Is Climate Trauma Wearing You Out?
- Do all the bad news make you feel hopeless?
- Are there moments your earth grief is so huge you fear it will swallow you up?
- Are you ping ponging between frantic actions, defeated collapse and frenzied distractions?
- At times, does the intensity of your rage and despair feel intolerable?
- Are you at a loss of how to live well in this time of escalating turmoil?
These huge eco-emotions are normal responses to the climate crisis. This calamity is an unprecedented event, placing extraordinary psychological pressures on all of us.
To reduce this pressure, numbing, distraction and denial are typical responses. You might distract yourself by binge watching television or scrolling social media. You might numb your pain with addictions like shopping, sex, drugs, over-eating, or over-working.
To relieve some of your mounting stress and despair, you might flip into bouts of intense rage or feelings of hatred.
No matter how hopeless and desperate the situation feels, take heart. Within you there is sufficient strength and wisdom to navigate this calamity.
Many People are Reeling From Eco-Grief.
You are not alone. Many of us are struggling with finding a way to stay balanced during this long emergency.
Humans evolved to be able to respond effectively to short-term challenges. We are not built to cope well with prolonged catastrophic events. As a result, the stress becomes overwhelming and traumatizing.
The climate crisis affects every area of your life— your ideas about yourself, your plans for the future, what you held true about others, your community and the world. It may even make you question your ideas about the divine. As a result, its traumatic impact is huge.
It will trigger and compound all your past unresolved distress—that is how trauma works. It will have you repeat and escalate the response patterns you learned during an earlier ordeal.
For instance, if you felt invisible and unvalued by critical parents as a child, you will struggle with feeling like your voice doesn’t count in the climate emergency.
If you learned to appease your abusers by pleasing them, you may find yourself believing and supporting untrustworthy people again.
If you coped back then by pretending everything was ok, you will likely do so now. If rage and blame was how you kept more vulnerable feelings at bay then, that us how you will tend to respond today.
Especially difficult is the feeling of grief. That is the emotion that’s underneath all other feelings. It is at the core of all trauma. It points to the connection you should have had, the love you should have received, and the care you should have been given.
Because grief encases the deepest hurt, it is the one all of us work the hardest to avoid. Yet, today we are faced with inconceivable loss.
Contrary to what most of us think, avoiding these feelings of sadness can cost you your sense of aliveness, your energy and your resilience. Surprisingly, in learning to be with your sorrow, remarkable capacities can become available to you.
Earth Grief Retreats Can Restore Connection, Courage and Clarity
At the bottom of the chaos of eco-emotions there is deep heartbreak. And, in that sorrow is the key to genuine, go-the-distance strength and wisdom.
We need to let ourselves feel the sadness of the loss of species, the decimation of eco-systems, the destruction of peoples and ways of life, and the warping of civilization.
When we allow ourselves to do this, we will start feeling a deeper love, a richer connection, and a renewed purpose. As Carl Jung said: “embrace your grief, for there your soul will grow”.
However, without adequate support this grief can feel overwhelming. In the eco-trauma workshops you can experience a deep connection with others who are going through similar turmoil as you.
Using the powerful Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of therapy, you will also be shown how to access your internal, unshakeable knowing. This innate clarity and courage can help transform your overwhelming emotions and deepest sorrow.
You can experience not just relief, but deep rejuvenation and renewed purpose.
You Might Still Have Some Questions About Climate Trauma Workshops….
These intensives sound very demanding. What if I haven’t got the stamina?
We all learn best when there is a balance of work and play. The eco-trauma retreats are content rich, but that is offset with plenty of opportunities to hike, kayak or beach comb on gorgeous Pender Island, or relax on the deck, in the hot tub, or by the pond on Long Story Farm.
I don’t like being in groups. Do I really have to come a retreat to heal?
If groups are really uncomfortable for you, individual sessions are also available.
Nonetheless, building community and receiving support from like-minded others are key at this time of crisis. Removing barriers to your innate capacity to be vulnerable and real with others might one of the topics to address in your one-to-one meetings.
I’ve done lots of emotional work to help me cope better. How will this be different?
These eco-grief workshops are focused beyond coping and self-care skills. The aim is to enrich your sense of who you are, and deepening your connection to others, the earth, and the spirit of all things.
The earth needs help now. Won’t an intensive like this be a waste of precious time?
No. These earth-grief retreats can help you connect with your inherent wellspring of energy, perseverance, and confidence. The reinvigoration can prove invaluable in your ongoing efforts.
There Is A Gift in the Despair of Our Times. You Can Uncover It.
If you have more questions about the Climate Grief Retreats or my online therapy practice, please call 250 515 2123, contact me or make a request in the pop-up window for a free 15-minute phone consultation.
If you are actively suicidal, please contact the 24hr BC Suicide Crisis Line:
1800 SUICIDE (1800 784 2433)