Science now shows that the cause of addiction is not the addictiveness of the drugs themselves, but the underlying reasons for taking the drugs – the emotional pain, trauma, and disconnection/loneliness that users feel. The drugs are simply an escape mechanism to avoid feeling the pain and to feel connected to something. If as a society we help people to heal the pain, to feel connected to others and enjoy life, then the use of drugs will decrease. Love and connection is the answer.
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 itand 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.
An entanglement is an enmeshment with another person that affects your ability to be yourself and do as you please. You are so caught up with the other person that your thoughts and feelings are tangled up with theirs. It is hard to know where you end and the other person starts, there is no boundary or separation, the two people are entwined, tangled together into one messy situation.
This comonly occurs when a child tries to take care of a parent. The child sensing the parent’s pain or inability to cope with their life, steps up and takes responsibility for helping reduce the burden on the parent. This is a reversal of the orders of love – parents are meant to give and children receive.
Children are meant to grow focussed on life, play, having fun and age appropriate issues. It is not normal for a child to be thinking about adult problems and trying to solve them. But children will do this out of loyalty, out of love and out of a desire to stay safe and keep their home. No matter how dysfunctional or painful a child prefers to stay with its parent, rather than be taken away into the unknown, even if that unknown is a more loving home with other family members or foster parents.
Our loyalty to our biological parents is huge and stays with us our whole life. If we violate that bond,if we judge or reject our parents we feel a loss, an emptiness, a sadness deep inside, as the flow of love from the family line has been blocked. We are refusing to accept our parents and our life as it is. In essence we are saying ‘NO to life’ and we suffer as a result.The life force flowing to us is diminished as we are saying NO to our parents, NO to their love, NO to receiving any energy or support from them. We are saying “NO, you are not good enough, I wanted more, someone different to you”. This is fighting against life, fighting against what is. These are your parents for better or worse, they are your parents. They gave you life and if that is all they gave you it is a true gift. At the very least accept that, be grateful for that.
As we heal we can come to see our parents as not just ‘parents’, but as people with their own issues, challenges and emotional hurts. If we are trying to fix them, change them, influence them, we are still entangled.We are still caught up unhealthily over involved in their energy and trying to control life. This is like standing in front of a dam that is cracking and trying to order the water to stay there, not to move. It won’t work. As the dam cracks the water is going to gush forth, because that is what water does, gravity does.
Your parents have their own lives to lead and it is not our place to judge them or be overly involved in their business, to be entangled like this stops us from living our lives fully. It is best to accept your parents as they are, to say ‘YES to life’, YES to receiving whatever goodness you can get from them and to accept that as all they can give you, to say “That is enough. What you can’t give me I will get from elswhere. Thank you Mum, thank you Dad, you are enough”. When we can say this and mean it we are freed from the entanglement. The love strength and support from the family line can flow to us, helping us, supporting us to live more fully. We are accepting our place in life and letting ourselves receive the goodness from our family line.
Reaching that place of acceptance can be a long journey. It takes time to grieve what could have been, what you felt should have been and to accept what was and is. That is the journey of life. It is true and authentic emotional release work required until you do feel peaceful inside and accepting of your family.
You could choose to stay in judgement and anger over what has happened or hasn’t happened in your life, but this just punishes you and limits you and your ability to live life joyously. Best to untangle the web, to break free and accept what is and make the most out of it. This is one form of entanglement that can have a massive impact on a person’s life.
Another kind of entanglement occurs when a child takes on a burden for the ancestors present or ancient. It can be a sibling not wanting to live fully because they see their brother or sister afflicted with an illness or who died and they feel guilty for living or being able to do what the other could not. In essence they wish to join the lost sibling. This will result in poor health for themself or some other dysfunction in their lives, as in essence they are saying NO to life, NO to goodness, abundance, health and vitality. They are saying I don’t deserve this or I have no right to this. It is self sacrifice out of loyalty, out of love and entanglement with the fate of the other.
