Experience it, Remember it

Various happenings can cause us the greatest…

It’s true that various happenings can cause us the greatest hardship. But this is only part of the truth. It’s what we tell ourselves about these hardships that causes us perhaps even greater and more extended suffering. Knowing the truth of this, I don’t make light of it.

For example, let’s imagine that we suffered a serious emotional/physical trauma such as an assault. In our sensitive and extreme state, we might think, “Oh God, my life is over… I can’t go on!” This how we might interpret the extent of the trauma. It’s perfectly natural to have such thoughts. I mean who can rightly judge what another should feel under such circumstances? However the problem would occur if we weren’t able to let go of that thought at some point. “My life” [as I knew it] would be “over” and “I can’t go on” [move forward] would become self-fulfilling prophesies.

The kind of thought of ‘my life is over” is something that helps us to dissociate from the horror of what happened, something like a death wish. It allows us the fantasy of escape. However making that thought our companion on an on-going basis is also what would keep us struggling in place, keeping our emotional pain alive for years when we might actually be healing from it. And we can heal from it.

What might happen if we did the thing we fear the most: in a safe atmosphere with a trusted person, consciously acknowledge what happened –   allow our selves to remember the horror and terror of the assault? Imagine instead, that it might seem doable because we’d sought someone who’d support us as we did so, someone we’d trust who wouldn’t shut us up as we grieved and vented our enormous anger. What would happen? Gradually the anger and grief and terror would move out of us.

It would move out of us simply because we had let ourselves feel and allowed it to move out of us. Gradually we’d be able to work our way through this by allowing the healing process to proceed within us on its own terms and in its own way. One day, we’d wake up and something would be different. What?

We subtlety feel better. How could we have turned a corner so unexpectedly without realizing it? We just know that we’re ok; we can move forward again. This is what healing can feel like. Wondrous and mysterious healing happens when we clean the infection out from inside us by letting ourselves feel what happened and express all of the emotions. Yes, maybe it’ll feel like the scariest thing ever, but there might be excitement and relief in the process too. You’ll be able to experience yourself more deeply than you have before.