Collaboration with Koret Munguldar, psychotherapist and meditation teacher. Here are her observations about resolving trauma in our lives:
"We may often feel like we need to get through things alone. We may struggle deeply, but still don’t consider asking for any kind of help from a loved one, a therapist, a neighbor or even a stranger.
Subconsciously, sometimes we believe that if we ask for help, others will not be there to support us. This is especially true if you consider yourself as someone "independent" and "strong," who can "can get through any difficulty." This mindset makes it very difficult to be vulnerable and reach out for support.
Our early experiences really shape what being held by other means to us. If your childhood memories are mostly about you managing things alone, then it can be very difficult to trust others for help later in life. If in our childhood home was not safe for us at our most vulnerable time, then later in life, we may have difficulty saying, "Can you help me?"
And this experience is not just impacted by our early relationship with our parents, but is also deeply cultural. Many of us are working in "hustle cultures," where being strong, pushing feelings aside to get things done, and competition are promoted. Even from the earliest age, starting with schooling, competition over cooperation is embedded into our identities.
Yet, we are wired for cooperation and we need each other.
As we become aware of our early experiences, we get an opportunity to practice a different way of relating to others. Your childhood self may still be hesitant to reach out, but here you are. As an adult, you can remind your inner child that it is now safe to get help.
I invite you to reflect on:
What does asking for help mean to you?
What are your memories of getting support?
Did you have people around you whom you could trust?
Let's rewrite what strength means, and remember that sharing our difficulties is brave.