Instead of dying for the other choose to stay a while longer, choose to live fully for them, to do what they could not do, to achieve whatever you desire and to join them when it is your proper time.Whether it was a sibling who died young, your parent or your own child, you do not have to follow them into the grave. You can live and hold them in your heart, feel them in your heart. They are there, their energy is available to you. Your ancestors long dead watch you, pray for you and send you love. They want you to succeed and to advance the family line. It is okay to feel your sadness and to move through it back to peace and happiness.
Another type of entanglement which sounds a little more bizarre, occurs with past relatives whom you may not have even met.It is possible that a young woman having difficulties with infertility is actually entangled with a great Aunt who never married. The energetic connection is such that the present soul put up their hand to relate, to repeat the pattern that occurred in the family line. The same occurs with members of the family who suffered tragedies such as loss of a loved one, death, murder, suicide, etc. A present family member who is connected to the past ancestor may also have suicidal thoughts or mental health problems, they may have financial difficulties or other challenges in life.
Sometimes it is as if the current family member is atoning for the sins of the previous ancestor – they struggle to make up for the wrong doing of the other. In different situations it is as if the family member present today chooses the same fate out of love for the other, wanting to empathise with them.Either way it is not helpful to the present person and it hinders their ability to live their life fully.
When the entanglement is identified and healed the person is free to live how they like. They can consciously honour the past family member and their fate, but choose to be free of the entanglement now, with love and respect, bowing to the ancestor and leaving it with them. This is core Family Constellations work and it is beautful to watch these resolutions occur and people being freed from the knots that have bound them and limited their ability to enjoy their lives. With the knots untied they can walk forward easily to do what they wish, without hindrance. May we all walk freely and enjoy our lives. Blessed BE. Amen.
Life can be fun if you let go of the seriousness, the shoulds and have tos.You can still achieve your tasks, but in a more relaxed way. Take the time to smell the roses, to notice the leaves moving on the trees, to be present to the sun on your skin and the feel of the wind in your hair. Be in the present moment and allow what is to be felt, enjoyed and valued.
Too few of you value or even notice the simple pleasures in life. You are rushing from one man-made construction to the next, one scheduled event to the next. You push yourselves way too hard and are then depleted energy wise, with no reserves left to go play and have fun. So you collapse in front of the TV or numb out on your electronic devices, passing time in a way that while acceptable to you is really a dull version of what is possible if you met with people face to face.
Meeting face to face, in person, allows true connection and touch, a warm hug, a laugh and genuine smile, a gladness for your existence and theirs. It enables your hearts to connect and open and for love to flow. You may just go for a walk or sit and talk, it doesn’t have to be an expensive or fancy activity. Just being together can be fun and it is this connection that most of you crave.
Many people are very lonely. They sit alone at home and feel sad, unloved, bored and uninspired. They could do anything with their time, but they don’t know what to do, so they do nothing and then feel even more blue. Make the most of your days. Reach out to others and connect. Call a friend, see if someone is available for coffee. Your to do list can wait. You are allowed to have some time off. You deserve it, you are worthy of it, and you can have it. You just have to choose.
Go the museum, the zoo, the theatre, there are a thousand things you can do, just choose. Make a list of things you would like to try and do them one by one.It can be easy and fun. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You can choose to enjoy life and have fun each and every day. It is up to you.
The baggage and habits that hold you back, that keep you stuck in the same old space, won’t disappear over night, but it will get easier each step you take. Take those steps, take that leap of faith and trust life to bring you all you need to survive, to serve, to thrive, for life can be fun, you just have to let it be so. Alter your thinking and actions and have fun. It is so good to do.
When you have fun your heart smiles, chemical endorphins are released in your body and your body feels better, healthier, happier. Fun is good medicine. Have some today and every day!!! Take the pressure off of yourself and live a simpler life, where you value yourself and others, where you connect more deeply, where you love each other and are there for each other.
Enjoy life more and thrive. Let the good life in. It is always good, it is just our thinking that makes it seem otherwise.Challenges come and challenges go. These help us evolve and awaken to love, to life lived as a vessel of love, being of service to all. It takes time to heal and release your past hurts, your conditioning, but it is worth the effort. It truly is. Having fun can be easy when your body and mind is at peace, relaxed and present in the moment.
