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Trauma Bytes


Linda Conyard

29 August 2023 | Trauma Bytes

Having a sense of safety can be nearly impossible in a world that sometimes feels like a turbulent ocean. This week's Trauma Bytes explores the profound concept of safety and how understanding it through a trauma-informed lens can transform your healing.

Distinction: This exploration focuses on unresolved trauma and is not relevant if you are still trapped in the trauma. Do what you must to keep yourself safe if you are in an unsafe environment. We are challenging the trauma response that comes when you are actually safe, but your body is responding like you are not.

Safety is more than physical security; it's a cornerstone of emotional well-being. In this edition of Trauma Bytes, we'll explore:
     1. The Safety Paradox;
     2. Safety and Maslow's Hierarchy; and
     3. Tools for Rewiring.

1. The Safety Paradox: Uncover why trauma responses can emerge even in safe environments.

Safety, on the surface, might appear straightforward – a secure environment free from danger. However, for those carrying unresolved trauma, true safety isn't only about external conditions; it's about how the mind interprets those conditions. Trauma responses can distort perceptions, leading the mind to perceive danger where there is none.

Unresolved trauma often manifests as trauma responses in safe spaces. A phenomenon that can be confusing, puzzling, and frustrating. You may even feel like you are going a bit crazy. That is because somewhere within your subconscious, you know your reaction doesn't belong in the present moment.

2. Safety and Maslow's Hierarchy: Discover how safety fits into the layers of human needs and impacts your potential.

Safety is a fundamental human need and takes its place in the foundation of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. It encompasses physical security but also psychological and emotional well-being.

Understanding the safety paradox through Maslow's lens highlights its impact on our holistic well-being. Safety emerges as a prerequisite for higher levels of self-actualization, esteem, and love/belonging. However, trauma responses rooted in past experiences can hinder this upward journey, keeping you trapped in the lower rungs of the hierarchy.

Where do you see yourself on this pyramid?
3. Tools for Rewiring: Learn practical techniques to create a sense of safety within yourself, regardless of external circumstances.

Understanding the safety paradox is key to untangling this intricate web of survival. Trauma responses are rooted in the brain's defense mechanisms, wired to protect us from past threats. However, these responses can be triggered by situations that share even a slight resemblance to the original trauma, creating a false alarm in seemingly safe surroundings.

To break free from this cycle of unresolved trauma hijacking your full potential and allow you to ascend the hierarchy, it's essential to cultivate self-awareness. Recognize your triggers and gently acknowledge their presence without judgement (this is particularly important for healing). Understand and place those reactions where they belong in your past and allow them to assimilate into your lived experiences. In doing so, you empower yourself to differentiate between past and present, allowing yourself to live fully in every moment and move towards self-actualization.

Transformative Alchemy: Inhabit the Body, Liberate the Mind was created to support you in practicing awareness and delving deeper into understanding trauma responses, challenging the validity of the response, nurturing a sense of safety, and moving towards self-actualization.

If our lives are a way for us to Self-Actualize, consider how much time you may spend in the lower rungs of this process. Consider what your life may look like if you were to move into the higher rungs of this pyramid.

As you navigate the delicate terrain of safety, trauma, and human needs, remember that healing is not a linear path and requires a connection between mind, body and spirit. By understanding safety's role in Maslow's pyramid and unresolved trauma responses, you gain the awareness to become the creator (*whale) of your life instead of being an unsuspecting victim (*jellyfish) of your life.

May this week's Trauma Bytes be your lantern in the night, guiding you toward the shores of authentic safety – within and around you.

*The whale and jellyfish analogy is what I use as a way of differentiating between being responsible for your life or letting life's challenges rule you. The whale follows its inner knowing regardless of what the ocean does. While the jellyfish is at the mercy of the ocean without any will of its own. We all need to find our inner whale!

Linda ♡

PS: I put this information out for you, so please don't hesitate to let me know if it's what you need or not. I have a very quick few-minute survey to help me to help you. I would appreciate you filling it out and letting me know your thoughts.

PPS: Transformative Alchemy is an opportunity to practice the kind of things I write about in Trauma Bytes. The bonus is that you get to do this with a group of women who are focused on healing at a deep level. You can join at any time. I’d love to have you join us so you can access support while you go through your change process.

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About The Author - Linda Conyard
Rational Theorist, Visionary, Socialpreneur & Advocate Collective Healing

Linda has a Master of Gestalt Psychotherapy, is a Family Constellations Facilitator, and specializes in Trauma Recovery and Transgenerational Trauma Issues and Collective Trauma. She is very passionate about providing Trauma Sensitivity training to those who want to become more sensitive to trauma while working within any of the health, education, justice, and government systems.

Registered Trademark 2020 Healing Humanity Through Truth® | Copyright 2021~All rights reserved Linda Conyard