A Brighter Future with Trauma Integration Every time trauma is healed, we restore a part of our past and make possible a brighter future for ourselves and succeeding generations. We transform separation, othering, and scarcity into relation, interdependence, and abundance. Thomas Hübl
Dear Ones, The other day I called up one of my vendors to ask a question. I got the preferred customer line and got a recording (I pay extra so I can talk to a real person).. “Hello Michael, I recognize your number and understand whole sentences, please let me know what I can do for you?” “I want to talk to a support person!” She says, “Yes Michael, I understand, please tell me what you want so I can direct you to the right person, in a friendly voice.” “I want help with organizing my mailing list, says I!” “Thank you Michael, have you checked this web page and that web page?” “Listen, I need to talk to a real person. This is urgent,'' I say in an irritated voice. “Yes, I understand you want to talk to someone, please tell me what this is about?” This goes on for a half hour with the recording referring me to different web pages every time I asked for help. Soon I found myself screaming expletives at the phone, and feeling like I was about to have a heart attack! Then I stopped!
What the hell am I doing? I’d worked myself into a rage and was yelling at a prerecorded message! This is crazy. I pause, ground and center myself and ask my inner guidance, why I became so angry and triggered? Then I hear a very small, weak little boy’s voice say, “I can’t get anyone to help me!” OMG, that’s my entire childhood! There was never anyone there to help. This was a trauma response that had nothing to do with the phone call. It was a repetitive mindset that was kicking in when something from the past got activated. So, I went into the anger, fear, and disappointment and felt it in my body, and said “yes” to the emotions and allowed my mind to settle. This is how we begin the process of integrating trauma into our lives. It begins with awareness, deepening our connection with our interior selves and greeting what’s actually happening in the moment. The only way through these traumatic experiences is to experience the emotions, sensations, and thoughts that have been long suppressed.
Being traumatized means continuing to organize your life as if the trauma were still going on—unchanged and immutable—as every new encounter or event is contaminated by the past. Bessel A. van der Kolk
We often think of trauma as some huge and horrible thing that happened to us, that has indelibly scarred us and limited our potential for future happiness. Of course, there are unspeakable events that are beyond comprehension. But, trauma is not the thing that happens to us, it’s what happened inside of us. This is good news because if it was the event that happened in the past, we’d be stuck with it, but we can transform our trauma responses into post traumatic healing and open ourselves to deep awakening and transformation by meeting, greeting, and saying “yes” to what’s happening in our inner world. The problem is that most of us are at least partially disembodied and numb to our felt emotions. It takes great courage to confront our habitual triggers and trauma responses.
Regardless of whether it is a shock trauma or an attachment trauma, or even a familial, cultural, or ancestral wounding, our nervous system jumps into action to protect us from being completely overwhelmed, debilitated, or even dying and represses the terrifying feeling so we can continue to function in the world. This system of resilience has been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years and was developed to protect us from harm. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a culture that has awareness of how to meet trauma when it happens. Animals just shake it off, indigenous cultures gather to soothe, nurture and welcome the person back by seeing, feeling, and protecting the traumatized.
If you bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will be your salvation. If you do not bring forth that which is within you, then that which is within you will destroy you. The Gnostic Gospels
Integration means movement (physical, mental & emotional). It is the quality of being emergent (in the moment) and in a state of inner flow. Trauma adaptations are frozen experiences from the past that become tension, pain, or numbness in the body. Integration also relates to the releasing of suppressed or dissociated emotions and habitual mental patterns… Integration is not a “doing” it is focusing our awareness and perception into our interiority and meeting the felt sense, emotional triggering, and repetitive and debilitating thoughts with precision and compassion. We cannot do this shadow work to get somewhere else, but when we allow ourselves to say “yes” to “what is happening in this moment”, the conditions for change and a new future are ripe and ready to blossom forth.
While we can't release these anesthetized parts of our essence with talk therapy or change them with affirmations and positive thinking, they do affect the way we think and tend to form habitual thought patterns and repetitive loops that keep us repeating the same behavioural patterns and thoughts over and over again. This repetitive thinking creates and deepens our neural pathways which is why changing habits is so difficult. Habits are structures that have been crystallized over time. Emotional, physical, and mental structures that formed through personal, familial, cultural, and ancestral patterns that have been frozen in time and live in our bodies. The good news is that when we integrate these fragmented parts, we become stronger, more awake, alive, abundant, creative, interconnected, and innovative than we ever imagined possible.
It's when we start working together that the real healing takes place. David Hume
One of the best ways to integrate these fragmented and frozen parts of our essence is to authentically share in the safety of a group setting with others. The more connected and related we feel to others, the safer it feels to do this deeper inner exploration and experience the deep sensations and emotions that were too dangerous to feel at a younger age when we were not felt, seen, or heard when we needed to be. Doing this kind of shadow work with others allows us to say "yes, to what happened then, but is not happening now! When this is witnessed by others we can co-regulate together and ease into deeper feelings of safety and permission to be and belong! For the past few years, I have been holding online Trauma Integration and Meditation Circles. Now, I have just moved back to my hometown in California, I am holding these circles live on Tuesday evenings in Nevada City. I am still doing the online deep dive weekly circles and will be starting a new in-person circle in October. To find out more about how you can participate in an integration circle click herefor more information We hope you will join us in creating a brighter future together…
Thank you for being a part of the Well of Light Community. With love and blessings, Michael and the Well of Light Team
Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think. Bessel Van der Kolk