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I have been reading a book called “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel Van Der Kolk. This book offers an incredible view of how our Brains and Bodies deal with the effects of Trauma. It walks you through the effects of trauma and how you can recover.
Even if you are someone who has never gone through trauma this book gives you insight as to what those who deal with it go through. But honestly, I feel far more people deal with serious trauma in their systems then are probably aware.
Healing Trauma Requires Feeling.
People can never get better without knowing what they know and feeling what they feel (pg. 27).
I have a tendency of downplaying my feelings, telling myself that other people have had it worse while trying to cast my feelings aside. And yes, others have endured far worse events in their lives but I can’t let this be the reason that I dismiss the emotions attached to the trauma I have gone through.
No matter what the situation may be, it is better to move through than stand still.
Downplaying what we are feeling is just a means of justifying not dealing with feelings and finding ways to avoid them. There are events that I would rather not recall and things that I have repressed and do not recall. But, there is such deep importance for me to deal with these feelings so I may free myself up to feel more like myself.
Acceptance and Having Purpose when Working Through Trauma Feelings.
We need to acknowledge, experience and bear the reality of life with all its pleasures and heartbreaks (pg. 27).
Without acknowledging, experiencing and bearing the full reality of life, I am truly stunting my own growth.
Acknowledging something whether good or bad brings a level of acceptance which keeps me out of the vicious cycle of denial. Acceptance is just the very beginning of healing.
Accepting makes it possible to experience my feelings again, whether good or bad. It takes me to the present where action can be taken to heal. To bear or move through emotions so that I may enjoy the pleasures of life for exactly what they are.
I don’t have to live paralyzed by my past and miss out on the rest of my life. And, today I choose not to! Past events do not define me.
My life has a purpose today. Knowing this is a powerful tool that allows me to move beyond the past and live my life.
And as the Philosopher, Fredrich Nietzche states: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
Meaning that with strong enough commitment to purpose comes the ability to work through any of life’s difficulties. Including the current emotional manifestations of past trauma.
Getting to Okay after Trauma.
I’ll be honest, it took me years to start dealing with the emotions that came along with the things that happened in my past.
I had to be open to confront, talk about, feel, and accept the things that had happened. For me, I had help from a psychologist and the recovery meetings that I attend on a regular basis. I was willing to be vulnerable and share honestly.
It was not easy and there are still moments where I feel hijacked by memories and emotions. I can feel scared all over again and it takes me a minute to realize that I am safe. Fight or flight becomes a real thing for me as a defense mechanism. It is our brains response to survival. Even trying to defend us when simply reliving trauma feelings in a relatively safe moment.
In the end, though I know that I am ok and I can move through these moments a lot faster than I did in my past. It can be done. It is not impossible to deal with trauma but it can be hard as hell.
I have to make the decision at the moment to move on and free myself from my past. It is not fair to myself to rob myself of the beautiful life that I know have. This choice, even though very painful at times, allowed me to move through and stop standing still.
As a result, my life has more of a positive outlook and fear does not rule me. I have freed myself from being stuck in the past. And I believe that if you are feeling stuck that you can find your way out as well.
To buy the book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” click the link below!
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Hello, we are Travis and Casey Hagen the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds to find healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. There is plenty for us to share with you about finding better ways to live. So please follow us on our journey as we share what we know, and continue to share as we invitably learn more.
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