Deep trauma and loss takes a few years to recover from, about 3 years of your life or more. There’s not much you can do to try and speed up the process. In a world where people demand instant results, this is not possible, you have to learn to be kind to yourself and nurture yourself. Here’s some advice from a well seasoned self-reliant Trauma Survivor. The first initial days are raw, just keep breathing and taking physical steps, its hard enough, drink plenty of water and try to eat fruit if you cannot eat anything. People who have never experienced deep trauma, deep shock or loss, find that hard to imagine, don’t worry about them, just focus on yourself and if you are fortunate to have any friends, family or even a stranger reach out to be there for you accept their support. I found myself in this experience whilst in a new country and I had no where near family or friends. I only had myself to get through it, it was the hardest experience of my life. What this taught me was many things, everyone learns something different from trauma, as we are all different and from different cultural, spiritual and religious backgrounds. So these elements affects how we receive, interpret, process and transmute trauma and loss.
One of the things to bare in mind for people who are from countries that are relatively wealthy, is that there was a lack of sacredness to Western culture and mindset, born out of a vast separation from Nature, being totally out of touch with Earth and her processes. Its something that I’ve always seen with our throw away consumer culture that is trashing the planet. I wrote about this in my last book reflecting on our lack of connection to nature and how this brings a feeling of emptiness and pointlessness to some people’s existence.
“Careless of waste, wallowing in refuse, exterminating the enemies…despising age, denying human natural history, fabricating pseudotraditions, swamped in the repeated personal crisis of the aging preadolescent; all are familiar images of American society. They are signs of private nightmares of incoherence and disorder in broken climaxes where technologies in pursuit of mastery create ever-worsening problems-private nightmares expanded to a social level``. _Paul Shepard, Nature and Madness (1982)
If you are brought up in such a culture and without a spiritual foundation, or a religion, you must find a way get through trauma to come out the other side stronger. Fortunately for me, I’ve always been a very spiritual person learning from my own early experiences as a child, I’ve seen the sacredness and spirituality reflected in the beauty of nature and had many magical manifestations of this through my life, so nature has been my saviour and kept me going as has my ability to create deep connections with some animals. However, for many who are disconnected from nature and any spiritual practice, it will be harder to navigate through trauma and loss because fundamentally we are all spiritual beings even if intellectually you may have had that debate with yourself and come to the conclusion that we are merely biological machines.
There was a Neuroanatomist called Harold S. Burr who worked at Yale University, during the 1940s, Burr was very forward thinking for his time, he studied the bioelectrical fields around living beings, starting with salamanders. He found that the baby salamanders possessed an energy field roughly shaped like an adult animal. He also discovered that this field contained an electrical axis which aligned with the brain and spinal cord. Further researcher showed this electrical axis originated in the unfertilized egg of the animal. This contradicted conventional biological and genetic theory of his day. His work went on to discover that all creatures, be it plant, animal, seedling, or leaf, it has a perfect whole electrical field of its adult blueprint. Therefore, if Burr cut a leaf and used electrophotography to photograph the leaf, the leaf still projected a complete leaf, the electrical field of the organic being was not altered, Kirlian studied the same electrical fields of the body but his electrographic techniques translated Burr’s electrical measurements into visual characteristics of an electrical corona or aura, which every living being has. Modern research has discovered our DNA consists of liquid crystal. It is an energy receiver and transmitter of light and energy frequencies. Perhaps this is what projects our holographic bioelectrical field?
We are electrical beings, not chemical beings, our life force, chi, orgone, kundalini, aether, bioelectrical energy carries an electrical voltage, field, frequency. When when we feel broken inside, it is just an illusion, we have the ability to mend ourselves and overcome the most adverse circumstances, even if we lose a limb. As long as we have our heart and our brain in tact, we can survive. There is a girl who lives today called Virsaviya Borun-Goncharova, who was born with her heart on the outside of her chest, she is still living and breathing and functioning normally with this amazing physical difference that defies biological belief. Our divine nature is complete and whole, just like the electrical field that a cut leaf shows. That same electrical force field is projected from your natural bioelectrical field and it is perfectly intact like your true divine nature.
