My first book, The Art of Forgiveness, is a blueprint for healing from emotional trauma (in my case, it was in the form of sexual abuse from my father and all the nasty mind games that poison the entire family).
I’m always meditating and musing upon things and looking for ways to help make spiritual growth easier and more practical for you. Sometimes I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over again – and I am. That’s what works! Saying the same thing over and over in different ways; coming at the same truth from different angles so it seeps into our soul.
So, here’s a way to understand emotional trauma: the wound that needs healing is not the thing that happened; the wound that needs healing is the belief that followed.
The wrong focus
So many people get focussed on the person who hurt them – if only he would apologize; she needs to take responsibility for hurting me; he needs to be in prison; I’m watching for karma to catch up with her. But that’s not going to help heal – that’s going to reinforce the trauma. It seems logical that the person who hurt you is the person who can heal you, but that’s not so. We can’t heal by taking more poison; we need the antidote. We can’t heal the experience; we can heal the belief that followed.
in my case, I experienced myself at 6 years old as unloved by my mother because she chose not to protect me. I experienced myself as in service to my father because that’s what he expected of me. (There were other beliefs that I took on, but let’s keep it simple for now. ) So, I needed to heal the beliefs that I was unloveable and a servant to others. You can imagine how I went through life… allowing myself to be taken advantage of over and over; giving away too much of everything.
You may have had very similar trauma but have developed different beliefs. Again, it’s not the experience we need to heal but the beliefs that followed…and it’s a highly personal journey.
Traumatic beliefs are really painful – they feel so real!
These beliefs are so painful (and therefore ‘traumatic’) because they are so UNTRUE. A belief that I am unloveable (especially at 6 years old!) is ridiculous. A belief that I am a servant to everyone else is just as ridiculous – we are all equally valuable.
When I tried to internalize these beliefs, I experienced a separation from my true self/Source/God/Spirit/the quantum field and that is what caused the suffering. Suffering is an indication that we are out of alignment. As we come back into alignment – back into oneness – we feel more at peace; more serene – we are healing.
The way to come back into alignment is to stop identifying with the wound and start identifying with the whole self. Ask yourself – who would you be without the wound? THIS is who you really are. Ask yourself – do you want the identity of whole self more than you want the identity of this wound?
You can give yourself a new set of beliefs by going back to the experience. In my case, I can go through the experience again and maintain the belief that I am lovable; all are lovable; all is Love; I am not separate from source, no matter what happens to me. I can maintain the belief that I am not a servant to anyone; that I am equally as valuable as everyone; we are all connected; all one with Source. At the level of consciousness, there is no difference between the past and the future; between waking and dreaming and imagination. So, you can internalize the truth of these beliefs and fundamentally change your experience of the world.
It takes practice; it takes doing the same thing over and over again – feeling discomfort (anger, sadness, resentment, fear….) and bringing yourself back to Love.