Sometimes I wonder if there is a threshold past which we can no longer integrate past traumas and they forever determine who we are, frozen in time, trapping us with our patterns and non-differentiated memories.
Can we ever disentangle ourselves fully at least from core trauma by the end of our tethered and relatively brief embodied lives?
Just like in this global warming emergency, is there a tipping point? Un point de non retour, a point of no return when diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and even terminal cancers settle in and gradually take over…when health can no longer make a significant come back.
I realise that I’m making an intuitive connection between unresolved accumulated traumas and diseases which may result from and in a profound fragmentation of our inner beings, and in a locking of our genetic expression.
So much so that our natural reorientation to the health matrix that initially sustained our very existence, our very being, is running wild as we're forcefully whirled into a process of inexorable disintegration.
This morning a client said to me, “I know this (biodynamic craniosacral session) is not going to help me because I cannot change the situation I’m in.” He felt so helpless, so powerless that he was close to giving up and yet he is one of my most regular clients and has tried many other healing modalities too.
I invited him to tune in and connect with areas that felt good or at least ok, but he barely tried before saying he could not find any such place, he could not connect with any such sensation in his body.
I then asked him more specifically how were his feet, his breath, his sense of skin and asked if he noticed a difference in temperature between his right and left ankle. This brought about a more engaged response.
I also invited him to visualise some nice memories from the past, maybe from his recent holidays. And I threw him, asked him what was his favourite flower which made him laugh, always a good medicine, and another way to divert one’s thoughts away from apparently unsolvable problems.
For this is where he was, stuck in front of this apparently unsurmountable wall again, and what is the point of changing, healing myself when this external situation is still there, facing me, confronting me, out of my control, and there seems to be nothing I can do to change it.
It’s been like this for years, decades and it has gone worse, he reports.
Such captive grief in this chest of his, such frozen holding, I could feel it in mine too.
And such strength too, such dignity and integrity, such trapped aliveness there that is trying so hard to free itself.
And maybe it is the trying that needs to make way to trusting, to letting go. He says he’s been told this before, this phrase, “letting go”…How????
The thing is: there is no ‘how’ with letting go because it just happens, doesn't it? It is a totally spontaneous gift to oneself. The opposite of giving up; a giving in.
There is a preparing of the safety terrain, and like any good training it comes with practice: a mindful awareness for sure but a physical, emotional journeying too.
The more we dive in, explore, and allow the different pieces to show up and little by little the more we dare to listen to every single tune, discordant, or otherwise, and fall in awe, in love...
Pacing is key, I do not think -- and recent neuroscience, clinical psychological and somatic research support this -- that healing at a deep level can be provoked by throwing oneself at the deep end, into intense situations that could easily re-traumatise.
Peter Levine, author of the famous Waking the Tiger and In an Unspoken Voice, recommends titration, a slow, gradual process that helps to integrate traumas one piece at a time.
Once this is done, we can take a seat safely back, "tolerate how we feel" as Bessel Van Der Kolk says, by matter of factly changing our perceptual lenses as the pain levels drop.
Then, we can let go, and really and truly step into a fuller presence, and be ready for bigger, mightier adventures.
It is no accident it is called 'groundwork'. Foundations come first before a cathedral can be built.
So yes it takes patience and even if we feel, maybe, that we’re running out of time, there is still time to say a big YES! to change.
My client tells me he does feel safe, he did feel safe during these intense experiences he just lived through, which absolutely terrified him as he also explained a few minutes before.
Now what then? What if your concept of safety is so warped that the meaning of the word itself is perverted, turned on its head.
We do this don’t we, in order to compensate. We turn the unbearable into the familiar.
Until we’re supported in looking out, or looking in rather, through a different window and see what we’ve left behind that also belongs to us. And until we believe what we see too. It takes courage, it takes determination but it also takes the innocence and sense of wonder of a child to believe in these magic tricks.
This can and almost invariably is frightening at first, this whole new world of possibility, Possibility even, the big “P” is ‘de rigueur' here.
But what if we were resourced enough to step out into this radically different but somewhat familiar landscape, and with our hands held helped to walk through it and visit its nooks and crannies, as well as its expansive plains, discover the golden treasures, explore those shape shifting shadow lands and become fascinated.
Deep repetitive early childhood trauma can hold such a tight grip on us that they can colour our existential lenses indefinitely, with very little scope for differentiation.
Yet we survive, we cope, we compensate and some of us profoundly heal if we choose to.
So yes there may be a tipping point, but let us first anchor ourselves in the present, in our own powerful presence to meet ourselves, and allow the whole to emerge safely.
You know where I’m heading don’t you? So many books have been written around treasure islands, gold rush, exploration of mysterious lands, thrillers and horror stories, tragedies, taming of wild animals… all reflections of who we are at the core, what we're struggling to tolerate and accept...
Traumatised beings in search of our souls on a Voyage au Bout de la Nuit, (Journey to the end of the Night, Louis Ferdinand Celine) , into the Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)…
We have done this to the nth degree with Mother Earth, tried to control and make every corner of this living, teeming land ours, with all sorts of good and bad intentions.
But until we let go, we realise that we are actually not separate from this Earth, and that it is not ours to make, to take, to control and enslave, we will never get to fully empathise and enjoy it for what it is, at one with us: our heart, our lungs, our feet...
We can only reconnect to Earth by befriending our wholeness from within, by making peace with that inner thread which interconnects us all.
Sit, seat, cathedra…cathedrals.
The more I think and I let the destruction of Notre Dame de Paris sit with me, the more I see yet another projection of our inner traumatic selves and a symbol for our times.
The foundations are there. What will we choose to build?
How will we resolve the trauma riddle which in my books is deeply linked to the climate emergency riddle?
It starts with “I”, which is really “We”, and salvation cannot come down from a separate entity up on high but from a coherent whole emerging from deep within.