When we experience
trauma in our lives, a part of us shuts down and die. The movement of strong
emotions (energy in motion) in the physical and emotional body is so scary, and
painful that our nervous systems can’t handle it, and we go into freeze mode.
We detach from the feeling sensations in the physical body, but the real damage
is done in the mind. The body merely works as a mirror of what is going on in
the mind and has now the power of creation on its own.
When we think of trauma, we often think of big events, like war, or car crashes or someone you love dying, but the truth is that trauma also occurs (and reoccurs) every time we are stopped or stop our self from feeling our emotions fully. When we hold back our feelings and detach, we deny the natural energetic flow in our bodies, and we create a block. Our body is a very intelligent tool, and energy will move around, and find ways of functioning with the dysfunction, and the mind creates a story that rationalized what happened; however painful it was. In this way, a survival mechanism is built, and we can go on living as “normal.”
In our conditioning, we learn from a very early age what emotions are okay to express and which are not. We learn that it’s not okay to cry or be angry or show distress. We even have tv shows on how to handle misbehaving children and “tackle the terrible twos.” We systematically learn how to eradicate the natural flow of emotion to keep the world around us safe and get along. We learn that the world is not here for us, we are here for it, and we better behave in the way that “the world wants.” In this way, we become confused, and we always seek outwards for the answer to our apparent problems, and we seek to change the world to accommodate our broken emotional system so that we don’t have to feel our own pain and discomfort but can keep living with the dysfunction that was created it in the first place. We create a behavioral pattern that is so automatic that whenever our defense against feeling the pain of the trauma is threatened we automatically send the feeling sensation to the block that was created on an earlier state and play out our default behavior in the meeting with this pain.
What we do when meeting pain patterns vary. We might act out, shout and scream at our parents, neighbors, spouse, children or road rage or take it out on any random internet site where we can dump our load of pain so that we don’t have to carry it around anymore. Acting out seems to lighten our burden for a little while, and we might feel that we are in our right to act like this – after all, the world provoked us somehow and should be told! But in truth, we have strengthened the pattern and possibly created new traumas in the ones that became the victim of our rage.
Or, we may
redraw. Go into silent treatment and not talk to anyone. Shut down and numb out
with distractions, such as food, tv, video games, drinking alcohol, smoking,
doing drugs or masturbating to porn. There are numerous way’s that people withdraw,
some of which even seams healthy – like working out extensively or being overly
dedicated to your job or spiritual practice, or to taking care of others. But
when these things are done to avoid what is really going on in our own system,
they work just the same way as the presumed unhealthy ones and in the long run,
creates the same kinds of disorders in our system.
A third way of dealing with the pain is taking it out on our selves and becoming self-destructive. In extreme cases, people start cutting and burning their own physical body to try to punish themselves out of the dysfunction. But, most often this way of dealing with the pattern is to turn the inner dialogue into violent self-loathing and self-criticism, which then again strengthen the pattern in the emotional body and feeds the minds dysfunctional story of why we deserve to be punished.
Of course, we have several personal ways that we deal with our pain, and often it comes out as a combination of the three way’s I’ve described above. We may scream, shout, and get violent in some situation, redraw in other and then punish our self for the way we behaved when our pain was triggered. We may also seek comfort in others and creating a victim story to get their attention and have them sooth us so that we don’t feel the pain anymore. There is nothing wrong with comforting someone who is in distress, but unless the real issues are dealt with the pattern will strengthen, and the same cycle will repeat itself. This is why we say that we can’t run from our past, if we are ever going to be free from this unnecessary pain we will have to deal with it. We have to allow to fully feel the underlying pain so that the block in the body can let go and energy can run freely again. This is the true healing path, and it can be done in many ways, but either way, you bend, an emotional or energetic release is necessary for the healing to occur and the part that has been dead to awaken again.
What happens when the trauma is healed is that we gain contact with parts of our bodies that may have felt numb or shut off for a while. The first sensations are often discomfort and pain, or we feel the block more. We feel like there is something stuck in your system, but you may not be aware of what it is. Sometimes we don’t even have to know, and we most certainly don’t need to go through all the micro-traumas in your past to heal. You only need to deal with the ones that are still operative in your system and keeps making problems for you in the unfolding of your life experience. There is no need to go digging for problems of the past to heal them. If they are not playing out in any way in your current experience, they are either transcended or dormant, and if they are dormant, they will turn up at the perfect time when we are ready to go into the healing process and have the tools and help to deal with them. Our minds and bodies work in cooperation to make the healing journey as easy as possible for us, but some discomfort will be necessary for us to pick on the signals.
At the beginning of the healing journey, at the point where we realize that enough is enough and we feel like we’re going crazy in our self-built emotional prison, our defense systems are strong. We have used years to build them, and most of them were formed before the age of three when our language was not fully developed before we had a chance to build a healthy language in which to express our needs and feelings or other healthy ways of expressing emotions. Or, later in life with experiences of being bullied or other big traumatic experiences such as abuse, death in the family, war, rape, or other forms of violence.
