When a person has suffered many disappointments in life, they learn to switch off from life, from expecting good things or even believing it is possible for their life to work out okay. This is a self defense mechanism aimed to limit the pain received and protect from further disappointments.
But switching off from life, hope, faith is a disasterous thing to do, it is a giving up of life force energy, of joy, of hope, of happiness. It will inevitably lead to judgement, ridicule, low self-esteem, depression and feelings of unworthiness.
If the major traumas occurred when a young child, 0-7 years old, it is highly likely that a pattern of learned helplessness was embedded in the child’s unconscious and as an adult plays out constantly in all aspects of life, leaving the person feeling a victim, feeling unable to change anything and accepting life is always going to be this way.
With such pessimism life becomes drudgery, one boring or scary or threatening and dangerous day after another. It is easy to see why people may self medicate through addictions to avoid the emotional pain and sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
It is a cruel way to exist, it is a numbing out of life, a walking dead scenario, feeling as if there is no point in staying alive or trying to change anything, because it feels like it never works or changes, it never gets better.
This is a very painful place to be in internally, to feel this hurt and broken that you don’t know how to go on, how to survive, how to live. You give up trying and just survive one day at a time. Life is monotonous, bland, boring and suffocating. Sadly this is a common state of being for many people. Gladly, you don’t have to stay stuck in it.
You only feel so helpless because it is younger parts of you that got hurt and disappointed, whose pain is so high, that it is over ruling everything else. If you heal these wounds and help free your inner child or younger selves then that pain will not be your primary emotion or experience of life.
You the adult has every opportunity to make different choices, to have fun, to be positive and enjoy life. It is just hard to do when your vitality, your life force is stuck in the past, playing out a repetitive loop of negativity.
So how do you free yourself of the wounds? There are many ways that help. At this stage it is just important to know you can break free, that you can heal and that life can become better. To let a glimmer of hope exist.
Just because people in your past hurt you or disappointed you, doesn’t mean it has to reoccur over and over. If you heal the wounds you can flourish. You will no longer attract in that treatment as you will no longer be a vibrational match to it. Once you have released the pain, your body can relax, come out of fight or flight and shut down zombie mode. Life force energy can flow freely through your veins again, revitalising you to live life fully, embracing possibility and taking action to live your dreams, your greatest potential while here on Earth.
To achieve this the wounds must be healed, the emotional pain must be released / transmuted and your heart opened back up to allow love in, to trust and take action, to risk changing / trying something new and letting people close.
When people are closed down out of disappointment, it is like they have bolted the door, put up a security fence, have guard dogs snarling, attempting to keep out anything good from occurring, so that they will not be disappointed or hurt further.
People with good intentions attempt to come close and they are faced with snarling dogs, electric fences and machine guns aimed at them, as if they are the enemy, when all they want to do is love you. It takes a strong and determined person to persevere in this situation and say “Let me in, it is okay, you can trust me”.
Many just walk away, they see the wounding in the other, the closed door, so they turn away. Hence the hurt person ends up alone, isolated, desperate for attention, for love, but not allowing it. No wonder they feel so hopeless.
There is a war going on inside, keeping the goodness away. When someone does come close they can over react with anger, feeling like “How dare they expect me to let them in, how dare they expect me to take a risk”. You push the person away so hard.
Depending on how deep the wound will depend on how automatic this rejection process is. It can be so strong that rage is triggered and a feeling that you could set the person on fire because they have threatened you and your safety by daring to enter into your closed kingdom, and it literally feels like a threat to your existence. So sad when really the other is saying “Hello, do you want a friend? Do you want to play?”.
It is like two young children meeting in a playground and the first person has planted their feet, crossed their arms, stomped on the spot and said “NO”, shouted “NO, you will not play with me, go away, leave me alone”. They are totally closed off in their tantrum about how they feel and what has occurred to them in life. Then they sulk, pout, kick and scream about how unfair it all is. Most of us can see this behaviour in toddlers, young children quite easily, but we fail to see that as wounded adults we are doing the same thing.
Life can’t change dramatically for the better unless you uncross your arms, suck in your bottom lip, and you open up to connection, to playing, to having fun. While you are shouting NO nothing much can change. So you have to be willing to lower the defenses, to open up to another way of being and to feeling and releasing the emotional pain underneath the wounds, then it dissolves, then you walk free of it and you can see the blue sky and sunshine and let it in, you can see the beauty in life and let yourself be replenished by it and experience good things and have your life work out more enjoyably.
It is clear that it is up to you to take action to heal the wounds. Noone else can do it for you. Even those brave souls who wear suits of armour and non-flammable overalls who come close wanting to help you move forward. Their efforts can only help if you let them in. If you keep shouting NO energetically or actually saying it through your words and actions, then their efforts can’t help.
