Seeing the world through a trauma-informed care lens is much the same. Behavior that before was seen like the “young woman” takes on a different shape and texture, with possible new meanings--much like seeing the “old woman” for the first time. Using the trauma-informed lens, behavior is understood as a language--one that we become curious about. Instead of asking, “Why did you do that?” the trauma-informed lens of inquiry asks “What happened that this behavior is helpful to you?” This is a radical pivot requiring the engaging of the other, not scolding. One approaches with curiosity instead of condemnation.
Such curiosity is challenging for often the face we “see” is one that gives our world definition and a sense of clarity. Desiring to see the face of the other, to literally open oneself to another possibility of meaning, though exciting, can be experienced as destabilizing. We are jarred from our normal sensibilities. We see this in the Gospel repeatedly, when Jesus spends time with those who others “see” as outcasts. Jesus sees them differently. He literally sees a “different face” and the consternation that recognition causes to those around him is palpable. They go off and “plot against him” it says in the Gospel of Mark, completely missing the excitement of a new possibility.
We also can cling to “one face.” When we do, our stance of intolerance creates a small and brittle world. This is not an easy thing, for there are many faces to encounter in our world--a new President of the United States, police shootings, and entrenched arguments with coworkers or violence in our homes. We all “see” something when we look into these situations. The invitation today is to see with inquiry, to lead with curiosity, and to be shaped by the “old woman” of surprise!
*Develop your trauma-informed lens with ICTG Training. Learn more here >