Experiencing deep trauma makes us feel like an explosion has happened inside of us. The grief waves we feel after that explosion has taken place are like the aftershocks of a giant Earthquake. We are left feeling fragmented. Feeling broken into lots of fragments allows us to understand the process of healing in finding wholeness is the glue that can fill spaces between the illusionary fragments. Find what works for you spiritually, start by connecting with nature. Do some gardening, it is very healing for trauma recovery, go camping, take up a new hobby that allows you to be outside, spend some time in the wilderness away from technology and computers.
Allow time for your inner voice without distraction, that’s a scary thought as when we are in pain, we want to distract ourselves from the pain. However, you cannot continue that way, as it just leads to more pain and suffering. You must acknowledge the pain, here its words, find a way to allow it to express itself through you and through your body, through your life, either with building something, making some art, dance, music, a new business venture or project. Find a way to channel it constructively, in order for it to transmute and heal. Hold a space for it to do that and finding a way to make that space is your own sacred experience. Sacredness is the miracle of being alive, and the mystery of it all, the divine consciousness that is behind all existence, the questions that will never be answered. Respecting and having gratitude towards this sacredness is necessary to heal. Many indigenous cultures acknowledge the sacredness of nature in daily rituals and ceremonies, they are some of the strongest people whose ancestors have endured many deep traumas, their strength is in the wisdom they carry and their deep connection and understanding of the Earth and Cosmos.
One of my spiritual mentors is an Incan Andean Shaman named Puma, he teaches this ancient knowledge and shows us how doing these ceremonies and practices allows us to build this relationship with nature, through these practices which are conversations and dialogue with Pacha Mama. These practices facilitate a powerful healing connection with Earth and her allies, whenever we need to feel them with us we can call on them and our ancestors who have endured far more than we have.
People brought up in westernised materialistic cultures have lost touch with this knowledge. In the times of the Druids and before then we used to share the same knowledge as the Incans and Mayans, as the Aboriginals and Native Americans, its only the Indigenous Sami that still carry this knowledge as the last indigenous people of Europe. It’s quite amazing how this knowledge is universal and carries many corresponding truths and beliefs, there is a deep sophisticated wisdom these teachings carry.
In my book Surviving Depression in a Depressing World, An Ecological Perspective, I show how scientists have researched that the destruction of our planet, species and environmental pollution is psychologically and emotionally affecting us, this manifests as a global depression, grief and trauma, this is how deep our relationship with nature is even if we are not conscious of these emotions. Presently, we are all going through an even more profound global trauma with the consequences of this pandemic and how governments are responding to this new virus with very restrictive regulations that affect our freedom and every part of our lives and health choices.
Once you have lived a massive trauma, you are not the same person you once were, you go through a shift in awareness and your perception of the world and yourself changes, that has to be accepted. It takes time coming to terms with the new you. But you can explore what you are now and what you will become may surprise you. This is another reason why practising gratitude and the art of living brings sacredness to your life. Don’t see it as a chore, see it as an experiment, a process, a learning curve that can lead to a new standard of living for yourself.
Find a place in Nature, the middle of a forest, the top of a mountain, or the middle of a desert. Scream, shout, cry, do whatever you need to do to let it all out, allow a space to express that pain, grief and let the primal scream out. You will feel better afterwards.
This is sorrow, anger and grief, acknowledge it, make a space for it, release it, let go. It part of our global grieving for a dying planet that we are witnessing, pray, do some gardening, or some activity that you enjoy that connects you to Earth or make a shrine of flowers and special stones to acknowledge Nature, give blessings. Create a space for processing and releasing your pain, that is the only way you will heal and move forward in the most efficient way, not by immersing yourself in distractions or masking the pain in unhealthy ways. Learning to live again is held in reconnecting with Earth and speak to Nature. Nature is always speaking to us, she is always providing for us. When do you take time to give her gratitude and acknowledge her beauty and unconditional love and life force. Take time to reconnect with nature and reconnect by listening to Earth. Healing the Earth is an inside job which starts with each of us, mending our internal worlds, helps us help mend nature. We can start connecting to our local communities and share self-empowering knowledge on alternative solutions that can help us survive this crisis. We need connection with our family, tribe, our community, people and planet to heal and be reborn again.
These are the first steps into a new chapter of your life, because rebuilding yourself with this foundation means that your strength comes from self reliance and resilience.
This article can also be found on my Hypnotherapy and Coaching blog