Let’s take this day to make a call to deal with old, deep seated wounds that are hard to heal. These scars are difficult to forget but we need to find a way to address them in order to be at peace with ourselves and others.
1. Psychotherapy can help identify past
trauma. Identifying why you feel the way you do is the first
step in healing.
2. Grief requires dealing with your emotions;
warts and all. You accept that you were traumatized; you may
even forgive. But, you become determined not to let those wound ruin your life today.
3. Identify your triggers.
Everyone who's been traumatized has triggers and responses. Get to know yours.
4. The Trigger-Response recreates the
past. When you run, freeze or attack, you end up recreating and
therefore, re-enforcing the past. You freeze and people think you are cold and
stonewalling. If you run, nothing will last. And, if you rage in response to
being triggered, you are doing what was done to you. People will
withdraw or be injured; not a good outcome.
5. Good therapy also helps you to
rediscover your strengths. We are not just damaged creatures,
but also living beings with power and talents. Many people discover strength
they never knew they had in treatment. This, in turn, gives you more motivation to overcome the trauma that you feel. With competent
psychotherapy you may be able to gain the strength to deal with being
triggered, without harming others – or yourself. Happiness is that
6. Alternative treatments like EMDR,
Somatic Experiencing and DBT may help as well. These treatments
help with muting the triggers that are neurologically embedded in your brain.
Remember that the fight, flight and freeze response has an evolutionary
purpose. It protects the organism from dangerous situations. You may need
specialized expertise to overcome this programming.
7. Often trauma is found alongside other
psychiatric disorders like
Anxiety or Depression.
An intelligent use of psychiatric medications can reduce the trigger-response
effect and give you an opportunity to create a future response that is not
dictated by your past.
8. Spirituality can be
invaluable. No one can tell you HOW to be spiritual, but for
many, some form of faith can truly detoxify. (As long as you
are not in a faith that makes you more anxious and burdened.) People may have
hurt you, but a new life is yours for the taking. Look up at the stars. Smell the fresh air. Sense the opportunity
in every moment. And, know that you are part of something larger than you. It settles the soul.
BEHIND THE DAY OF RECONCILIATION
16 December is a
day of great significant in South Africa due to two historical events that took
place. The first of these was in 1838, when the Battle of Blood River took place between the Voortrekkers and
the Zulus. The Voortrekkers, having moved into the interior of South Africa
during the Great Trek, were eager to settle on land. The region that they
intended to settle on was already inhabited by the Zulu
people. Thus the Voortrekker leader, Piet Retief
was eager to negotiate with the Zulu chief Dingane.
Having misunderstood Retief's intentions, Dingane planned an ambush and
murdered Retief and his party of 100 people. This act culminated in the Battle
of Blood River, in which 470 Voortrekkers, having the advantage of gunpowder,
defeated the 10 000 strong Zulu army. This Voortrekker victory was commemorated
since then as the Day of
historical event that took place on 16 December was in 1961, when Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) was formed. This was the military wing
of the African National Congress (ANC), which was launched to wage an
armed struggle against the apartheid government. Prior to its formation, the ANC had
largely approached the fight against apartheid through passive resistance, but after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, where peaceful protestors were
indiscriminately shot by police, passive resistance was no longer seen as an
effective approach in bringing apartheid to an end. MK mostly performed acts of
sabotage, but its effectiveness was hampered by organizational problems and the
arrest of its leaders in 1963. Despite this, its formation was commemorated
every year since 1961.
first non-racial and democratic government was tasked with promoting
reconciliation and national unity. One way in which it aimed to do this
symbolically was to acknowledge the significance of the 16 December in both the
Afrikaner and liberation struggle traditions and to rename this day as the Day
of Reconciliation. On 16 December 1995, the Day of Reconciliation was celebrated
as a public holiday in South Africa for the first time.