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Historical Trauma

Lesson 3: Personal Traps

Goal:

  • Recognizing personal traps
  • Relationship to affects of wellness

Activity:

  • Read the following material
  • Do activity

A Personal journey is about looking from within, searching for emotional events that may contribute to our emotional reactions when we experience situations that cause us to engage in unhealthy behaviors, do things that make us appear to feel better for a short period of time.  Most times try to avoid bad memories so we don’t have to deal with the pains or hurts, so it’s important that we stop letting those bad memories control our emotions.

What are personal traps?

Personal traps can be emotional, mental, or physical, or a combination.  Sometimes we live in a chronic state of stress so long that we don’t realize we are in personal traps like high anxiety, stress, or depression and so we develop unhealthy habits in order to cope with these conditions.

Why is important to recognize personal traps?

Like the social trap where a group of people exploit resources or gain short term satisfaction from a behavior that is detrimental to the group or another group, an individual trap is similar but it involves one person.  Their behavior usually involves a habit that brings immediate satisfaction, referred as short-term reinforces, that lead to long term loss or damage to self by practicing or participating in unhealthy behaviors, the unhealthy outcomes also impacts immediate family members, friends, and even employment.

Examples of individual traps:

  • Habitual tobacco smoking leads to lung cancer
  • Daily alcohol use leading to cirrhosis of the liver
  • Addictive drug use can lead to loss of health and contracting disease
  • Eating foods with high sugar content can lead to obesity and diabetes

Why do we seek out these short term reinforces?

When we neglect ourselves by not taking a personal journey into our hearts to try and find those hurtful memories that are hidden and find healthy ways to resolve our feelings about the hurtful memories, we turn to things that make us feel good for short periods of time.  Before we know it we have created an unhealthy habit and sometimes feel as though we cannot change or stop what we’re doing.  Yes, not everyone will want to change but it is possible, if you are this far in the lessons and using the other available lessons within this website, you are taking control of your health and wellness.

In our cultures today we have learned to use foods and unhealthy substances to give us immediate relief from pain whether it be emotional, mental or physical, there’s drugs, alcohol and foods that create a physiological response that makes us feel good for a short period of time.

How do I recognize these traps?

There are many types of feelings that can be identified as reasons for making us feel trapped, here are a few examples of emotional traps.

Resentment is holding onto anger and not allowing ourselves to move past mistreatments in the past. We allow ourselves to continue to be “victims” of the mistreatments that have scarred our spirits.

Solution:  Let go! Life is not fair and people do not always behave well or kindly. Use your trauma to make you wise, kind, gentle, and strong. Holding anger will not work.

Guilt makes us feel as though we have hurt, failed, or sinned and need to be punished.  Guilt can be an illusion or sometimes we do have behaviors that hurt people we love and have not taken responsibility for our actions. Guilt:

Solution:  If we have transgressed, we must make restitution, ask forgiveness, learn from our error and move on. If it is false guilt, set it down as an unnecessary and irrational burden.

Shame has us believing we are worth-less, we have flaws that keep us from connecting with others.  It is not that we have done something wrong (guilt), but that we are bad or wrong.   If we have done harm to others and not asked to be forgiven or taken responsibility for some wrong doing than we do feel shame.

Solution: Clear, rational thinking. Everyone has behaved badly, but no one was created badly! Any flaws only serve to make you stronger, more heroic or more compassionate toward others.

Loneliness is when we allow ourselves to believe that no one loves us, cares about us, and we must desperately cling to anyone who finds us attractive or acceptable. This creates dependency, not intimacy.

Solution: Accurate Self-Assessment. Not everyone will love you, but many people will if they meet you, get to know you, and spend time working/playing along side you.

Self Doubt

Self-Doubt is the repeated, endless questioning of your own abilities, opinions or actions.  It is an inability to take a stand, to act boldly, or to follow-through.

Solution: Action! Think clearly, then, take action and follow-through. Start small, but do it! You are the world’s expert on your life! Use your wisdom to live well

Remember these are a few examples of which we can start to change how we feel about ourselves.  When we begin take control of our feelings and find ways to change we can heal from inside and this helps us towards a more balanced life.

To find out more about personal traps

The Positivity blog – http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2009/03/10/three-sneaky-traps-of-personal-development/

A Content Life – http://www.acontentlife.com/2009/06/8-thinking-traps/

Activity

Personal Traps

Match the solutions on the right side to the feelings on the left.
Place the correct letter in the blank space below the feelings.

Feeligs Solutions
Self doubt A: Let go! Life is not fair and people do not always behave well or kindly. Use your trauma to make you wise, kind, gentle, and strong. Holding anger will not work.
Lonliness B: Clear, rational thinking. Everyone has behaved badly, but no one was created badly! Any flaws only serve to make you stronger, more heroic or more compassionate toward
Resentment C: Accurate Self-Assessment. Not everyone will love you, but many people will if they meet you, get to know you, and spend time working/playing alongside you.
Shame D: If we have transgressed, we must make restitution, ask forgiveness, learn from our error and move on. If it is false guilt, set it down as an unnecessary and irrational burden.
Guilt E: Let go! Life is not fair and people do not always behave well or kindly. Use your trauma to make you wise, kind, gentle, and strong. Holding anger will not work.
Answers: e, c, a, b, d