Article on Trauma and Recovery
Like a turtle, many humans travel through life efforting under a heavy, restrictive burden.
We will often notice repeating patterns, such as similarities between the people (and/or situations) in our lives now and the people/events in our history. You may notice that you still respond to present situations in old familiar ways of behavior, such as feeling fearful, angry, overwhelmed, avoiding certain people or situations, etc. This might happen with a person or place who merely REMINDS us of someone or something that happened in our past that was distressful. These are all indications that the experiences from the past are still held in physio-emotional somatic contractions within us and that our inner self is seeking a comparable circumstance to discharge and release these constricting, bodily held reactions birthed in our past. How is it that these constrictions began? Why do they stay?
When impactful events in our lives happen, it's important to know that along with physical sensations, any emotions including shock or numbness that we felt during the event are also retained, along with the details of our surroundings, what we were thinking at the time, the reactions of any participants or witnesses, smells, sounds, etc. Our thoughts and feelings become enmeshed with the physical sensations of the experience and these memories are held not only in our minds, but also in our bodies.
Some of us do not show or easily express our feelings in the present because of the reactions we received from the people around us when we did express our feelings when we were young. However those of us who do not show our feelings or who appear unaffected on the surface are still reacting internally to situations.
Until those physio-emotional contractions resolve, the thoughts and reactions we had in our past, the conclusions our younger selves made about ourselves, about what we thought the world was like, about how we believe men and/or women are, the decisions about what we thought we needed to do to thrive or survive, etc. will strongly affect us in present time, because the experience is still living, buried alive involuntarily inside us.
Early or severe physio-emotional contractions become so deeply buried and tightly held that they remain even when we stretch and exercise. As we become "weighted down" with our turtle shell, some of us exercise less and less and move more into our heads as our bodies become tighter and more uncomfortable.
People learn to cope while carrying around these tensions and the resulting constrictions. They learn to compensate in order to function. The more sensitive of us may break down under these reactions, because over time, the impact of retained unreleased bodily-held deep contractions is monumental.
Over time, retained internal contractions constrict our organs, impede the circulation of our internal fluids, inhibit the functioning of our muscles and our joints. This affects our flexibility, our MOBILITY, and keeps escalating physical problems such as deterioration and disease, as long as our constricted selves are still in the very real physio-emotional grip of our history.
Until these deep bodily held reactions to old experiences dissolve, the outdated emotions and thoughts of our younger selves also keep re-surfacing at every opportunity. You will notice them in present time as prominent and repetitive thoughts, reactions and behaviors.
Most of our present day challenges, in fact, have their origins in these retained reactions and responses to past experiences. Most, if not all, of our current sensitivities, distress, numbness, negative emotions, unwanted feelings, fear-based reactions, overwhelm, "acting out," etc., are the subconscious result of our inner selves seeking to throw off these deep internal constrictions and heal.
WAKING UP TO THE PRESENT
In addition to our individual histories, all of us alive today have experienced powerful, intense global events, living through them personally, reacting to our friends and family who have or have not survived them, or virtually through the graphic pictures, videos and stories presented through our media.
“We cannot live in a world that is not our own, in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a HOME. Part of [healing] the terror is to take back our own listening, to use our own voice, to see our own light.”
~ Hildegard von Bingen
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