Identifying the Central Trauma

1905 dining room in sepia tones from the Smithsonian Libraries.
A cramped-looking 1905 dining room image from the Smithsonian Libraries reminds me of the “feel” of my central trauma.

The central trauma for me has been uncovered recently as a very small number–a core–of basic beliefs about how the world truly has to be.

I’ve done work and reading before on identifying and unlocking the central trauma, but I never understood so clearly what I was looking for.

The central trauma doesn’t look like trauma–at all. It doesn’t look or feel like pain at all. It doesn’t hurt at all. (Anymore.)

It looks like me. It feels like me, or like the air or room around me. It looks and feels perfectly normal.

The central trauma is like gravity, it’s the law.

The central trauma feels like safety—it’s the four walls around me.

The central trauma is the type of air I breathe. If I think of breathing without it, the air almost hurts, like pure oxygen.

The central trauma is the way I know the world has to be and is.

It’s the bricks in the wall. It’s what holds the floor down, the walls in place, the ceiling up above my head.

It’s how fast I can move, how deep I can breathe, how other people do and will treat me, how I look, smell, feel, and how I treat other people.

It’s what I can expect.

It’s the limits on what I can expect.

Much of the time, it feels spacious and kind. Sometimes not. But it’s always an expectation, a limitation, a defining of me and the other and the space and what is.

The central trauma is a invisible ceiling above which I cannot stand or push. It’s a floor below which I can’t send down roots.

It looks like a room or even a house or a palace I can’t break out of.

It may look spacious, but if I can’t leave and go somewhere else, I’m not home.

I am so relieved to have found out that what I thought was reality is really not. My life is bigger, my world is bigger, my being has more space. The rules are completely different from what I thought. In fact, I would say:  my real home feels like pure light. Safe and free at the same time. I also see that I am pure light. So are you. That’s how I see you.


About the author: Beth

Beth Raps is a healer, money coach, philosopher, Beloved Community organizer, fundraiser, mother, and French translator. She's founding coach and consultant of RAISING CLARITY: peaceful, ethical money management and nonprofit fundraising. You can find that at But that's just not enough. There's more healing she has to offer, and right here on is where you'll find it. Unless you are looking for writing, editing, French translation, or writing coaching, and then try:

2 comments to “Identifying the Central Trauma”

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  1. Laurie Harrington - October 8, 2018 at 9:09 am Reply


  2. Darryl Burks - October 8, 2018 at 3:18 pm Reply

    This makes perfect sense,so clear. This belief is just what I have come to accept as “the way things are”. So is this the same as a core belief ? Or is this more along the lines of identifying the central event or events that created that belief ?

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