When your body is tense, stressed, or traumatised it is harder to be in the present moment. Part of your energy is tied up in the past, in worry or anxiety, in fear and frustration. You can release this underlying tension and discomfort quite easily using Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). TRE is your body’s natural mechanism for shaking out tension, stress and trauma. When your body and nervous system relax back out of fight, flight, freeze into relaxation it is much easier to enjoy life and have fun as your body is open to it. It feels safe to relax and play, to interact with others and to enjoy life.
Take action to resolve your past hurts and conditioning, so you can have that inner freedom and peace, that natural joy. You will reach that space in time, for that is what the process of life is, a cleansing of the heart to enable evolution, raising of consciousness, and becoming the embodiment of love – to vibrate at that frequency consistently and manifest Heaven on Earth. It can be done. It will be done. You will see and soon. So be it. Amen.
A lot of you who are focused on healing push yourself way too hard, seminar after seminar, therapist after therapist, session after session. You push yourself in the hope that you will feel better, escape the pain, sadness, anger, depression, grief, etc, but you can’t escape it. You have to feel it in order to release it. You can’t just exorcise it from your system.
Each time you push forward with yet another healing modality or technique, your body has to try and adjust to the changes you are forcing upon it. It is already coping with the baggage and emotional density inside. It is already juggling the defense patterns, the compulsive energies rising to the surface for release and now you are forcing a change in the vibration of your body by doing healing or release work. It is a fine line between helping yourself and pushing yourself over the edge into exhaustion, depletion, fatigue and consequential depression.
When you push too hard, too fast and get exhausted, you often feel depressed, because no matter what you do, you feel like it hasn’t helped, worked or fixed you. But the truth is you are not broken and you don’t need fixing. You just need to accept yourself, your life and the process. Trust the evolutionary impulse inside you to lead you forward, to guide you to what serves you, to tell you when it is time to push a little and see a therapist, do a course or have a healing session, and when it is time to rest – time to let your body integrate all the changes and adjust to your new vibration.
The body needs time to sift through the density inside and decide what it is now ready to let go of, what it believes you can cope facing and processing, and what needs to be kept within till a later time when you are feeling stronger and your body has the resources to process it gently, safely and as quickly as possible.
Emotional release, while intense, can be quite quickly done, enabling you to balance backup quickly and relatively effortlessly. If you just breathe through what arises and let it flow out of your system, it will leave. It is only when you resist it, try to ignore or deny it, or go into the story of it and feed it with your thinking, your judgement, your ‘Why me’ victim thinking or your ‘F*ck them’ retaliation mentality, that you prolong the pain and keep it going.
If you just breathe through it, witness it, welcome it up, be grateful for it leaving, then it can flow out smoothly as there is no resistance and a clear path out of your body, mind and field. There is an art to emotional release and consciously balancing back up to feel connected to Source and Self and Earth, here in the NOW. It is an art, a skill, a practice to Master which takes time.
You can’t try and rip the emotional density out, carve chunks of your body off and expect to feel good. It needs to be done delicately and with reverence, with respect for your inner child and younger selves that lived through the pain. You need to comfort them during the process and ensure that they feel safe and supported. You need to be there for them as the Adult that you now are, holding their hands and reassuring them that they are okay, that you can handle it and you are in control now, in the sense that you are connected to Source, to your body and you will listen to it for clues of what it needs. You won’t just go rushing off on a whim to another course, another therapist, another modality. You will stay grounded, check in regularly with your inner world, with your inner child and younger selves and see what they need, see how they feel. You will give yourself time to rest and play and have fun. You will make the effort to exercise and eat well, to show yourself love and kindness and compassion.
When you do all of this your body trusts that you are capable of processing and releasing your burdens safely and it will start allowing it up with more ease and grace. You don’t have to hunt for what haunts you, just be in a state of calm and peace and allow the process to occur naturally.
If you listen within your body will tell you what it needs. If you pay attention to what is occurring in your outside world, you will see what past events / traumas / incidents are being triggered by those you connect with during the day. Your dreams also give you clues.
