Knowing what you face is half the battle. Inform yourself.

The 3 Types of Trauma (& How we can Find Light in the Darkness)

Rajan Shankara
Dec 29, 2019 · 6 min read

There is a unifying and often unrecognized feature within all of life: all humans go through trauma, burden, challenge, and pain.

You’ve gone through pain, I’ve gone through pain, and anyone else yet to come will go through some kind of burden that weighs heavy on their shoulders, and deep down it will try to manifest itself in their life.

Genetic Trauma

Genetic trauma refers to what we think we are born with. Somehow in our lineage, there was a gene passed down that comes through as a trait characteristic, and, by God, it changes how the hell we react to smokers. Or the classic, “I’m just an angry person, my father had it, and his father…all the way down the Jones pipeline.”

Psychic Trauma

Psychic trauma means that which came from our parents. Mom, dad, uncle, and everyone else who helped raise us also hurt us badly. This is where trauma gets tragic, because, unlike genetic trauma, we can remember the hurt and pain. Those memories are real, maybe recent, and the emotion truly changes the way we act and react to our daily surroundings.

Environmental Trauma

Society tends to play a role in our development, whether we like it or not. Our teachers, fellow students, friends, coaches, TV shows — all of it gets packed into environmental trauma, and some of it can be quite influential.

Determine versus Influence

The one factor that helps relieve each of the three types of trauma is the choice of words we use to describe them. No one doubts that these painful situations exist and influence our future — but do they determine us? Does our past actually solidify our future, making us in the exact image of our father?

Slaying the Dragon of Chaos with Fire

The most painful solution to our trauma is to reveal it to the world of light. When a memory sits inside of us and remains hidden and dark, we cannot do much with it, and it forever remains out of our reach. But when we act as the hero of our lives, reveal the experience to our current mind, and dare to stare it in the face without fear of death, we can conquer, we can slay, and we can begin to understand that those painful memories don’t determine our character so long as we don’t allow it to.

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Rajan Shankara

Written by

Former monk of 12 years. Human performance specialist. Rajanshankara.com

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +788K followers.

Rajan Shankara

Written by

Former monk of 12 years. Human performance specialist. Rajanshankara.com

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +788K followers.

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