Have you been through some troubling hardships in life?
Perhaps our troubling hardships were even traumatic. Maybe we have no memory of the trauma because it was beyond our ability to navigate. We simply didn’t have the tools or the ability to properly respond in the moment.
Some people disassociate during these traumatic moments. A disassociation renders a person predominately helpless. Their nervous system begins to shut down to just the basics, pump heart, breath, and so on. They are aware in the moment but they will likely have no memory of it. If you’ve ever seen someone disassociate, their eyes go vacant and they’re rather unresponsive. They appear to be a million miles away because in a traumatic moment, this is the safest place for them.
Trauma is one of the many results from living in a world of chaos. Trauma can be resolved with what is taught in ‘Love’ but this may not be enough for some. We need something with more commitment to address a persistently stuck trauma. Perhaps we’ve tried to address this trauma several times on our own or with a psychological professional. And perhaps, the effects of this trauma still persist. Or, we have no memory of it but we have a suspicion that something is wrong.
‘Commitment’ addresses trauma and the difficult stuck issues in life.
*Sanders attended a farewell party with group of friends at the local bar. She had just gotten over a run with the flu that left her vomiting for a week. However, she felt recovered enough to attend this party and didn’t want to miss it. She had a small meal while everyone scarfed down dinner and started drinking alcohol fairly heavily. They danced, laughed, and talked until late. Sanders skipped the drinking and just enjoyed her time with her friends.
When the party ended, several people poured out of the bar as Sanders was the last to pay for her meal. When she came out, she noticed several of her friends were already heading home. In particular, there was one she saw driving that she knew was entirely way too inebriated to be driving. A brief panic swept over her, being the sober driver, she wished they had waited and arranged a ride home.
Instinctually, Sanders quickly got in her car to catch up to them and follow them safely home. This was before the advent of the cellphone preventing her from sending a text. Following them home was the best thing she could think of in the moment.
Her instincts were correct and she came upon an accident that left only a canopy on the road. Confused, Sanders searched frantically around for her friends vehicle. To her horror, she discovered the faint glimmer of taillights fading in the dark river below. Without hesitation, she jumped into the river in a courageous attempt to rescue her friends.
Unlike the movies, it was pitch black and she couldn’t see anything underwater. The tail lights flickered out, which was her only reference to where the vehicle was. Her fingers, ran over sharp broken objects in the dark as the current kept pulling her away. At one point, the current had swept her to the middle of the river and she struggled to return to shore. The frigid snowmelt river was fresh from the mountains and she felt her muscles begin to slow as she struggled to move her arms and kick her legs.
Sander’s was a strong and experienced swimmer and knew that she was going to end up in trouble. She slowly managed to make it to shore and walk back along the shore to where the vehicle was. By then, other passerby’s had stopped and were aiding in the rescue. Emergency crews arrived and they ultimately discovered that one of Sander’s friends drowned and the other died on impact.
A traumatic situation like this would be emotionally and mentally overwhelming for anyone to go through. It was for Sanders. Sanders was a healthy girl in her early twenties but she had already had her fair share of difficulties in life. She had a mild form of disassociation from the event and went home and went to sleep. She was exhausted after being sick, jumping into a frigid river, finding out her friends died, examined by a first responder, having to fill out a police report and being up late. She literally collapsed into bed and didn’t wake until late the next day.
When Sander’s awoke, her disassociation had diminished and she spent a moment trying to recall the events of the night before. Because her disassociation was mild, she was able to piece together all of it but slowly. As the reality of what had happened sank in, she was left with a wild mixture of uncomfortable emotions. Overwhelmed, she shut down the emotions and distracted herself with work and routine.
It wasn’t until she utilized the spiritual skills she learned from her spiritual mentor, that she was able to face this blank spot in her past. By failing to experience this moment in her past she was stuck and unable to move forward in life. Her life came to a complete halt and her sense of purpose floundered. For twenty-two years her life seemed to swing this direction and then that direction. The issue, Sanders didn’t trust her sense of ability anymore.
So, twenty-two years after the trauma a spiritual elder saw what the issue was. Unsure but willing to give it a try, she held in her heart the statement, ‘this far but no further.’ She courageously felt the sensations she had from that moment so long ago. She quickly realized that she tricked herself into thinking she was fine by distracting herself with work and routine. The words poured out, “I am not fine! I feel hurt!” Curled up on her bed, she courageously and safely wept. She employed the spiritual skills and she moved through the emotions and mental anguish in five minutes.
Sanders has now gotten back in the driver’s seat of her life and has fearlessly jumped on to her purpose. “I feel like I dropped the world off my back. I can breathe. I can feel life without fear! If feel truly free for the first time in twenty-two years.”
The emotions Sanders felt from that traumatic experience was nothing short of massive. Like most of us who've been through trauma, Sanders thought that her emotions could kill her or at least fracture her mind. Sanders had no skills to be able to feel emotions like this. Unfortunately, it took twenty-two years for Sanders to meet someone who could teach her this. She briefly thought twenty-two years is a long time to waste in life but she knows this is her past and she can’t change it. “It is what it is.”
Through her Oneness, Sanders was able to experience something she felt she couldn’t handle. She essentially handed her problems to the Oneness and said, “here, I don’t know how to deal with this. I need help.”
Big emotions only take a long time to process because we don’t want to feel them. When we learn how to feel them entirely in a short amount of time, they leave. We stop feeling them. At least, we stop feeling these painful emotions from a past moment.
It took Sanders twenty-two years of distracting and numbing, and she still felt the burden of carrying these ancient emotions. She knew this was going to be one of the most difficult things she had ever done. But she was tired of dealing with this issue for so long. She mustered the courage, drew a line in the sand, and said, “this far but no further.” From a place of strength and courage, she dived into the pain headfirst and finished feeling it in five minutes.
Sanders was convinced that she would likely be dealing with these painful emotions for weeks, maybe months. It shocked her that it only took her five minutes. She had planned on calling in sick for work and made sure she had enough sick-days. Instead, she went to work the next day feeling pretty good. However, she did notice a few times when the pain seemed to return again. She continued to utilize her skills and the pain quickly subsided. She later discovered that this was happening because she was near others that had similar stuck traumas. But with her skills, this too began to subside.
‘Commitment’ takes the skills taught in ‘Love’ and gives them some added commitment for the more stubborn and stuck places in life. These stubborn stuck places in life require a bit more of our attention and commitment to free them up. We all have them. It doesn’t take an extreme catastrophic event to warrant the need to employ the skills taught in ‘Commitment.’
Sanders didn’t think she needed to work through her trauma from her past. She thought she was fine. She was working, married, and a mother. But deep down, she knew something didn’t feel right. She knew life shouldn’t be this hard and painful.
*Names, places, and gender have been altered to respect, protect identity, and confidentiality.