Your body is your ally, not your enemy. It releases what needs to be released at a rate that it believes you can handle. If you learn the skills to handle it well, then you can release your pain and emotional density relatively quickly, so that you can be in peace and happiness most of the time.Stuff will still come up, but it will release quite quickly and you return to a state of peace and balance almost immediately. Gratitude then comes as it feels so good to have glided through it, rather than been tormented, caught up in it, resisted or fought against it as you may have done in the past.
So listen to your body. It will tell you when it is time for a session with a therapist, when energy work would be beneficial or time alone in nature. Your body will tell you all you need to know. Don’t exhaust yourself by doing too much too quickly. Know that even when you feel bad, you are moving forward. Those feelings, be it sadness, anger, loss, betrayal, loneliness, etc are only temporary and they will leave and you will feel better again. Just breathe through it and in time you will feel better.
Treat yourself with the tenderness you would show to a young child or animal. You are just as precious and just as deserving of love and kindness, and that is what you are longing for and what you truly need. Give it to yourself and you will flourish. Each day your heart will open more and more, until it overflows with joy and happiness, that is a beautiful day and you will see it, reach it, feel it, if you treat yourself with love and kindness no matter what arises and what you are going through.
Give to yourself and you give to the world. For the world craves more love and kindness in all ways. Serve yourself and you serve the world. Your vibration goes out and touches many – those in your ancestral line, those in your physical vicinity, and all of those you interact with on a day to day basis. As you heal your higher vibration makes it easier for others to do so too.
If you feel a discomfort, a racing inside, an urge to run or fight or freeze sit with it. This is your nervous system activated in fear. It is this unease that leads you to want to do something, to search for a solution, to look outwards for answers.
Know that inner unease can only be healed by turning within, by listening to and soothing your body. One of the most effective ways I have found to soothe and calm my nervous system and that inner unrest is Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE).
TRE is the body’s natural way to release tension, stress and trauma. Your body has its own internal mechanism for releasing tension by shaking it out. We call it tremoring. It uses up the adrenaline and cortisol released during moments of stress and trauma. It completes those activations so the body can relax. It realises there is no need to run, fight or freeze now. It’s safe, so it can relax and BE.
TRE is a simple process that you can use at home any time you want as part of your self-care routine. Once learned you can use it for free for the rest of your life. TRE lets your body lead the way with your healing journey. It leads the way. You don’t need to exhaust yourself searching any more. You can relax and allow your body to heal the wounds within so you can have greater peace and relaxation.
In the first blog on this topic, we talked about the impacts of abuse and mentioned some tools for healing. In the second blog, we focused on the impact on your sexuality and ability to interact lovingly with others. In this third blog, we focus on the pain and releasing it from the cells of your body.
When great trauma occurs it is often too intense for the person to cope with. They escape it in some way. It may be by pushing the pain down in their body – swallowing it, holding it deep inside locked in the cells and muscles of the body. Others push it out, try to escape it by pushing it away, pretending it didn’t happen, not wanting it to touch them ever again. This keeps it in the person’s energy bodies and it does still affect them and touch them, just energetically. It is like the black cloud walking along behind or above them. Either way, the pain and trauma stays with you.
You can tell the trauma is still there by the bodily reactions when someone comes close to you.Do you react in fear? Does your breath stop or become shallow? Do you flinch? Do your muscles tighten? Do you try to shrink and become smaller to avoid their touch? Do you become angry and resentful? Do you puff up trying to become bigger to warn off the person and protect yourself?
Clearly, any of these reactions show that the body is not relaxed and at ease, the body is not feeling safe or trusting of other people. This shows the body is still locked into the trauma and is in a state of fear, not love, not peace, and certainly not joy. It can be. You just have to release the trauma out of the body.
The trauma is stored within the cells and muscles of your body. That’s why you get tight muscles. They’re literally frozen, tensed up in fear, ready to react to defend yourself, run away or freeze and be still so you hopefully can hide and not be seen.
