So, childhood trauma….

When you have a trauma, it is later, when you can overcome it, that you can relate to other people with similar circumstances.   After you have dealt with your situation, then, it is easier to have empathy and compassion towards others. Right? 

Childhood trauma is just an example of something from the past. We give it weight to avoid confronting ourselves. This is the point we need to understand. In this case, we can use childhood trauma as an example.

I, myself, used to do that for a long time.  I would give my trauma weight instead of using it to confront myself.  It was like, ‘Oh, I had this trauma. I had this, this, and this.  This happened to me. So, now, I cannot be a normal person. I cannot be part of society because I have such and such.”

Do you understand? I believed it. With this belief, I kind of clipped my wings.

I hope you can see what I am saying.   I limited myself because I was putting myself down by believing that I could not move forward as a normal human being… I thought I could not be functional… let us say.  So, it took me a long time to be able to… change that perspective of myself.

How was I able to slowly overcome a lot of trauma? The first step was to have a chat with myself. I would say, ‘OK.  If something bad happened, something like that happened to you, how do you transform that’? 

So, number one, you use it as a tool.  You use it as a means. You use it as something to help others… Do you see?  If you can overcome it, then, you can help others to overcome similar situations.  So, already, that way, you are giving it a positive spin… You are assigning a positive weight to it. Right?

The second way of transforming this trauma is through understanding.  It is like… most of the time this trauma happened when you were a kid. Kids are innocent. So, when something like that happens to a child, it would probably be a trauma that is being passed from one generation to another. In other words, it is something the adults have not been able to overcome.  So, since they have not dealt with that trauma, themselves, they pass it on to their children unwittingly. They pass it to the next generation. So, when you can see this with understanding, now, at least you learn from it… Through understanding this process, you do not need to carry the trauma, anymore.  You can stop it.  Do you see? 

If you use it as a weight, you cannot learn from it. It is not a lesson anymore; it is a weight.  If you use it as a lesson, then the weight disappears. It is something that is going to help you move forward even better.

It is like… having better equipment to move forward. So, that is about perception. That is about how you use things that come to you in life to be able to transform them into what you need at that moment to help others. That is the motivation.  So, then, you can neutralize and transform them.

I think that is something that we must do every day. It is a process.

For me, it has been 18 years of therapy that I am doing with myself. I still have at least ten more years probably, or more. I do not know.

At least I am getting somewhere. Do you understand?

If I look forward, I can get desperate saying… ‘Wow, there is so much for me to do… I am so far away…from reaching any kind of… mental state where I feel functional, part of society, and sane in the head.’

Then, when I look back, I say, ‘Ok, at least I got here’. ‘I got to this point.’  So, that helps me a lot to keep moving forward, you see.

The thing is… everybody has their issues. We cannot compare…. one person to another because we are all different. You must understand this. We are all unique. We have different perspectives. So, that is the thing… 

Empathy is about relating to everybody starting with yourself.  So, the more you cultivate these inner values, the happier person we are each going to be.

The more we try to achieve the outer values like materialism, information, control, profit, self-interest, social approval, and power…it is not going to satisfy our needs because we are light beings. Our inner nature is of pure love. We are pure, pure form. That is our frequency.  The values… the true values are inside of us. 

There are many values like that. I mean, you can think about many I am sure, right?  Let us see… What values do we have inside? 

Love. Purity. Kindness. Humility. Joy. Presence.  Equanimity. Truth. Caring. Trust. Community. Family. Wisdom. Patience and many more, right?

There is so much to us.  These are the things that you can carry to your next life.  Nobody can steal these values from you. Nobody can take them from you.

When you share them, it all multiplies. How awesome is that?  Ridiculously awesome and you can take them to your next life!!

Ok, so thank you! Please, keep confronting yourself.  Please, keep trying but be gentle. Do not freak out looking at how far you must go.  Feel satisfied at how far you have come.  Then, keep moving in a forward direction. Thank you! 


  1. Andy Wistreich

    Being open like this requires great courage, more than any external warrior. To open to your own vulnerability, and the experience of childhood powerlessness. It’s inner wisdom working on memories of old pain, that brings healing. And then from that, compassion springs maybe spontaneously, just through noticing that others have similar pains. And then to have the power of direct clear expression to tell others about it, requires a further skill. You are heroic! Thank you on behalf of everyone you help.

    • Rosalyn Williams

      Dear Andy
      I disagree with your perspective even though it is very broad based.
      I am not saying it doesn’t play a part but in some or all instances when experiencing suffering you learn more about what it means to others to have that type of suffering and if you choose your birth to live in a situation that needs changing and want to know how and then use yourself as fodder then you will see how it works and why. I cannot see lamas going into those situations blindly for instance in Chinese concentration camps merely as a captive.

  2. Rosalyn Williams

    Dear Lama Osel
    I liked this post so much . Especially when you asked what values do we have inside and I thought yes yes I /we do have those values but I never thought to look for them. To make them more real. But I am more up tight if make a thoughtless remark.
    Of course when my parents died I did the right things but then forgot them.
    Now I include them in my Vajrasattva practise whereas before it was more generalised. I find myself telling my father to sit down as he keeps getting up ! In some sense it is funny. My mother is so gentle and peaceful and sits quietly.
    What to do -it’s a bit beyond me you just keep going and slowly some changes.
    But I did so like you bringing up the subject of trauma!

  3. Pema Sarah Cash

    Thank you for raising this subject, dear Osel. Not many ever do and especially in conjunction with the dharma.

    It is only now that I have finally found a way to deal with trauma from babyhood. I was embarrassed about it. As if it was not “dharma” to still have this after decades of practice! Actually, approaching this is what is essential to coming clearly to the present. It was a big blockage for me.

    Now, I look at the positive things about my abusers and they are many. This automatically made the negative side of them drop and allowed me to see my own positive attributes as well.

    Thank you again, dear Osel. I pray you will continue with this.

    Much love
    Pema Pauline ♥️

  4. Linda Diggins

    Thank you Osel for the wise words and encouragement. Pure form. Pure love. It’s also helpful to see how far i have come and rejoice in that. So glad to have finally connected 🙏🏻😊

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