It is that note again.
It is the “open sesame” to my internal trauma reservoir. The note hits and tears pour out of my eye sockets from a mysterious well of sorrow in my lungs.
You might have experienced this too. A certain tune seems to echo in a secret lonely dark hole inside you. You might have put on your little detective’s hat to investigate. More often than not, you came out empty-handed
Trauma memories are rarely stored in a declarative manner, which means that we can seldom use language to “declare” what exactly happened. Instead, they show up in the way we hold our breath, the way our stomachs churn, and the way our blood pulsates around our temples.
Traumatic memories always find a way to catch us off guard.
When we try to think our way through, we inevitably run into walls of defense. These walls were built to shield us from further harm, but in time they lose the original intents. Even when we want to heal the old wounds, our subconscious is running wild in the background like a virus in the computer.
These wounds need not be results of wars or earthquakes or massacres. Seeing parents losing their temper, being shamed by a teacher, or having surgery can all leave deep scars; even a seemingly minute rejection from a loved one in our childhood can scathe our psyche.
It ruptures our trust in people and our purpose in life. We are out of tune with people and the world around us. In a weird way, we refuse to be talked out of our misery in order to uphold the meaning of traumatic life experiences.
Music can bypass the firewall.
When we listen to music, we hum, we nod, we groove. Our core of being thumps to its rhythms. Music synchronizes us and creates a temporary safe haven for reconnection. It mimics that between us and our mothers. We breathe together, move together, and our hearts throb together.
It exists since the beginning of human civilization. Bonfire lit, tribes circled, drumbeats
stomped onto our primal instincts, juiced up by the pumping blood in our shared veins
This is an ancient language of healing. Listen.
Xiao Yu is a clinician, Feng Shui designer, and always searching for the next creative endeavour.