Champion the Underdog

I’ve been wondering why posts on activism, and work like Elisabet Sahtouris’ is important to someone suffering from PTSD.  Kathy Weingarten wrote that children raised in a “good enough” environment grow up with three assumptions:  the Universe is Benevolent, Life is Meaningful, the Self is Worthy.  Trauma breaks this basic safety, suddenly the Universe is Malevolent, Life is Meaningless, the Self is Not Worthy.  For me, that basic safety was destroyed early.  I grew up in a world I couldn’t trust — except for school — so I never bought the conventional worldview: that America is the land of opportunity, that if you work hard you can make it to the top, that if you’re poor it means you’re lazy.  I was always a champion of the underdog.  I experienced myself as an “underdog”, as a cripple, as an inadequate person, even though I was one of the brightest in the class.  The only positive feedback I got was from my teachers in the form of grades.  So I developed my intellect, not my emotions — which tended to be painful and seemed radically out of control — and not my creative talent, which I didn’t know I had.  My sense of oppression (“Don’t think you’re so great”) and exploitation (“You can take care of the kids while we’re gone”) made me sympathize with the poor and downtrodden where ever they were.  I had gained a healthy respect for “primitive” people after I saw the dolmen under Knocknarae and explored the astronomical alignments of Stonehenge.  Finally, working with Somatic Experiencing changed my experience of my own body from seeing it as troublesome and sabotaging things I wanted to do, to experiencing it as a source of healing and wisdom.  If my body’s own wisdom, when I allowed it to speak, was far wiser than my neocortex, then surely the wisdom of Nature, and of the indigenous people, is far wiser than that of the scientists in their laboratories.

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