How do we recognize emotional and mental trauma and process it over time? Are there any ways to heal from a traumatic experience?
What is trauma?
As defined in online dictionaries, trauma can be a "deeply disturbing or distressing experience." It can also be a "physical injury." Both I find very interesting and revealing as in some cases it may even be both. A physical injury may very well cause psychological, emotional and energetic trauma. And emotional trauma may lead to more self-harm or provoking of a physical injury. Which could in turn lead to even more trauma or distressing circumstances.
To make things even more complicated, trauma can not only come from this lifetime but also previous lives (also known as "past" or parallel lives). A skin reaction or eczema might very well be an indication that you have been burnt to the stake or burnt in a fire in a previous lifetime. This could also indicate persecution, usually expressed by a clamped up throat in certain situations, specifically the ones which require you to speak up and stand in your power. Trauma can also be caused by people who you've experienced previous lives with and who all of a sudden turn against you, beat you up or do anything there-like. New agers like to waive this off as having "karma" with this person. Karma is certainly another false white concept I want to address in a different blog post. Not only does it make people complacent and helpless. But you are powerful enough to simply not live out your so-called karma and define your life ahead. [Of course no one tells you this, especially no New Ager or Dolores Cannon follower.]
The trauma is the wound. A wound which needs to be addressed and dealt with. How do we therefore heal from trauma and "move" on or live a more empowered life? Stuffing trauma or occurrences leading up to the trauma into the back corner of your mind and life won't work too well. Eventually it will just all come up again to be felt and dealt with. Usually in the form of emotions, dysfunctional relationships with ourselves or other people - or through other circumstances.
The five wounds of trauma.
What are the five wounds of trauma?
Just like in physical trauma (which is a sudden, unplanned injury to your body), non-physical traumas can leave scars that may last a lifetime. Addressing trauma therefore becomes imperative.
There are three parts to trauma: the event, the experience of the event, and the effect.
How does trauma express itself?
There are a few different ways trauma may be expressed. The most common ones are through your body, your reaction to the trauma, your lifestyle, your relationships with yourself and others.
Trauma can leave us simply paralyzed or not fulfilling our life to the fullest potential that we have at our hands. Every person will deal with this differently. Mental health and a support network also play a role in all this.
A lifestyle reaction would be when a person self-sabotages their lives, whether this is on a conscious or subconscious level. They might have all the potential in their life but they just can't get it going because of the trauma they experienced. Perhaps they even turn 180 degrees and towards risky behavior, endangering themselves or others. This is one of the most difficult situations to deal with, as it requires a lot of introspection and awareness to turn things around again.
Trauma may very well attract the types of relationships which can be considered toxic or unhealthy and which keep us stuck in the trauma loop or cycle when all we want is to get out of it and empower ourselves from it. Have you ever broken it off with someone just to date a guy or girl with similar issues a few weeks or months later? This is what we call trauma attraction and choosing similar life partners due to our own trauma, mindsets and experiences. Oftentimes, especially when there is little or no time in between relationships to sit down, take a breather and process what happened in the past few months, year or longer we spent with our ex, we tend to jump back into a relationship with the same difficulties or similar outcomes. The more introspection and awareness we can gain in our "single" or solo time, the better for our upcoming relationships and our own mental and emotional health.
People who attract each other do so for a reason. Sometimes it has to do with having experienced similar traumas and being drawn to a similar story over and over again. The victim and perpetrator role comes to mind. But so does a friendship that only works when both individuals go out drinking all the time to forget about their sorrows in their life. Have you ever become sober or stopped doing a destructive behavior pattern just to see all your friends fall away? This may be due to the fact that you decided to heal but others have not. Until we decide to move on from the effect of the trauma, we may keep attracting the same situations over and over again. These could appear in slightly different variations than before but the lessons are similar.
The questions therefore are not whether or not trauma will happen to us. It most likely already has for you or may for you in the future. But what we should ask instead is: How do we heal from trauma and move on? Or live a more empowered life after the experience? Since the emotions felt after trauma can be so intense, it is important to not forget or silence the trauma that has happened. Eventually it will just all come up again to be felt and dealt with. Emotions are our most important pointer and guideline on our trauma journey ahead.
Can every being be traumatized? Including our pets or other animals? Is it possible to heal not only ourselves from trauma but also these silent souls?
What about trauma clearing and how to do so? Stay tuned for an upcoming course or workshop this summer, which will also address some self-healing methods. If you are interested to be notified about it, you are welcome to subscribe to the wait list below.
~Laura from Shamanic Self is a certified Shamanic Healer and Practitioner. She offers online courses and digital products that advance you on your spiritual journey.
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