June 28, 2018 Terrie Huberman

Understanding Emotional Trauma

Doing inner work is not an easy feat.  It’s a mirror that is held up to us and we witness everything if we’re doing it correctly. It’s painful to review emotional trauma; to go back to those instances that left us feeling scared, vulnerable, and unsafe.

For about a year or so now, energetically we’ve been called to take a deep look at our inside. And we’re being forced to do this, which is another reason it’s so hard; it’s not a choice in most cases.

Often times people think that to have emotional trauma, it has to be a big, dramatic event like physical abuse or a life-threatening disease. And while those definitely cause emotional trauma, events like break ups, job loss, or even a non-life-threatening injury can have the same effect. There can be no judgment on the depth of how traumatic an event is; pain is pain in the mind, and the central nervous system will react the same way each time the conscious mind deems something ‘traumatic’.

The central nervous system (CNS) plays a large role in our emotional guidance system. The body that is the manifestor of emotional information. The CNS sends out signals (adrenaline) to body parts which react to stressful situations in the fight or flight mode; tightening in the chest, stomach, or back areas and even rapid breathing or sweating palms  These are all indicators that the conscious mind is deeming a thought or situation stressful or dangerous, and is being resistant to its original calm nature.

When our minds experience a traumatic event, the CNS gets triggered, leaving an imprint or cellular memory in the body. From that moment onward, anytime stress is present, the body reacts because the cellular memory has been activated and emotional trauma commences. Victimization flares up via the ego as a way to survive and this now becomes the new perception of how we live our lives to keep safe, instead of vulnerable or in danger.

These new ways, based on the emotional trauma, are called coping mechanisms. The ways in which we cope with stress and victimization can be stifling and keep us from moving forward.

There is no living human who hasn’t experienced some type of emotional trauma, and it doesn’t matter where on the scale of 1 to 10 the trauma is.  All experiences leave cellular memory in the body.  It’s only when we start to explore our inner selves that we get a glimpse of where that emotional traumatic imprint in our bodies lie and what we can learn from it.

It’s usually when we finally get to a place where we feel our life is no longer working for us, but against us, when we’ll start the inner work process; and it’s an emotional roller coaster. It’s emotional, painful, and enlightening; yet that’s where the healing and closure comes from.  Though we’ll never really know or understand the ‘why’ of what took place (that’s between you and the Creator), we can begin to understand what our role in the action/s were, and how we can embrace the discomfort of the experience.  With every breakdown there is a breakthrough, and it can take time to feel and notice changes withinourselves and the ripple effect outsideof ourselves while noting the coping mechanisms used and if we should continue using them.

This is how our body and mind work together as a team. If we begin to pay attention with emotional awareness, we can identify our feelings and the coping mechanisms to see how we’re dealing with that cellular memory imprint.  We can then practice emotional intelligence asking ourselves if those coping mechanisms are bringing us closer to feeling better, keeping us stuck, or pulling us backwards. It gets easier and easier the more we practice emotional awareness and emotional intelligence. This is how trauma starts to heal, by looking inside of ourselves and becoming aware.

We are empowered when we p attention pay to where in our body we are experiencing resistance, and being aware of emotional setbacks.  Then we can explore and get to know ourselves better and work through blocks. It entails a high level of emotional awareness. So, the question is, are you ready for real change and to let go of emotional trauma?

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