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The mechanics of trauma

Life is characterized by an unhindered, effortless flow that moves continuously. It can be pretty challenging to experience life fully as a human being. Some experiences can be too intense to absorb and process entirely in the Now-moment. When the overwhelming sensations

of an event engulf us like a vast tidal wave, and we cannot bring our full attention to the experience, we automatically respond by redirecting or freezing our attention. We feel like we can only come out alive on the other side of that overwhelming wave of pain and fear by moving away from Presence. It’s a potent mechanism that ensues emotional sanity, but the downside is that we also automatically freeze parts of the incident in our field. Anything too … (fill in the blank: – much, – intense, – painful) in the absence of a sufficient amount of Presence is suspended in your field, waiting for you to bring it back to life. I consider all these frozen, fragmented parts trauma: aspects of life that were too intense to experience, and there wasn’t enough love-filled Presence to hold that amount of intensity.

After that terrifying wave, we are left with the parts that we’ve missed, and this frozen energy stays stuck in the lattice of our energetic field. Generally, we move on, thinking all is well again. But unlived trauma is a strong electromagnetic charge in our field that begs your attention: feel, love, and sense me fully!

The river of life exults in waves, ripples, and swirls. Life yearns for an abundant river of water. And it wants to suck in these icy suspended parts and move them downstream. One example of how your system is trying to integrate very traumatic events is via mental flashbacks or sensations that the incident is happening again. After my one-day-old son, Onne, choked and stopped breathing right before my eyes, I continuously saw this moment. Pictures of his frozen, grey body and the maternity nurse trying to resuscitate him flashed over and over again, for weeks. The nurse saved him, and after a couple of days in the hospital, we were home again, my happy baby boy with his gorgeous body full of life, sleeping peacefully on my belly. Even though everything was fine, I was reliving that horrible moment through an intrusive mental film of the worst parts on repeat. It skipped the pleasant ending. My body was trying to integrate the experience, but I felt unable to experience it fully; I resisted these worst parts. I kept pushing them away, and in my resistance, I intensified the painful story and increased the belief that I would not be strong enough to feel it all. The moment I consciously stepped into that traumatic episode and released the charge in the Now, the mental pictures stopped, and I could listen to the sound of an ambulance without tightening up instantly.

When you can’t integrate the trauma, the psyche comes to your rescue. A protective part arises with the marching order to prevent that same traumatic event at all costs. With this new protective friend, you will never have to worry about that horrible incident again. It has an impressive toolbelt full of protective mechanisms (denial, distraction, numbing, etc.) that separate you from the traumatic charge in your system. For example: if you ever got angry as a child or voiced a boundary and were ignored because of this, you will probably have a protective part that will not allow you to become angry or say ‘No’‘ easily. This will help you avoid the feelings of abandonment or disconnect again. And so, with a sigh of relief, you can continue living your life with ease. However, you still carry that electromagnetic charge of the trauma in your field.

One icy block in our river isn’t too bad, but by the time we’re adults, many of us have a river full of icy rocks that block the flow. Some adults I encounter have so much unprocessed energy in their field waiting for their attention that they feel desperate and debilitated. Trauma isn’t only formed in our lives. It is also passed down to us by the people that have lived before us. Some charges (think: burned at the stake, abandoned because of disease, tortured because of personal beliefs) are so grotesque that they are the driver for the incarnation of new souls, to bring these charges back into the flow of life.

Life won’t allow these frozen parts in your field. You don’t have to search actively for contraction in your energy field. These charges will pop up in your life again and again, without fail, without effort.

Your parents or teachers generally haven’t taught you how to release charges and integrate trauma. In fact, in society, we are often encouraged to ignore our feelings and not take them seriously. Often, we don’t notice that old stories pop up, disguised as fresh new experiences to help us release trauma. We fail to see the icy rocks in the river even if we bump up against them. And every time the same story pops up, and we suppress or ignore the felt sense, another thread of electromagnetic charge winds around the trauma. The trauma intensifies, and more energy gets stuck in your energetic lattice at that specific reference point. If you consciously move away from a situation and pray that it doesn’t happen again, the electromagnetic charge intensifies. Wishing it wouldn’t happen is energetically the same as pointing your finger to the trauma and saying to life: “this thing here is really important to me. That’s why I keep thinking about it and pointing at it with passion”. Desperately not wanting something equals intensifying the traumatic charge and pulling it closer to your reality.

I notice two main coping strategies to bypass trauma: restlessness and busyness to stay distracted and numbing or desensitizing to remain unconscious of the trauma. The objective is the same: “do not feel the traumatic charge. It’s is a matter of life and death”. And so, we get very busy with our to-do lists when we feel ignored by our friends, instead of feeling the charge of being ignored in our field. Or we eat ourselves numb to not feel the emptiness or rage inside us. It starts with one traumatic charge at the root, and it constantly keeps creating different stories. Nevertheless, if you stop listening to the mind with its stories, you will repeatedly notice that the body’s feeling is the same; lots of different moments of feeling ignored (by the husband, mother, friends, even the pet), without fail: the same sensation in the body.

You can’t think your way out of trauma. You can only feel your way out of trauma.

If you notice that something is triggering you, move into the feeling with your attention and breathe.

Only in the Now-moment can you heal trauma. Life resides only in the now. The rest is mind chatter, repetitive stories you tell yourself based on old pain or fear of future events. So, although trauma seems highly personal and you identify strongly with it, it is an impersonal electromagnetic charge. Lessening the charge of trauma is possible by moving into Presence, bringing your full attention to that exact point of reference, and breathing through it. With every breath, you bring life into it. With every focused attention, you bring unconditional love to it. Consequently, the charge will dissipate until it is neutral and energy can move through your lattice unhindered. That’s one block of ice less in your river!

And although the process is nuanced and there can be said so much about healing and working with trauma, the basics are ridiculously simple: trauma starts with not being able to bring your full Presence (or unconditional love) to life. Trauma dissolves when you do.


Q's for self-inquiry:

What hurts (when you are restless or numbing yourself)?

In this painful event, can I be neutral and observe the story?

What is the felt sense in my body? Can I laser-focus my attention and breathe towards it?

What remains if I strip down all stories?

Am I in a neutral position and able to observe, or am I leaning in or moving away?

What happens if I focus on the sensation in my body and breathe towards it?

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