Do Not Waste Your Suffering

My therapist sent me a link to a video of Dr. Eduardo Duran on “Healing the Soul Wound.” He is speaking to Native Americans who are part of a Family Service organization working to help their people heal from the wounds of colonialism. Part of this means helping people educated in western methods to gain an understanding of indigenous, especially shamanic, methods for working with soul wounds.  “Soul wound” is the indigenous understanding of trauma.  He quotes a shaman who told him “Do not waste your suffering.”  I found this incredibly helpful.  It validated all the work I’ve done to heal my trauma.  Even though I continue to struggle with terror, despair, and utter blankness, I know that I have used my suffering to learn, and to transform.  It is also possible that I’m working on unhealed trauma suffered by my parents and grandparents, and maybe even Scottish ancestors who were driven out during the Clearances.  I know, without a doubt, that I have not wasted my suffering.

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