Permission to Heal

Feb 23, 2024

Ah yes, permission to heal.  Who doesn’t want that right? Well, sometimes there is that sneaky secondary gain that if we don’t heal, we don’t have to change our community, our thinking, or our habits.  Gasp, I know. 

Some of you may have engaged in this topic during our private sessions, in previous classes, or perhaps you participated in the course, 5 Signs Your Past is Hijacking Success, which is found in the healing circle. Let's revisit the concept of trauma, as it's a popular and sometimes confusing subject. 

Some individuals may insist they haven't experienced any trauma, but when sharing their life stories, I often find that they have indeed faced challenging moments. Often, the people who report not having much trauma have frequently experienced the most horrific things.  Everyone has a different muscle built for resilience, tolerance, and perspective, so some folks don’t even know there’s anything to heal.  Bracing against life is just normal.  

 

Here's a sneak peek into what we're diving into:

  • Types Unveiled: Get to know the different flavors of trauma—situational and developmental—and their lasting effects on your outlook.
  • Coping Chronicles: Uncover the factors influencing your coping mechanisms, from positivity bias to that potential midlife wake-up call.
  • Robert's Tale: Meet Robert, as we unfold his story, a real-life illustration of the intricate dance between mind and body.
  • Tips & Tricks: Practical tips coming your way! Learn how to navigate past trauma with self-awareness practices and embracing your emotions.

 

Ready to untangle the threads of your past, embrace the present, and set the stage for a brighter future? Let's get started! 

 

 

Types of Trauma

To make things clearer, let's discuss the distinction between different types of trauma, so you don't have to stress about which one applies to you. Oh, and if you’re a human, you have experienced some kind of trauma. That’s just the deal of getting to be alive. Yay, lessons and learning. As you may know, trauma can manifest in various ways, even from seemingly minor incidents like developmental experiences:

 

  • Situational trauma - incidents that shake you to the core (your house burned down, disasters, war, etc.)
  • Assault trauma - criminal, sexual, physical abuse (single incident or ongoing)
  • Developmental trauma - an assault that causes lasting effects (long term conditioning that you don’t measure up, etc.)

 

It's essential to recognize that different factors can influence how individuals cope with trauma:

  • Glucose levels during traumatic moments
  • Neurotransmitter levels - measures resilience
  • Intensity of trauma - severe incidents or mild 
  • Positivity bias or negativity bias - how we digest the event
  • Familial support-ability to process upsets
  • Astrological unique imprint (hey, why not throw this in?)



However, it's worth noting that the pain may resurface later in life, particularly around the age of forty, when unresolved issues and reflections on past events come to the forefront.

 

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

 

Our bodies often make decisions based on our unconscious thoughts, leading us to engage in actions to soothe ourselves.  We seek those state changes or dopamine hits like cheating on our spouses, using drugs, or, in the case of one of my clients, obsessively getting tested for illnesses as a way of coping with not feeling safe in the world. These examples highlight why it’s crucial to seek permission from our bodies to heal, as the body plays a protective role in our well-being. Otherwise, we just stay in a hyper aroused state reacting to life, versus relaxed and present.

It's common for individuals to somaticize, translating emotional distress into physical symptoms like thyroid issues or autoimmune conditions. These physical manifestations can be metaphors for unprocessed trauma

Autoimmune responses often occur with long standing conditioning of learning it isn’t polite to express anger, or that it’s your job to make other people more comfortable.  It's essential not to blame ourselves for these coping mechanisms. Many of us come from a culture where discussing emotions is discouraged, but being physically unwell is deemed acceptable. 

  • Family patterns may contribute to developing illnesses 
  • A collective response to avoiding emotional pain
  • Exiting into physical ailments protects us

What's empowering about this segment is the recognition that, alongside having guides as allies, your body can become a trusted companion. It's like having another being on your board of advisors. This shift towards befriending and understanding your body marks a significant step in your healing journey.

 

Robert's Story: The Impact of Unresolved Trauma

To illustrate the lasting impact of trauma, let me share a story about a client we’ll call Robert. Understanding stories like Robert’s highlights the importance of addressing emotional pain and trauma for overall well-being.

