The Toughest Work and Integration

How can we separate what is happening to the earth and what is happening in our internal soul landscape?  We can't.

How can we separate what is happening to the earth and what is happening in our internal soul landscape? We can’t.

Some notes on trauma, integration, and wholeness:

The toughest work is loving yourself and arriving home in your own skin, inviting all parts of you back home. Then, the toughest work is extending beyond that skin into the world with expression, creation, and action…as if just learning to walk and be human. Once we connect with the preciousness inside our own hearts, we discover a fierceness that only knows to protect and nourish.

This is what I consider the primal mother-father archetype of our psyche. Even if we didn’t have fully matured parents, we can harness the mother-father archetype in our own psyche and strengthen them with the rich landscape of our own lives and with the primal elements of nature.

Sure, we can lose ground…but we can also gain it back… Our psyches…just like nature…are self-correcting and heal and renew with a wild resilience that most of us have yet to fully understand and trust.

***

I’ve been thinking about power and soul loss and vital essence lately. When someone’s power has been taken from them, this is the same as soul loss. And, if this is not corrected, normally…out of ignorance…this person will take from another to fill what is empty.

Traumas that cause loss of power or soul loss can be as innocent as a mother or father living through their child (thus taking their power), as intense as child sexual abuse, or as common as the death of a loved one. Sometimes repetitive dreams can show us where a piece of ourselves has been lost.

I feel that the art and craft of soul retrieval or integration is so important… The ancients and the indigenous healers knew that bringing back lost parts of a person’s soul was imperative…not only for the person…but for the health of the community and the village.

One way to integrate is to surround yourself in beauty and nourishment. Of course, to a fragmented soul, this can be the antithesis of what they wish to experience. For, when the soul begins to come *home,* the pain that was experienced upon separation or *fleeing* of the soul has to be felt upon its return. This pain can be intense and a striking contrast to the beauty around him/her which can cause cognitive dissonance to the person experiencing this.

Therefore, many folks are kept in a state of limbo around their pain. As fragmented selves, they create more suffering in their lives because they are only half there and dancing around the pain instead of going through it. As well, the idea of allowing their fragmented self to integrate…with the subconscious understanding that they will have to feel what they once were unable to feel (thus causing the split)…is also painful.

The great ones always taught us that the only was is through. What we can do as a community is create the conditions so that we each can take turns integrating, feeling the pain, and emerging on the other side more whole human beings. Thus, cultivating people who can co-create with life and generate more meaning and beauty in a truly fragmented world…only desiring to be whole.

***

“The reason this works, from the perspective of neuroscience, is because of: limbic resonance, mirror neurons and neuroplasticity. The notion of limbic resonance asserts that without consistent love and acceptance during childhood our brains don’t develop properly. The part that becomes developmentally stunted is our resilience against emotional distress. Similar problems can occur in people of all ages when they suffer trauma. The process of limbic revisioning is about rewiring the neural structure of person who has suffered trauma or emotional neglect; in order for this to occur there needs to be an external example for the limbic brain to mimic.”

From this article called The Indigenous Approach to Healing Trauma

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