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Healing From Trauma and The Courage to Keep Your Heart Open

Trauma gets held not only in our physical body, but also in our emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Any trauma has multiple layers to it, and often multiple issues. Thinking that you are done dealing with something after only one or two moments or sessions of therapy, is unrealistic.

We are complex Beings with many complex issues that can be buried deeply or remain dormant for ages or even for lifetimes.

Healing requires Time, willingness to sit with difficult feelings, the courage to keep your heart open, to look with compassion at the self, and others, and learning that forgiveness is about you being able to let go of the pain.

Still, the pain needs to be looked at and sat with, for as long as it takes or for as many times as it needs, in order to be completely dissolved into the Light. Each time that we make progress, we do so for the whole human race, not just for ourselves. Knowing that, adds an incentive. But do it for yourself first. You are worth it.

Sometimes we don’t realize how much trauma gets held in the physical body, or in our energy bodies. Today I realized that I am afraid to drive. The accident was two months ago and I didn’t sustain any great injuries. However, I realized today, that I have not gone anywhere, except for the grocery store, for two months. I used to drive to a nearby park almost every day, to walk around the lake there. Yet I have been loathe to leave my apartment for two months. So I sat with the Fear today. And then I drove to the park. But I know there is still residual fear that I will have to continue to acknowledge and dissolve with love. I also realized my arm pain from the accident has triggered another muscle memory to re-surface. I say re-surface because I did face this memory in my 20’s with a therapist and I had thought that it was gone and done with.

So I had to sit with this old memory again today. A muscle memory. From when I was 5 yrs old. I will share a bit of my story, for two reasons 1) so you can understand how much I know about the process of healing and 2) because sometimes it is helpful to the healing process to feel heard and seen, to let things out and not keep them buried under shame and unworthiness.

My arm goes physically numb when I recall my 5 yr old self, raising her arm to block the blow of the belt that her adopted father was wielding in anger. Anger at me for not lying. For not putting on a smile and telling my birth grandmother that I was happy. For not saying “good-bye” to her. I knew who she was, even though they did not tell me. I found out at a much older age, that my birth grandmother had handled my whole adoption. But my 5 yr old self knew without a doubt that she was my relation, my blood. I could feel the connection so strongly. And so, I could not bring myself to pretend to be happy, or to say “good-bye”. For which my enraged father made sure to make me suffer. My whole arm went numb, as it blocked the first blow. I don’t need to say that it was only the first of many blows or that it was only one of many beatings, do I? Or perhaps I do need to say it. I rarely speak of such things.

I realized today, that the issues from that experience and many others like it, go much deeper. I uncovered a connecting Issue. That every time I refused to pretend, refused to hide my authentic self, I was beat down for it. I refused to be squashed into a very small box. And as I look around at so many women I know or have known, I recognize that same theme in their experiences. Not just from fathers, but also from husbands, lovers and even tragically from other women who have been indoctrinated into a societal norm that oppresses, devalues, and dehumanizes women. My own adopted mother was damaged by this and in turn heaped emotional and physical abuse upon me, to the point that when my father told her he had sexually molested me (I was 6 yrs old) in the car, on the way to get ice cream, she actually blamed me. She screamed at me and slammed my head repeatedly into the wall. I felt her betrayal much more deeply than anything else I have ever suffered.

Here is where Keeping Your Heart Open becomes important.

If I want to not only heal, but learn what Love is, I need to also learn how to understand and forgive. That is necessary to keeping your heart open.

I also keep my heart open for myself. To Love myself. So today, I thanked my younger self, for refusing to be squashed, for refusing to hide. I have cried for each and every time that my body suffered pain and trauma and I have praised my body and spirit for being resilient, for being such an amazing Holy Temple, for my Beautiful Soul, whose Light can never be squashed. In my mind’s eye, I held all the younger versions of me, for all the times she endured fists, belts, head slams, or kicks, especially the kick that fractured her tailbone, which took 3 yrs to heal. And for the sexual abuse, which has taken a lifetime to even look squarely at – trauma which caused an ovarian tumor. Yet here I am. I have chosen to be here, to look at my authentic self and love her. To learn to keep my heart open, so I can look at the deep pain that my abusers must have been in, and have compassion for them, for they didn’t fully understand that their own delusions and shadows controlled them. I swore when I was young that I would not grow up to be like them. Which means I must have the courage to keep my heart open.

I have learned that I am worth it. I have learned to see myself through the eyes of compassion, the eyes of my heart. I recently came across a school photo of me from 8th grade. I had forgotten about this one, so it was like seeing myself for the first time. And I truely saw, this beautiful soul that I was. I realized that I was not this horrible sinful “bad seed” that I was made to feel like, back then.

I have learned that being willing to open my heart, allows for the opportunity to experience true Love, to realize that Love is the fabric of the Universe, and the fabric of my Soul. In order to be my authentic self, I must realize that my Soul, is Love itself. I am Love Itself.

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