It is exhausting for the body to be tense and on hyperalert so much. This tension and the trauma underneath it can be released out of the body so that your body relaxes and so that your mind doesn’t feel a need to be so defensive. Relaxing the body results in the mind softening and your defences melting. We literally thaw out the frozen parcels of trauma stored within the body so they can melt away.
One way to do this is through ‘tremoring’. Your body has an inbuilt shaking mechanism to help shift out the trauma and tension from your body. All mammals have it. The shaking uses up the adrenaline and cortisol, the fight or flight chemicals that were created in the life-threatening moment. If you couldn’t run away or fight back at the time, then these chemicals didn’t get used up. They stayed in your body resulting in the tension and clenched muscles.
Your body was primed, ready to fight or run, but it didn’t get to and afterwards the body didn’t relax fully. It still felt on edge, nervous, anxious, because these chemicals weren’t discharged. The trauma activation never got released. Later when we get triggered, when our body startles easily, is on edge, even if there is no real danger, it is because of these unfinished trauma activations.
You can use ‘Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) to help the body complete these activations, to use up the fight or flight chemicals through shaking, resulting in the body finally being able to relax, to know the war is over, that you survived and you’re okay.
TRE is a very simple process and once learned you can use it yourself forever for free, to release stress, tension and trauma. If you’d like to learn more about TRE click here to watch some videos or to book in an appointment in person or an appointment online to learn TRE. It is well worth doing so your body can finally relax.
Another important process for helping the body to relax and to complete the trauma stored within is inner child recovery work. When you get triggered or scared it is actually a younger part of you that is triggered and scared.
By becoming conscious of your bodily reactions it enables you to start self-soothing. You can tell yourself “You are safe, it’s okay I’m not in danger here”. You can self soothe by holding your own hand, so to speak, or lovingly stroking your arm or your hair. This calms the body, to know it is held and cared for. I have literally stroked my own hair at times of distress and it feels like a safe adult is brushing the hair of a vulnerable child, and this act of self-kindness leads to a softening of the emotion and relaxation back to peace.
Basically, you become the protective, loving parent of the scared child within you.There is literally a scared child inside you and an angry one and a mad, bad, stomp on all the bad guys one who wants to punish those that hurt people. These are the parts of you from the time that you were that age and experienced those things. You can easily access these inner children by closing your eyes and asking to see them.
At first, they may be hiding from you, you might just sense a closed door or a room of furniture with the inner child hiding behind the sofa, just peeking out at you. You need to win their trust, to have them feel you are safe, you will be there for them and they can tell you how they feel and what they need and you won’t reject or abandon them.
In time as you imagine sitting and talking with them, they will start to trust you and come closer, they will start to share their deepest secrets about what hurt them the most. Listen to them, reassure them you love them and that they were not at fault. It was not their fault if someone older sexually abused them or interfered with them. Many inner children may be confused. They may have allowed the contact to occur because the perpetrator was being nice to them, showing them love and tenderness when others weren’t. When it is a parent, step-parent, Uncle, Grandpa or family friend involved, it is extra confusing to the child as that person was known to them, was a safe space, but then all of a sudden wasn’t.
The child may not have thought what occurred was wrong, they may have thought it a game, only to find out later it was labelled as bad or sinful. There are lots of different scenarios.
The point is your inner child is likely to feel confused and until that is cleared up, they won’t feel comfortable trusting anyone else who enters your life. They will always be cautious and on guard, wondering if this new, supposedly safe person is going to one day hurt them like the family member did. Therefore, they don’t relax, they keep their guard up and stay alert for danger.
In this way, they refuse to let love in. Even if the other person is genuinely authentic in their caring for the person who has suffered abuse, it is difficult for the abused person to accept it, believe it or reciprocate it. This, of course, has detrimental effects on relationships and prevents true intimacy and the feeling of being loved for who you are. Without love coming in from within – to ourself, or from without – from others, our cup becomes empty and we can fall into despair, depression and feeling worthless, unloved, unwanted and think the world is a horrible place.
