Updated: Dec 9, 2020
I was so scared of forgetting who I was, of losing the awareness of my place in life.....
These words rose from deep within my body recently, streaming out of my nervous system into the safety of silence and deep stillness.
I was simultaneously heartbroken and in awe, feeling a visceral grief yet so grateful at how beautifully wired I am as a human. We all are.
I don't think I have ever been as aware as I am now of the impact that trauma has on human life and the ensuing tendency towards relinquishing one's individual essence in the service of belonging, acceptance and loyalty, to both family, tribe, culture and country.
Trauma for me has always been a big word. A loaded word.
An experience which happens where there is violence, gross neglect, conflict, overt abuse, war, displacement, natural disasters, chaos- both physical,psychological, social or historical - .
It certainly didn't happen to me.
What had happened to me was just life being life.
Yet things and words are never as they seem. They can morph and expand what they contain, as the old goes and the new comes.
Three months ago my psyche decided to throw up to the light some of its dark, or, as I say, wisely withheld, content.
The reality of trauma came and asked to be acknowledged. It asked for space and time. A private audience with my awareness.
A ghost-like part of me whacked me awake.
After this initial jolt, my body went through regular bouts of intense pain, sharp, shooting pain on the side of my neck, firing up and into the centre of my brain, to then release itself into thin, sparky filaments of electricity. A few days later these waves merged with uncontrollable weeping and an inability to hold myself together.
I didn't know why but I could only find safe relief and comfort on the flatness of the floor surface. My body ran to it like someone lost in the desert throws himself at the water of a hidden well. Nausea clenched my stomach and released itself through groaning, howling and a relentless begging for holding and safety .
Face down, with images of the total prostration of soon-to-be-ordained priests, monks and nuns reeling through my brain, I was completely powerless against the energies rising from my unconscious.
Afterwards, I couldn't speak, nor did I want to be in anyone's presence. I was both deeply calm and very activated.
Something locked in my wiring had found its way out of the frozen pocket of isolation and exclusion it had been kept in for a very, very long time. It could no longer stay down, hidden in my system , like a squatter in an abandoned building. It wanted to come home. To help me wake up fully to a truth I didn't completely understood I had suppressed.
My lifelong involvement in personal transformation and inner liberation, fired by the current state of affairs around the world, had led me, a few months prior to this visitation from my psyche, to explore the reality of collective trauma through online conversations, webinars and seminars.
I felt like I had walked into the ultimate 'candy store of information' concerning the subject. My neurons started making new connections. It was all so evoking.
The cells in my body were uploaded with a quality of information which felt like a balm to my heart and pure light to my soul.
I didn't know yet that this was the groundwork for the unexpected 'gift' my psyche would be handing me soon and which ultimately led me to such a shift in perspective that I decided to delve deeper into the field of trauma healing.
I am currently studying and training in collective trauma work with an international organization dedicated to address the issues of cultural, historical, social, ancestral, inter-generational and collective trauma we are all swimming in, both in our individual experience and as a human society.
I feel challenged, stretched, awakened and cleansed all at once.
I feel deep grief when the full impact of what I have had to both endure and sacrifice, in order to be where I am today, floods my body.
I feel even greater grief, as what has been lost of our humanity, our dignity, our caring and compassion reveals itself through our blindness, our numbness, our disconnectedness from ourselves and from each other.
I have spent the last six months firmly wrapped in almost complete silence and solitude, the hands of contemplation bearing down heavily on my clarity.
At times, feeling so much I could hardly speak.
Longing to connect yet being yanked inward and downward by as much movement as when the inner waves caused me to lie flat on the floor. Sometimes they still do.
I can no longer say: 'Who,me? No way. That's just how life is.'
I can no longer shut what has been opened, un-feel what has been felt, un-see what has been seen and intensely contemplated.
The denial is slowly dissolving as I have been honouring its intelligent protection of me.
The disbelief has been settling into the arms of acceptance under the gaze of compassion.
And I am grateful.
I am moved to tears by the sheer beauty of how life moves, and pushes and calls and initiates and ultimately demands to be let be what it wants to be.
And who am I to say No to this... this befuddling, disconcerting, all-of-me-demanding movements?
And so I say Yes.
YES to being discombobulated into presence.
YES to feeling so much, at times I can't breathe. Yes to my beautiful and intense sensitivity, because it is exactly this wiring which makes me care so much, love so deep, sense and witness myself and others so fully.
YES to all the difficult mirrors which, through the years, have given me the chance to retrieve so much painful information, gracefully stored in my unconscious for the times when I was deemed ready to face and hold and digest what I couldn't while I was busy surviving.
As these words come to an end, a whisper breezes through my senses....
My god.... how much beauty and love are we woven with!