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Trauma & Gratitude Around the Holidays


Laura Mouriño, N.D.

Thanksgiving for many of us is right around the corner, which is traditionally considered a time for celebrating with family over a meal and to express gratitude for the people and things we have in our lives. On the contrary, for many folks this time of year can bring up much familial tension, resentment, and past trauma of all kinds. 

As humans, we are complex beings who are a collective of experiences both our own and those of our ancestors. Humans perceive life events on a vibrational plane first, that is then translated by our nervous system into emotional and physical sensations. An example would be “the elephant in the room” scenario, where tension is felt in the air which can create a physical sensation such as a heart flutter or makes people feel emotional unease. 

Physical and emotional trauma, especially when experienced as a child, significantly impacts the entirety of a person’s life. This is referred to as Adverse Childhood Event (ACE), which is associated with a greater risk of disease in adulthood. Trauma can also disrupt emotional development and maturation which then, depending on when a trauma was experienced,  may cause a child to get “stuck” in a response pattern until their nervous system is reset back to a safe baseline. 

One such experience, all too common in many families especially those of African, Asian, and Indigenous descent, is of war and genocide and the subsequent traumas imprinted on those primary witnesses that is then often unconsciously and unintentionally passed to their children and future generations. Unfortunately, my family is no exception to this experience as my great grandparents experienced the turmoil of life under a dictator. These “stuck” unconscious behavioral patterns and actions, stemming from fear and survival during hardship, were then passed on as verbal and physical abuse. It was only through months and years of fervent prayer, inner reflections, and later appropriate homeopathic remedies from the OM and MBTB Programs for myself and my immediate family that a conscious effort to release resentment and forgive those before us and ourselves was facilitated and a new perspective of gratitude for the goodness in our lives was discovered. As an additional blessing, these shifts have directly and indirectly encouraged the reconciliation of my extended family as well. 

There are innumerable ways that a person can reset these stuck behavioral patterns, including but not limited to fasting, prayer/mediation, gratitude journaling, emotional work with a trained practitioner, and homeopathy. We often suggest our corrective healing programs, the Optimal Maturation (OM) Program and the Mind Body Temperament Balancing (MBTB) Program to support shifting trauma.

Both the OM and MBTB programs are formulated to help the physical body and mind safely process past traumatic experiences that created the initial suboptimal pattern, offering the opportunity to fully resolve the initial experience be it fear, anger, betrayal, exploit, abuse, neglect, etc. The end results vary from emotional releases such as less anxiety or physical changes like improved sleep; however, these shifts all come from the capacity of love to stay present giving non-judgmental, open-hearted attention to what’s within, softening the resistance to a person or situation that is difficult to forgive, and lessening the reactivity that comes from fear. 1 This sacred space provides fertile ground for the ability to forgive or to extend love to a situation/person in lieu of vengeance and to cultivate an awareness of the goodness in the world that we can all enjoy, a gift known as gratitude. 1, 2 

The holiday season is an important reminder for anyone looking for profound healing to start where they can to nurture consistent and regular habits to promote emotional well-being. Additionally, it is beneficial to seek support in order to be accountable to oneself and be guided through the journey in order to cultivate forgiveness for themself and gratitude in their life.