We have to find our own early traumas and see what our interpretations were. Meditation is a good place to do this. Maybe they were the best idea we could come up with at the time, but are they still relevant 15 to a 115 years later? "I only undo chains and untie knots" said Master Rinzai when asked how he taught his students. Viola!
There seems to be a right time for the waking up just like there's a time for fruit to be ripe. So we can be grateful for the set of circumstances which brought about our decision (karma). This makes us the sort of people we are and how we live our lives (in zen terms how Buddha Nature manifests through us.) It all comes together, a servant, a teacher, a dreamer, an organiser, a hermit, a leader, a philanthropist and on and on it goes. Our teacher sees at once what we are and the work is partly to help us accept who and what we are.