Our February meeting focused on healing the wounds and moving forward. Rick Griffin spoke about the importance of listening and validating the experience behind the stress and trauma. Many ACEs and resilience informed professionals are in agreement with Rick: we can’t expect people to move from a life of stress and trauma into a new paradigm of resilience if their source of pain has not been validated first. Regardless of the famous quote by Epictetus that we should listen twice as much as we speak, I’ve been learning that if we speak at all from traditional understandings, before learning about the new trauma informed language, we may well be trying to solve problems from the same paradigm that created the problems.
Rick also spoke about cognitive dissonance and if I understand Rick correctly, even though we often feel that our outer circumstances are the cause of our problems what’s really happening is that we are sabotaging ourselves because we have two opposing thoughts that present a struggle in our minds. For example: feeling that life should be a certain way and yet having unresolved past experiences can be paralyzing. Unresolved memories of stress and trauma can dampen cognitive abilities and cancel out desires for a better life. Without awareness and self-regulating skills, there seems to be some invisible resistance that keeps us from having the life we really want.
Children’s Resilience Initiative is focused on the concept of “My Piece Matters”. Our January meeting initiated a new direction regarding an institutionalization of educational material into a certification structure. CRI is developing a program that takes resilience to a new level and we are making it easy for everyone to join us.