Yet the love and the light is there, good people are all around us, we just have to learn to let the love in, and to do so we need to allow ourselves to feel vulnerable, to take the risk to love and receive love, to surrender to life and its process of awakening.
While the inner child is still confused, scared, angry or ashamed this process is blocked or minimised, often to the point of almost complete annihilation. Anyone who dares to show you love or acceptance becomes seen as a threat, a bad person or foolish one because if they truly knew you, you think they shouldn’t love you, and hence if they do they must not be very wise, smart or worth much. So you judge them and push them away.
To stop such patterns you need to heal your heart, talk to your inner child, send it love. Any time you feel scared, know it is your inner child asking for reassurance, wanting to know you are aware of its concern, and you are taking care of the situation, that you will keep them safe and it’s okay for them to go play or have a nap. They may prefer to stay with you, clinging to the back of your leg, watching to make sure you do handle whatever interaction is occurring that has led to their nervousness.
In time, once they have seen you do handle it and keep them safe, then they will relax and go play, they will become a joyful, innocent child again and this frees you the Adult to also enjoy life again. Your body relaxes, so much so, that when someone approaches you, you do not react with fear or hesitation. You can welcome the person and interact joyfully, peacefully, light-heartedly. It takes a long time to reach this stage, but it is worth the effort.
All it takes is becoming conscious of your patterning and comforting your self, your inner child, becoming the good parent to it and guardian of it, and in time it will relax. Then the pleasure is amazing. You can stare at the leaves moving in the tree and feel transported into a magical place again, you can feel the awe and wonder that a little child feels for life. You can see the beauty and love all around you and you can let it in.
You can let yourself receive love and goodness and the Universe pours it into you. It always has been doing this, but our defences have stopped us receiving it. With those defences melted away, we can finally accept the goodness and allow ourselves to have a happy life, with friends, love and peace. It is wonderful to do so. Blessed BE. Amen.
Evil does not exist as a specific entity. Only evil acts occur and these occur as a result of people’s thinking and their beliefs about right or wrong.Someone may truly think that a certain person is bad and should be killed. It is not that the first person is evil, they are just deluded by their thinking. It is at the thinking level that change is required.
When masses of people believe the same thing atrocities can occur. Good people caught up in bad situations due to a mob mentality. It is very hard for the individual person to resist this when there is mass hysteria and pressure to go along with the rest. These atrocious acts are often done with a clear conscience, as those doing them believe that their cause is important and their actions justified. They don’t realise the damage they do or the harm they cause. That is blocked from their sight, filtered out of the data that they observe. Simply because of their thinking and belief systems about right or wrong.
Child abusers who harm children don’t realise the long term consequences of their actions and don’t care what they are. Does this make them evil? Yes and no. The acts are detrimental, but they occur due to the person’s lack of awareness and their own internal pain. Most who abuse others were abused themselves and the cycle continues because noone seeks help to resolve their inner pain. Instead the pain is projected outwards causing pain for others and so on and so on. This occurs until someone is brave enough to look within, feel the emotions locked inside and become more aware. Then with kindness and love the person heals the hate and the need for revenge drops away.
As love expands in one’s heart, the judgement of others also drops away and eventually compassion is felt for all involved, and it is acknowledged that anyone hurting another is hurting deeply inside.So the individuals are not evil, just misled, unaware and wounded internally. Love is what heals such conditions. Love is needed, not judgement, condemnation, punishment, isolation or imprisonment. LOVE.
But what to do when someone is not willing to look within or change their mindset? It is true it is not beneficial to let them keep hurting others, and that is why your laws exist and prisons exist. There is a fine line between helping and making things worse at the institutional level. If prisoners are treated poorly, their beliefs about life are likely to worsen and they will not be rehabilitated at all, no matter how long they are locked up.
If they receive support, encouragement, counselling and healing services while imprisoned their views on life may improve. If they are shown how to heal, to release their trauma so that they can be more peaceful then their anger, hate and rage will diminish.
Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) is a powerful process to help with this as you don’t need to talk about your past. You don’t need to be vulnerable and risk connecting with others. It is a practice you can do by yourself if you want to and it helps your body to release the tension, stress and trauma bit by bit, shaking it off, letting out steam from the pressure cooker inside. It helps you to unwind, be less defended and reactive.
As your body relaxes and starts to feel safer you can see life differently, see more possibilities, as you are no longer locked in fight or flight wanting to defend yourself or attack others. TRE is taught in a wide range of contexts – to individuals, to first responders (army, ambulance, police, fire officers), to children and would be great for inmates too.
If inmates are taught a trade, given an opportunity to make a better life for themselves, then many will, but some may not. Some may be so hardened in their hearts that it can not be felt or accessed, no matter how much love is shone on them. Such a person needs compassion and understanding, to let them be how they are, not made wrong. They may not heal this lifetime, it may be the next or the one after that or many more to come. But kindness and love is going to help chip away at their armour and plant the seeds of change. They should never be treated badly as this will just worsen things.
No person is truly evil, all are of God and God-like, made in God’s image. The light is within us all. The person who does evil acts is just someone who has lost touch with their heart and the light within. They will find it again, it is just a matter of time.Blessed BE. Amen.
While every individual will go through their own healing experience there are common healing stages. People cycle through these healing stages, moving from one to another and back again, until they have released the past and can concentrate on their present and future unhindered.
1. Acknowledging that abuse occurred
Admitting it – no more denial
Acknowledging the impacts on you & your life
Dealing with the emotions & memories
Accepting yourself & your reactions as normal
Learning to trust your self & your intuition
2. Making the decision to heal
Choosing hope over resignation or despair
Making an active commitment to change
Putting aside other demands and allowing time to experience emotions, to think about the issues, and to get the necessary help & support
Allowing the painful emotions to come up and release – dealing with the chaotic nature of this on your day to day life
Finding support – from yourself & others
3. Talking to others about the abuse
Breaking the silence
Reducing shame & guilt by acknowledging out loud that you were abused & it wasn’t your fault
Choosing who to tell, what you want from them & dealing with their reactions
4. Placing responsibility where it belongs
Recognising the abuse was the abuser’s fault, not yours – you are not to blame at all. You were a child
You are not to blame if you went along with it – the abuser had power over you & you didn’t have all the information to decide objectively – you were a child
In the case of sexual abuse, you are not to blame if your body was aroused – it’s a normal bodily response. You’re not to blame if you felt positive feelings of intimacy with the abuser – they may have been nice & loving to you when others weren’t
Any problems that arose within the family as a result of the abuse were not your fault
Identify & understand how you were tricked, bribed, threatened or coerced by the abuser – you were used & abused
You are strong though – you have survived. You can heal & create the life you want!
5. Dealing with the loss and sadness
Feeling grief over – what happened to you, your loss of innocence & childhood, the loss of trust, sadness that the relationships weren’t the way you would have liked them to be, sadness over the impact of the abuse on you throughout your life
If you get depressed, get help to move through it
Feel all these feelings, talk to safe people about them, release the emotion – the intensity will pass
6. Expressing anger
Feeling anger over what happened
Expressing anger towards the abuser & others involved, rather than at yourself (This is done in safe & constructive ways in private, not necessarily with the actual people involved)
Letting go of the need for retaliation
Building self assertion & strength
7. Working through the difficulties caused by the abuse
Working through difficult physical, social, emotional & behavioural problems
Working through unhelpful beliefs about oneself, about abuse or about life in general
8. Building a future
Accepting the abuse happened & it is part of the past
Development of self acceptance & self respect
Acknowledging the wisdom & strengths you’ve gained from surviving the abuse
Overcoming residual feelings of vulnerability & lack of confidence
Dealing with fear & planning ways to take care of yourself in different situations
Setting goals & taking steps to create the life you want
Feeling more in control of your life
Summarised many years ago by Dr. Jodi-Anne M Smith from: MacDonald K, Lambie I & Simmonds L, 1995, Counselling for sexual abuse. A therapists guide for working with adults, children and families, Oxford University Press, London, pgs 30-43.
Art work is Jodi-Anne’s original art therapy drawings.