Trauma is defined as the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences.
Examples of traumatic experiences are being bullied or abused in any way, having to move home, loss of a loved one, divorce, bereavement or being exposed to the effects of natural disaster, critical illness or violence.
In my experience as a healer I have come to realise that my soul purposely put me through some of the worst traumatic experiences, to realise what it feels like, to be able to empathise and relate to others, to use the experience of my own healing to help others to heal themselves.
Like peeling an onion, there is no quick fix. Some fear feeling or crying, yet it’s a vital part of the healing process. You cannot release that which you do not feel, so by feeling you open yourself up to healing. It makes one feel vulnerable, so not everyone opts for it.
There are layers of healing. As with an open wound, healing starts from the inner layers and works outwards until it leaves only a surface scar. What others cannot always physically see is the inner scar people carry around: Emotional scarring from the wounds that have never been acknowledged and thus never healed properly.
The process of healing trauma starts with shock and denial: The desire to dig our heads in the sand and hope the nightmare goes away. But that doesn’t help, it just prolongs the pain. People often say everything feels so surreal, like being in no man’s land. Some just want to sprint through the stages and think that this will shorten the process, but alas it also prolongs the process of deep healing.
We feed ourselves stories and live out the lies, which is what needs to be corrected to heal. That is where the saying comes in: The truth will set you free.
A client’s father died unexpectedly and the client was sure that, if only they were there one more night, they could have helped him. Everyone going through this stage runs a myriad of ‘if only’ and ‘could have’ scenarios in their head. And none of that is true. If it is your time, no one will be around to save you. If it’s not your time there tends to be divine intervention and someone showing up at the right time at the right place. When I connect people with their loved ones, this is usually the area where they heal the most. Realising that there was nothing else they could have done, that the other person is happy and doesn’t hold anything against them. All there is, is love and the other person wants them to be happy and live a fulfilled life.
The anger stage is sometimes one that people want to skip and then there are others who stay in this stage for a very long time, as if anger is a more acceptable emotion than sadness and pain. Underneath the anger is sadness, heal the sadness and the anger falls away.
That which you shy away from is, most of the time, your point of liberation. People don’t like going to where the pain is, but only when you go there can you heal it and it never has to bother you again. When you skim over the issue and superficially heal it, it comes to revisit you.
The bargaining stage feels as if there is very little emotional intelligence. You feel in so much pain, you just want it to stop, you want to escape. You want to bargain with God, with others, to change the outcomes. But you cannot. You have to accept the cards dealt to you. You asked for certain experiences prior to this incarnation. There is a gift in this for you; you cannot see it yet.
The depression stage varies in intensity from person to person. It feels like a part of you dies. Actually a part of you welcomes death. Untreated, you can find yourself stuck in this stage for many years. But we have to find the courage that we have on a soul level and move on, find a reason to live, find our voice to speak up for others, become the victor that we truly are.
The acceptance stage is multi-layered until it’s solidified on the highest levels of acceptance and that is when gratitude is the final outcome: Gratitude for what happened, gratitude for the lesson in self-mastery. Until you achieve gratitude, you haven’t entirely healed.
One thing that I have learned through dealing with trauma, is you cannot do it all yourself; you need someone with emotional intelligence to guide you through the process, to heal those wounds, appreciating the gifts they came to teach you: How loved you are, how strong you are, how magnificent you are, not the lies you believed of yourself.
When an event happens that turns your life around, bless it. If you struggle to see what it came to show you, seek out a professional you can relate to.
We heal one step at a time. One day at a time. Life is a journey. You are not alone, we are ultimately all walking one another home. I hear you. I see you. I’m here for you when you need me. Namaste Fiona.