It is up to you to take the risk to let life be different. You can do it and it is worth it, so worth it, to walk free from misery and enjoy life, to be pleasantly surprised by the mystery of life and finally see the goodness in all things. You can achieve this, simply by healing the past so it doesn’t cloud your future. It can be done and I and many others can help you do it, if you let us, if you open up and say “YES to life, YES I am willing to move forward and to risk being happy. YES I can do this, I will do this, I choose this”.
Then life will lead you forth to the right people, places, books, courses and whatever else you need that best suits you to help you heal and break free from the pain. It will be different for each person based on their current state of awareness, willingness, and ability to feel and release their pain. Some will need to do self-study at first, before they would be willing to risk seeing a therapist and trusting someone to help them move forward. Some may prefer talk therapy as they don’t yet feel safe enough to go into their bodies and feel what is there. Some may prefer to start with body work modalities to help the body relax and let go, preferring this as they are too scared to voice their concerns or speak the truth that they have tried to hide from their whole lives.
Inside your body are all the trapped emotions and memories from the traumas you’ve experienced. It results in muscular tension and holding patterns that are so common in our society. It results in tight, sore shoulders, necks and backs. It is literally like the body has clenched, locked down, armoured up in order to protect itself.
A large part of healing is releasing this tension, melting the armour and the hypervigilance that comes from being in fight, flight, freeze so much.
This has to be done slowly, gently. You can’t take the top off the volcano and have all the pressure escape at once. It’s too volatile, too dangerous, too overwhelming. You need to let out the pressure and steam slowly, gently, so you don’t explode emotionally, but also so your body can integrate the shifts and changes.
There are many ways to reduce the internal stress and pressure, soy ou can cope more easily with whatever life brings you. When you’re already stressed up to your eyeballs internally it makes it so hard to cope. It’s like you’re exhausted with nothing else to give or any capacity to take on more – whether that be a challenge at work, a family member wanting your support or asking you to do something.
When you’re already at your limit, when your plate is full, any additional stressors can result in strong, undesirable reactions. You might react in anger or rage, or just be irritable and cold pushing people away or ignoring their needs. Not because you don’t care. You do care. You just don’t have any more capacity to cope with another stressor.
Thankfully you can use a range of methods to diffuse your internal bomb. Most people turn to addictions to try and numb it, escape it, avoid it, distract from it. They get busy or drink or shop or play video games or any other distraction that stops them from feeling what is occurring inside.
Clearly, this is not a healthy or long term solution. Your nervous system still has all the charge in it, all the pent up energy and emotion, so addictions just form a temporary fix that is bound to fail as the internal pressure continues to grow and the person eventually implodes or explodes.
A much healthier way to reduce the pressure, to let out the steam is spending time in nature, going for walks or swims at the beach. Anything that helps you to slow down, to have greater relaxation and ease in your body.
I have found Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) particularly useful, as it lets out that tension from the body bit by bit, calming your nervous system and giving you more capacity to cope with day to day life. As you release the pressure, it is like you’re taking some of the burdens and pressures from your plate, so there’s room, capacity, to handle life events with a bit more grace and ease. You don’t get shoved into overwhelm as quickly.
TRE is a set of simple exercises designed to help the body access its innate stress, tension and trauma release mechanism. This is an inbuilt tremoring process that uses up the stagnant energy, melts the armour and helps you shift out of fight, flight, freeze into relaxation and ease within. When this occurs it is easier to interact with others as you feel safer in your body, less threatened and defensive. It’s a powerful process for calming the body back down to it’s natural peaceful, playful state.
Excitingly TRE can be learned quickly and once learned you can use it for free for the rest of your life. You can do the exercises and tremoring releases in your own home, whenever you want.
If you want to go deeper, learn more or have some support as you go along, you can see a TRE practitioner like me, but you don’t have to do that regularly. You can just do it when you want to or if you need some extra support.
TRE gives you back your freedom to engage in your healing journey and to heal at a rate your body is comfortable with, listening to and honouring your body. It is well worth learning TRE to empower yourself and move forward with your life. You don’t need to stay stuck, defensive or hidden. You can be free.
There are many roads home, to healing, to your heart and wholeness. It doesn’t matter which road you take, what matters is your willingness to take a step forward into the unknown, into life being different. If you are willing, the Universe will meet you and guide you forth.
May you learn to run joyously along your path, knowing you are taken care of, and see the beauty of life and love all around you. For it is there just waiting for you to open your arms and embrace it. Life really is good once you heal your pain and can see more clearly. May you obtain inner peace as quickly and as easily as you can. With love, Amen.