This winter has been so strange. I have lived in the Northeast my entire life, and I am not really sure what to do with a winter without snow. I have had years when we didn’t have a White Christmas, but this was the first year that I wore sandals and the kids played barefoot outside. My son finally had a backyard birthday party in December. But somehow it just doesn’t feel right. It makes me feel very unsettled. I’m not really sure how people live where they can’t plan their lives around the seasons.
It is February and we just got some snow, finally. It was just a few inches, but I was finally able to shovel the driveway. As I moved the small amount of snow around with a shovel, (because it’s not quite enough to bother with the snowblower, and not enough for a snow day), it reminded me of my work with healing trauma.
When you have a huge storm, you have to stop everything and deal with it. You aren’t expected to do anything else. You aren’t expected to keep going with your routine. Friends and family and your community all chip in to help. You are given the time to clean up and repair and maybe hibernate while you focus on the tasks at hand.
When there is a small amount of snow, you need to just find an extra hour here and there to take care of it, but you are still expected to be places on time and continue with your day. It is fine if it is once in a while, you can store up your energy and you are not too far behind on your other tasks. But if this happened every day you would soon fall behind and run out of energy. It reminds me of when people live in constant stress.
“More subtly, one might develop psychosomatic symptoms or stress-related symptoms because of unresolved emotional issues. These are not new discoveries; researchers have studied the mind/body interrelationship for several decades because of the importance of this link.”
“Often, physical pain functions to warn a person that there is still emotional work to be done, and it can also be a sign of unresolved trauma in the nervous system. Even if one has grieved and processed the emotional impact of a trauma, the nervous system might still unwittingly be in survival mode.”
They may not even realize that they are suffering from trauma because they have become accustomed to it, like when it snows a little each day for a long season and you are used to it. And many people are afraid of change because they are not even sure what life would be like, or who they would be without their pain. I’m not sure who I would be if I lived in a place with no winter. Caroline Myss covers this phenomenon in Why We Don’t Heal, explaining all of the energetic patterns and why it can feel safer to stick with what we know.
I remember one year when we got slammed with one storm after another and we were so exhausted, but then we just had to keep going, just keep shoveling. Sometimes our lives are just like that. Tragedies seem to come in threes. But while all that is happening, the routine goes on. Whether there is a storm, or a birth, or a death, or a huge event in your family, you just grab the shovel, keep at it, and then go make sandwiches.
So right now the world is beautifully covered with a glittery blanket and I am loving it.
But I am sure that after a while we will be ready for spring to return again.
And surviving winter just makes it even sweeter when the sun shines, the snow melts, and the flowers bloom again.
If you are ready to explore what change may look like for you if you healed your old wounds or traumas, or if you are interested in learning more about the effects of your past experiences on your physical health and wellness, contact me to schedule a free 15 minute consultation and we’ll talk about how I can best support you.