All trauma is stored in the body. Somehow, in our evolution, the horrible physical and emotional things that happen to us, get etched into our physical being and there they remain lodged…causing us cancer, illness, even death. Tragedy happens to everyone in life. It is not avoidable. Trauma is the resulting thing that we carry with us and I believe that without careful and thoughtful movement, it becomes lodged inside us and rots us from the inside out.
This is why I believe that you must resurrect your pain, find where it lurks deeply within you over all the clamoring of your mind to let it be, do not go there, dare not look. The mind is loud and distracting, telling you very convincingly that to look, or unearth that which terrifies you will be your final undoing. But the mind just talks and that is all it can ever really do. Oh don’t get me wrong, it can really fuck up your life with its endless chatter and nonsense. But in the end, it is just words and so very often, the mind just spews misperception and lies.
If we want to truly heal from all that has happened to us, all that has landed in our flesh and taken up residence, we have to find a way to revisit it and evict it from our flesh. It cannot remain there, it must be ousted. For if allowed to remain, we will be forever stymied in love, connection and intimacy. Sucks, I know, but it is the truth.
Find another place for pain to live. Kind of like one of those apartment seeker magazines. Find your trauma a new place to live that isn’t your body. Find another host and not allow it to be the bodies of your loved ones in your constant and unrelenting infliction of your pain, your trauma onto them.
We can move it into writing, music, art, dance, yoga, hiking trails, surfing waves, knitting sweaters. Any of these will help you not become devoured by your own pain. Trauma can be transformed into something bigger, something brighter, something else…but you must do the work to get it out and find it another home.
Someone once said “Your body is not a coffin for your pain to be buried in. Put it somewhere else.” When I read that, it was one of those stop you in your tracks statements. Its truth jumped off the page and shouted to me, “THIS IS TRUE!” So I share it with you in the hope that it will find a home in your mind and heart to supplant the other thoughts and feelings that say “DANGER, DO NOT LOOK HERE!”
We are not containers for our pain, except we are. