Monday, November 1, 2010

Healing Past Trauma, Issues, and Forgotten Memories

From time to time, I like to update my older blog posts, and I think it's more than past due for this one posted in 2010 to get a refresher (It's April 2015 at the time of refresherizing).

The spiritual path and spiritual awakening will take you straight into your pain. There's no detour around it. You have to go through it to heal from it. This is a scary thing for just about everyone. In a society bent on hiding from difficulty and discomfort, the very idea of sitting in the darkness of your pain to heal and transmute it sounds like an insane thing to do. However, the avoidance tendencies of our culture are simply accumulating huge amounts of unmet and uncleared pain. This pain sits and rots us out. It dictates what we do as we avoid anything that seems like it'll ignite this pain. It controls us and rules us. To heal means we have to face it. In facing it, we can become free.

Crying: A Flood of Tears Carries Cares Away

Crying is not done well in this society. For most people, they think that it is a sign of weakness. So crying is muffled, stopped, or hidden in a closet somewhere. A few others use crying and their emotions as tools to get what they want. By inflicting emotional discomfort on others who can't be with emotions, these types can control a situation. Others still are lost in their emotions. Just like the raging seas, they're drowned in their emotions to no good effect.

Crying and grief, in so many ways, needs to be healed. You need to find space for it to simply be a release without wallowing in it or getting lost in it. This type of grieving is a very real part of the spiritual process, and I can't think of anyone I know who is truly walking the path who doesn't find themselves in the depths of sadness and grief at different points. It's not because we're evil that this happens. We all simply have carried around too much pain and too much loss for so long. It's welling up now. It needs to get out, to clear. Then you can start to heal.

What Is this Grief?

For everyone, this grieving process is different. Grief and clearing comes in waves. Any time there is something blocking you to opening into yourself, a wave of grief often erupts.

Below is an outline of some of the things that are grieved at the start of your spiritual walk. Many of these things may cycle back later on in your process as you gain more tools, more awareness. You will return to some because now you can clear even more pain and remove more of the unconscious burdens you've been carrying.
  1. Grieving an action or event in this lifetime that you know about
    1. This is pretty straightforward. You did something. Or something happened to you. It wasn't right. This can be as simple as punching a friend in fourth grade or as difficult as being stabbed in battle. It doesn't matter if you're the victim or perpetrator; you need to heal.
  2. Grieving an action or event in this lifetime that you don't know about
    1. Some traumas that happen in early childhood aren't in the conscious mind. They get submerged into the subconscious, and oftentimes a person only gets confused fragments that surface and scare them deeply. Also, some trauma is so horrible that a person's conscious mind in adulthood can't deal with it, so it gets forgotten until such time as the person has enough tools and support to meet it. If you start down the spiritual path, these types of things will surface and ignite your grieving process.
  3. Grieving an action or event from another lifetime that you don't know about
    1. I tell people that I am a minimalist when it comes to past lives. I want you focused on this lifetime on this planet. But some past lives weigh so heavily on someone that they have to be cleared to move on. I do believe that we carry the weight and the benefits of past lives. If after doing your work and the first two items don't apply to your grief, then it's time to turn to your past lives.
  4. Grieving an action or event from another lifetime that you know about
    1. Even if you now know what the past life was, you will still need to grieve for as long as your soul thinks it needs to grieve. The added awareness of the specific life or event helps so you can let yourself know consciously what's happening. It makes it easier to accept the process. Or perhaps you even need to do something in this world. A simple ritual could be writing apology letters to those that you wronged or who wronged you.
  5. Grieving a nameless energy form or feeling
    1. When you get to this point in your spiritual process, you are healing out some of the oldest, gunkiest, densest, blackest karma and blockages. It's been there so long that the reasons for it being there are forgotten. It may simply be grief, fear, or hatred. It may not even have a name. It just feels awful, and you are crying constantly. You usually find yourself down on this level after working through the above four types of grief. It's a horrible place down here, but it must heal.

Delving Into Trauma and Abuse

Healing trauma and abuse is heavy work. Many people turn to the spiritual path because nothing else truly works or only partially heals their pain. Divine love is the most powerful tool there is, and in no other aspect of the spiritual path is that tool most needed. There are too many traumas and abuses to list, but I want to emphasize that they can heal. It takes a lot of dedication and support to move through an abuse, but it can be done.

For more thoughts on a specific type of abuse healing, you can read this blog post:

Healing Sexual Abuse

The principles about building a healing support system for you apply for most any trauma or wound with which you may be healing.

For those who have been perpetrators, anything you did to another you did to yourself. This is the truth of the law of interconnection. Atoning for these pains you've inflicted on others begins by admitting that you have done something wrong. Journaling about how you came to bring pain to another is one way to start, and it will most likely illuminate places where others inflicted pain on you. This is how the cycles of pain and suffering continue, and if you are reading this spiritual post today, it is time to break the cycle. This type of healing of trauma requires a lot of humbling, penance, self-forgiveness, asking for forgiveness, and much more. But you will be free of the pain and the shame of what you have done if you are sincere in your spiritual healing process.

The Healing Process

The healing process has its own time frame. You cannot measure it in time or tears. It will run its course. It is often important to connect with a community, a teacher, and a teaching. These things can hold you through the darkness. They may also help you find additional tools (psychological counseling, somatic healing, yoga therapy, etc.) depending on what you need to release the pain. It is important that you don't focus on how bad you feel but simply allow what's moving through you. We're so used to identifying with our pain and playing a victim that this can be a challenge. I encourage you to find the courage to hold space for your grieving. It's okay. It's actually normal. You are normal. You are not crazy (crazy is just a way for the rational world to try to fit life in a box--but you know that life can't fit in one little box).

Key Characteristics to Pull You Through the Grieving Process

I know that some of you may have found this blog post in a hard place in your life. There is support out there. Please take advantage of it. There are a couple key traits and characteristics to cultivate in yourself to get through:
  • Connection to God, Great Mystery, Allah, Divine Mother, or another Higher Level Divine Being
  • Tenacity--You have to decide that you are worth it and that the process is worth it. You will make it through. Make this your mantra: "I am strong. I will make it through."
  • Self-love--You have to truly love yourself. Love will make this process go more quickly. Love will let you not buy into the remaining stories in the dark matter moving out of you. Those stories are lies. Love is the light that reveals that lie and helps you to heal into the radiant being you truly are.

Freedom From Trauma and Transgression

Freeing yourself from pain and trauma is a key step to starting down the spiritual path and during the awakening process. You are lightening the load. You don't need to carry all the burdens that you've been carrying. Now at this point, you may begin to find a little bit of peace. It's like the mud being cleared from the windshield of your car. You can start to see what this path is about and why it has been worth all the tears. You may start to see where you are going again.
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