When the defense systems are strong, it feels like the task of healing is too huge to take on. We go round after round with ourselves feeling overwhelmed with the thought of dealing with such a vast and confusing load of pain. We don’t understand where to begin, and we are afraid that if we do, we are going to get lost in our emotional drama, and there is no healing, just more pain. Our life experience has thought us that feeling and expressing painful emotions has only lead to more pain, confusion, and isolation. We don’t believe that anyone is really invested enough in us to engage and help us on our healing journey, so we don’t reach out when the pain hit’s and we go back into patterns. We may try to change the outside circumstances, such as moving houses, engaging in new relationships, or finding new distractions that can keep us going for a while. But, if we have come to the point of no return and we bow down or fall to our knees and ask for help from life, the universe, God or whatever you believe has the power to help, and help will always come in some form or way. Our cry to heal never goes unanswered, but it may come in way’s that we don’t recognize and that can be even more confusing and painful to us. Life will keep showing up for us to heal, in the way that we need. It will show up in relationships falling apart, losing a job, health issues, or diving even deeper into addictional patterns. This also occurs after we surrender and seek help. It’s like something inside of us goes, “Finally, she is listening! Now we can go to work!” and all the things in our lives that were built from trying to keep us safe from feeling starts falling. Our survival patterns have built fences around us both on the inside and in the outside world, and everything that is not true to our essence starts to crumble. This is a scary experience for most of us. Our ground is shaken, and we feel like there is nothing to hold onto, but in truth, it is only the false security that we have been holding onto that is falling.
period of the healing journey, we need a guide because we find ourselves juggling
between the clarity of where we know we have to go and the need to hold onto
the old familiar behavior that has seemingly kept us safe for so long. Here is where
it’s a good idea to start seeing a coach or therapist that can help us access
our emotions and hold space when the pain surfaces. Trying to do this on our
own, we will delay our healing because we will fall back on our patterns and
choose another round instead of accessing the pain with a clear intention to
heal. If we choose to work with someone who has made their own journey and are
capable of holding space from a place of true compassion our journey will still
be painful, but changes happen much more quickly then when we are trying to
find the way out of the wilderness on our own. Realizing that we are all in
this together and that no one is saved unless all of us are is a crucial step
on the journey back to life.
Our survival patterns were necessary for us at some point. They did hold value for us in dangerous situations where expressing our selves would lead to true danger to the body. The problem only becomes apparent when we have outlived the need for these patterns, and they start to hamper our life experience. This may play out differently in different areas of our life. We may be ready to work on our financial insecurities but not on our relationship issues, or our much visible addictional pattern but not on the underlying thought system that built the need to redraw into addiction. It is the puzzle that life gives us to solve peace by peace, and it is never solved in one fell swoop. It is like climbing the ladder towards heaven one step at the time. When we start out, we are mostly in the darkness of our own despair, but as we go, the air becomes lighter, and the view becomes broader and more beautiful. The times that we want to give up and go back becomes less frequent, and at some point we find our self starting to sing a happier tune, and we don’t look back as much as we used to do. We are not so easily distracted from our path and sprouts of clarity and happiness starts to occur. We start believing in ourselves, and we begin to enjoy the journey with all its twists and turns. We start to walk towards the situations that can heal us with courage and welcome instead of dread and despair because we know that what is holding us back is just our fear of undoing the pain and it holds no value for us anymore. We become masters of compassionate healing and our own best friend on the journey.
As the healing unfolds, we start to come back to life. We start to see our init value and the beauty that lies within and the world around us start shining it back to us. Shure, there are still things that we need to deal with, and life keeps showing up where we can change and improve, where we can become more loving and compassionate towards our selves and others. We understand that we are not on this journey alone, but that everyone we encounter is part of it and are in essence on the same path – knowingly or not. The healing journey is the path of life. It’s nothing mystical or magical about it. It’s not special for some people, because we all seek to improve our lives in one way or another. The difference between the ones that are on a conscious healing journey and the ones that are not is just that the ones are unconscious about it are still seeking outside themselves for the answer, while the ones that have stepped onto the conscious path of healing are starting to seek on the inside for salvation. We are all looking for home, for belonging and for a feeling of wellbeing. We are looking to re-member who we really are and connecting with eachother on the bases of love instead of need.
Is it too
hard to believe that our home lies inside of us? And that the way home is
inward instead of outwards? Doesn’t it make sense that life stems from inside
The first part of the journey is spent in a lot of confusion with a few glimpses of clarity and connection to the core, but at some point, it changes and the moments of clarity and the feeling of being at home becomes more dominant. When this happens and we know how to rest in our essence we are called out again to support our brothers and sisters on the journey of awakening in what we will recognize as our talent or our calling in life. This is not because we have become superior, but we have become compassionate from seeing and forgiving our selves and the people around us. We have come to the point of emotional and spiritual maturity in our lives that understands that nothing is gained by us playing small and holding back our gifts to the world. We start to seek to inspire, uplift and heal. Not because we need others to see us in our “glory,” but we know that our own salvation bares no meaning without brothers and sister joining us. This is not the time to hold back, but to engage, connect, and dare to shine. Our happiness is useless unless it includes all of us.
The journey inward may seem like the most challenging journey and the one that we don’t want to embark upon, but there is no freedom from despair and decay without it. The time of change is undoubtedly upon us. We do not have the power to destroy life, but we do have the power to destroy our selves and the human race unless we do something to change our path. The calling is sent to all of us, not to a few chosen ones to save the world. What your part in that puzzle is, only you can tell. The good news is that it lies what you are called from within to do, what you are naturally inclined to. The bad news is that this is probably what you are most afraid to give your full attention to since it is what you have trained yourself away from in the belief of your unworthiness. We are all worthy to shine the light and live a happy and fulfilling life; we only need to be brave enough to give up our fear and remove the blockages that prevent life from flowing freely and be willing to give our love to the world.
– Ingunn Tennbakk
#Ingunntennbakk #awakenyourbigshe #holisticsexology
Photo by Javardh on Unsplash