day no matter what we have witnessed, survived or experienced not only wake up every day with gratitude but some of us are angry, resentful ,sad, hopeless and often time feel powerless in the mist of it all and rightfully so. Those of us that get to see another day continue to live and create families and work to put food on the table. But how many of us have had the time to look back and heal. Really look back and face our little girls, still sitting under the bed or in the back yard or standing in the road. How many of us have gone back to tell her that you turned out to be extraordinary, that it is safe and you can now protect her.
Many of us still don’t think we can protect ourselves. We come face to face with violence everyday. Layers and layers of trauma make up our hard skin and faith supports us to do live anyway. Yet, organizations today are brining in health and wellness, yoga , acupuncture, going outside to walk etc. And while this is great we still are not managing trauma when it shows up. We still do not have accountability systems or healing systems in place to hold everyone 100% responsible for showing up with trauma’s best friend the ego.
If you are this powerful with all these stories, imagine how powerful you would be if you got complete? Imagine if you could lead your life from your whole, perfect, complete, loving , generous, magical heart and not from the incomplete past.
Do you know who you work with? Do you know the story of the person who sits next to you? Do you know what they go through at home? Where they come to work from? Do you know what past haunts them? Have you ever asked what happened?
Most of all will answer know, its that persons personal business. But is it. Does that person’s personal business really have no impact on me? How personal is someone’s business when it is impacting everyone around them? When they wear it on their sleeves or they communicate it with it or they show up immersed in it such that they become unapproachable? Or maybe they are just tired and the energy has run out, its in their skin, in their body and you feel it when you walk by or sit next to them. Maybe they are the loudest in the group, taking up space and always challenging and making everyone wrong? Maybe they are the invisible one or the one that is always running late or taking days off or the one that is always there and never goes home?
Organizational trauma is not something that you can fix with a strategic plan or a staff retreat or even implementing health and wellness classes. Organizational trauma is created by the people who work in the organization. When trauma has no where to be processed it goes to work, to school, and home and back again. You take yourself everywhere you go.
There is a difference between sudden loss of funds, or staff, someone dies, or something happens in the community you work with and the trauma that the people you work with come to the organization with day in and day out. What is the same is the way that everyone manages moments, deal with each other and get triggered and play out internalized oppression with each other.
Personal trauma breeds organizational trauma that results in power over, codependent supervisor, staff , and co-worker relationships, and produces damaging effects that seem almost impossible to undo, closing down and interpersonal violence. Within a small amount of time without any tools, peoples health deteriorate, the sustainability of the organization and its people is compromised, there is burnout and dis-ease. The person who once came in eager is not participating anymore. The team is dispersed and gossip is taking over the organization cause there is no safe space for people to show up in truth.
What if I told you this doesn’t need to happen and there is a way to prepare for it and manage it effectively? The spring provides organizations and the people who work in them the opportunity to transform their way of being! This spring provides you with the opportunity to lead with your heart. Remember with everything going on we sometimes forget our purpose or why we started social justice and our work to end violence in humanity and women lives. Trauma in early childhood has such a profound impact on young women that it follows her well into adulthood without her knowing. With no safe spaces for healing young women become drug addicts, self mutilate, have unsafe sex, are in unhealthy relationships and turn to food for emotional support. A once loving and happy little girl is now fighting to save her life. Honoring the earth traditions of our ancestors, every spring, young and adult women get to give birth to themselves all over again. Women of all ages have the opportunity to let go of trauma from child sexual abuse, abandonment, adoption, foster care, regrets, and self blame from a child hood they had no control over and reclaim self love & inner beauty lost to broken hearts during infancy.
Love is a basic human right that we are all born to give unconditionally. Unfortunately, capitalism makes us choose power over love. The not for profit industrial complex makes us choose power and numbers over love and humanity. It violates our human right to love and be loved. All forms of child abuse are consequence of living in an unjust world whose strategically uses love to both reward and punish people. Poverty breeds unhealthy love amongst people through the many forms of interpersonal violence that develops as the impact of trauma. The more our political leaders embody war and violence in the name of love and safety it becomes imperative for us to embody love and humanity for ourselves and that is SELF LOVE in violence.
Happy B-earth-day to all the follower and readers of In BOLD Rebirth. If you think you are in a cycle of violence in your organization, if you take a step back and wonder how did you get here? Then do a quick self evaluation, a quick environmental scan of your work and your co-workers and create a space to heal from trauma. Do something special for yourself today, even if its just telling yourself 10 times today that you deserve love, happiness and joy. You deserve to have it all!
In BOLD Rebirth and Deliciously in love with myself and all of you.
For more information about Organizational Trauma or the Spring Season click on the Emagazine below