Words Angelique Koster
Every healing journey is a different road taken as no two traumas are ever exactly alike; the differences may be subtle or extreme, yet trauma is trauma.
It is a beautiful fantasy to imagine healing to be completely uplifting, motivational, inspirational and consistent, but the reality of it all is that healing is very – well – messy. It reminds me of an old song about a forgotten rag doll on a compost heap – dull and dreary as she was, her faults made her all the more beautiful and so do our scars. Our journey is our own personal hell and our experience of heaven, as we may sometimes experience an extreme rollercoaster ride – our hands flailing as we scream at the top of our lungs, feeling fear in the pits of our bellies, but we may find that, by the end of it all, we experience elation and an energy buzzes through us with new life.
Why trauma can take a long time to overcome:
- Programming: The neuro-pathways in our brain have already repeated it so many times that the trauma has become the natural response function.
- Environment: People or places around us haven’t changed and we are actively reliving the trauma. It’s the same as raking leaves up in an autumn wind – the grass will stay full of leaves until the conditions change.
- Rejection: There are emotions or situations around the trauma that we are rejecting due to feelings of guilt, shame, fear or anger. Often there is also a sense of denial – if I refuse to look at the trauma then it didn’t happen.
- It’s layered: It may be that various situations follow the same pattern and the trauma is healing but from new angles each time.
Trauma is so impactful that it can leave behind imprints within your DNA – that means your trauma can be carried down to your children, your grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so forth. It also means you could have inherited trauma and have a predisposition to experiencing specific events from a specific perspective. It then all makes sense when we experience anger and wonder: ‘Where did that come from’.
A traumatic event in our lives not only affects our current mental state, but the layers happen when we rethink it, as our human bodies don’t know the difference between now and then. Thinking about the ‘then’ puts the body through the exact same chemical, emotional and physical responses in the ‘now’, simply repeating the cycle. If this happens often enough, our entire system stores the data of this event for any events in the future that feel similar and therefore create our programming and our patterns. Rejecting it simply doesn’t work – the goal is to truly heal from trauma in a way that our nervous system no longer responds and our muscles no longer store our traumas, releasing them from our tissues and our DNA codex.
How to release stored trauma:
- Healing techniques: There is an abundance of tools and healing techniques that could be used. They range from massage to herbal treatments to energy medicine, affirmations etc. Find techniques that work for you and don’t be afraid of changing techniques as different layers may need different energies to assist in the shifting of trauma.
- Learn to love: Love – a word that often leaves us wanting but, in truth, learning to love the scars and seeing the beauty in them without judgment brings acceptance to trauma. The less resistance there is, the more healing can take place. Love includes being gentle with the process, accepting the different levels, acknowledging and seeing everything for what it is in its own truth, without anger, fear or blame. Self-love is often an aspect we withhold from our healing. It is easy to blame ourselves as, in hindsight, we could have, should have, would have done things differently. Learn to love the past, for now you have the wisdom to choose differently.
- Letting go: It may seem obvious but sometimes there is a reward in the trauma. It may seem ridiculous and yet it is a harsh reality that trauma often has a reward for us – we keep it for one reason or another and let it get in our own way. Letting go is allowing it to release on all levels, allowing the freedom to step forward. Change may often be intimidating, scary even and the saying ‘rather the devil we know than the devil we don’t’ becomes a reality because at least this trauma is familiar. Let it go!
“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.”― Danielle Bernock
Scream or sing, cry or laugh, sit or dance – there is no right or wrong in expressing your deepest hurts by bringing awareness to them. Through these trials you experience the shedding of what was and enter the possibilities of what could be. The tribulations of reliving each moment becomes gentler as each new phase of healing soothes the wounds as any balm would and in that is where the magic really starts happening for you.