The terror that people with difficult histories experience can be seen as a spiritual break that completely disorganizes us from what should be.
What gets broken with trauma is the primordial awareness that we are safe, loved, that all is okay. Attachment theory helps us understand how that happens at a level way before beliefs are formed.
It’s in the body and the heart breaks. They’re two different experiences. The body holds the nervous system response, the heart bears the cataclysmic break with how life should be.
Spiritual psychology gives us a lens to understand this as well. The felt experience of the heart being torn from connection to Unity, to Oneness is where the extraordinary grief and despair arises.
From a spiritual orientation trauma severs us from our own knowing of unity/consciousness/love/god – whatever word we use for that central fundamental ingredient binding every atom, molecule, and heart together.
When that gets ruptured, body based, non-narrative explosions of disbelief, terror, disorientation happen. The more we encounter those states and the less repair there is, the more the beliefs form. But first, there is the body, non-narrative experience.
Cultivating the positive qualities – remembering in our bodies and hearts the felt experience of goodness, kindness, inexhaustible forgiveness and mercy – create a holding for the heart and the body (the experiences can be different with those two!) so that we can witness and heal. We need this so we can even enter the body in a full-hearted way.
When people have a felt experience of something larger, more “true” than the trauma their hearts can begin the journey into their bodies. This helps hold them, or perhaps more accurately, allows them to remember their true nature, allows self energy to enter.
Without this existential holding people whose bodies contain a lot of traumatic activation tend to be able to “get it” with their minds but their bodies find it harder to shift. They’re left with a feeling of even more helplessness, feeling doomed to be stuck in this horrible place with shame imprinted in their everyday life.
Does this speak to your experience? Is it helpful?
What needs more clarification?
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