On the surface, Robert appears highly successful, having made significant contributions to the world and functioning at a high level. However, beneath the exterior, he has struggled with unaddressed pain for many years. Despite seeking various forms of therapy and being on pharmaceuticals since his twenties, Robert has never truly confronted the emotional turmoil within. 

Robert's upbringing adds another layer to his story. Raised by a nanny in a family with financial struggles, his busy parents didn’t spend much time with him, so he navigated a childhood without the emotional connection most children experience. These early experiences have left lasting imprints on his ability to process and express emotions. 

Growing up, Robert received messages to suppress his emotions, with remarks like "Shut up!" and, "You don’t know what you’re talking about." These dismissive responses became a recurring theme, leading to a pattern of shutting down emotionally. By the time he reached his twenties, several close friends died, which intensified his sense of fear and unease. In response, he coped by overachieving, attempting to compensate for the emotional void within.

The breaking point for Robert came when his mother passed away in his thirties. Despite his high level of success, he never received the desired validation from his family, leaving him fragmented emotionally. This led to poor health and a shocking cancer diagnosis, which was traumatic and created more distress. 

In an effort to escape these painful emotions, Robert buried the trauma deep within himself, determined never to be humiliated by being wrong or showing any vulnerability.  He established a life of control and micromanagement, fearing the chaos that might arise from within. 

Over time, as we worked together for several years, allowing his body to release these suppressed emotions, we observed a gradual reduction in symptoms related to control and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. It's a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of addressing deep-seated emotional pain.

As he began to feel safer, Robert encountered an unfamiliar sensation, having spent a lifetime bracing against life's challenges. In his process of healing, he was waiting for his “healing not to stick,'' and fall into his usual depression.  Instead he started to see the world around him for the first time, and finally had enough bandwidth to feel empathy for others including his adult children.  

Gradually, as his nervous system restored, Robert’s adult children expressed their gratitude through a heartfelt thank-you note to him, recognizing the positive changes despite the ongoing journey. 

 

 

Tips & Tricks

Here are some friendly tips for navigating the impact of past trauma on your journey:

  • Self-Check Moments: Regularly check in with yourself. Ask, "How am I doing? What do I need?"
  • Do I Have Permission to Heal? Who would be happy or mad at you if you did?
  • Embrace Emotions: Allow yourself to feel all your emotions without judgment, even anger.  Don’t internalize any injustice.
  • Celebrate Progress: Healing is like a song.  You listen, and respond accordingly. The goal is not for the song to be over, but to celebrate the progress of your new healing habits that are in place. 

 

It’s important to get curious and check in with your body when you are in pain or getting sick.  Remember, this isn’t about blame, but to become more intimate with your body’s wisdom while seeking permission from our bodies to heal. 

Would you like to be given permission to heal?  This information above is from my deep dive series called, “Reveal and Heal Obstacles to Your Success™” There you will find a step-by-step healing path to help you build a strong and resilient foundation to heal from your past and move through life with ease.

 

You can find the Permission to Heal healing class in the Invoke and Release® Healing Circle

 

As we conclude this discussion of trauma and connecting with the wisdom of your body, I'm excited to share more about how the Invoke and Release® modality can aid in healing.

 

Invoke and Release® helps you:

  • Safely process and release suppressed trauma 
  • Restore nervous system regulation
  • Resolve the imprints of past experiences
  • Integrate mind, body, and spirit
  • Uncover core wounds and limiting beliefs
  • Create embodiment and wholeness

 

When we hold onto past trauma and pain, it can negatively impact our health, relationships, and personal growth. Invoke and Release® facilitates true healing, allowing you to free yourself from the past and live fully in the present.

If you feel called to explore Invoke and Release® for your own healing journey, I warmly invite you to join the Invoke and Release® Healing Circle. Our classes and membership provide a supportive community as you reconnect with your inner wisdom and transform your life.

Important Links:

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

Invoke and Release®

Invoke and Release® Healing Circle

 

Helpful Blogs:

Why is Healing Trauma Important

Your Body as Your Healing Ally

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