Sunday, August 7, 2016
From Complex Trauma to Setting Your Heart On Fire With Love
In grad school (for psychology), we had this saying:
"You catch every mental illness you're currently studying".
Its a play on words from what I've heard from med students; many of them would come down with the illness they were studying in class that semester.
The mind/body is a powerful thing.
I wonder why that happens..
I think, because we're basically "self-centered".
Everything we learn about we try to relate to it in order to fit it into our existing body of knowledge and make the right connections in our brain as to where to put this new knowledge.
With that in mind, it was easy to see why my consistent issues were coming up as I got deeper into the book, "Complex Trauma/PTSD - From Surviving to Thriving".
I'm past the part, and I "get it", about the inner and the outer critic and have moved into the necessary grieving and angering about the losses from having a dysfunctional parent. (Or two).
But now a-days its not about the parental units, its more about the current partner and friends or bosses and co-workers in my every day life and where my unresolved parent issues project themselves and play themselves out for my benefit (if in recovery, the benefit is more healing, more awareness, more self-compassion and more choices).
At the same time I'm reading about Complex PTSD, I'm also reading a book about healing via 'setting your heart on fire' by being more open to love. This is helping too. No matter where my recovery takes me, I always end with being more open to love. People always deserve more love; not less. Being open to love is accepting people as they are and being open to expressing your love in the world more that the old issues once kept you from doing.
So I'm at the part of the book (C-PTSD), where it talks about grieving and angering at the abuse. Not the person in the past or the past, but the voice in your head or the image in your head that's still there in this present day (representing the stuck part of you that is unresolved about that past person or situation).
For example, we learn about the inner and the outer critic. The inner critic is giving you a hard time for everything you do wrong. The outer critic is going off about everyone else in the world who you think is doing wrong. It comes out as criticism and rejection and looking down on, and devaluing ourselves (inner critic) or others (outer critic).
When you catch yourself in the act of doing either one, that is your opportunity to heal and love that part of you that is still stuck in that and opening up to new possibilities because its time for something new to replace that.
Once you grieve the loss or anger out the unfairness for having been abused or abandoned, it's important not to beat yourself up over having these feelings but instead look for the lesson.
This is all good but easier said than done. I used to read self-help books and then look up into the sky in anguish and yell, 'Yes, but HOW?!?' How do I do this? How?
After a lifetime of asking that question, I was led to the answers.
Emotional Healing is available to us all just by going within and being with our emotions on a "somatic-viseral-sensate" level. meaning, you focus on describing what's going on within your own body experience from the position of being within yourself, and not getting into the mind with all its questions and old beliefs and crap that circles round and round.
Somatic Mindfulness is the easiest most gentle way of attending to your feelings that I have found to date that you can do by yourself.
Not the old school meditation where you just have to let it "all go by and keep focusing on your breathing" - I don't know about you but 1. I don't have the patience for it and 2. I couldn't tell if it did anything. So I did not want to meditate for years on end not knowing what was suppose to be happening and too impatient to wait or risk it if it didn't work.
So when I found the somatic mindfulness and Emotrance and Avatar and Neuro-Dynamic Resourceing and Nuero-linguistic programming (or Neuro-lingusitic Communicating with your inner parts".... Everything changed!
It was so easy I could do it in 5 minutes.
This is what I wish we all learned how to do. This can save millions of people decades of holding on to pain not because they want to but because no one taught them how to truely heal it.
All you have to remember is One basic Question to get you started: "Where do you feel that in your body". And then memorize the 5 basic senses to go within to look for, (see below), and in the process of doing that exercise alone, you get very peaceful and calm and the upset dissaptes and melts or burns off. Our attention on it is like a laser beam or like an energy that burns off the stuck emotion that is a trigger and an internal body sensation upset.
For example, you get triggered by shame or criticism or by rejection or ridicule..... you FEEL it in your body; your chest feels pressure, you feel a panic feeling, your throat gets tight or you get a lump in your throat, your eyes are burning and your holding back angry tears, your heart just dropped into you stomach, your stomach just fell to the floor, your mind/brain/head got tense, your jaw is tight, your stomach feels like a 10 pound bowling ball is stuck in there.
These are the types of things you look for when you ask yourself when you are upset, "Where do I feel this in my body?"
You'll know it. You'll probably be aware of feling it already.
But now we go in deeper and ask:
What shape it is
What color is it
How much does it weigh
What temperature is it
What sound does it make
When you go WITHIN to find out these answers, you are in effect tuning into your emotional upset via its body sensation.
The act of asking those 5 sense questions and pausing and waiting to discover the answers or just listen and see what pops up. (your mind will always find you an answer if you ask it), puts you in an inner state where things start to feel very quiet and calm and peaceful.
Why? Because you're not talking anymore. You're not "thinking" anymore. You're not trying to 'figure it out" or see where it fits in your story anymore.
You are just FEELING it and exploring the feeling on an inner level.
What's funny is that in my early 20's I heard the saying, "All answers are found within" and I was a bit bewildered by that but then again my intuition said, "they're on to something", what, I don't know, but I always kept that question in my mind open... IF there is a way to find all answers withing, then HOW do you do it.
It's been my life's work finding the HOW and now that I've found several "how-to's", I have an uncontrollable urge to get it out to the masses who are still suffering and maybe wondering right now, Just HOW do I heal and recover?
EFT/Tapping and The Somatic Mindfulness Techniques could be your answer.
J.P.Bailey, MA, EFT-CC Emotional Freedom Coach www.RecoveryTapping.com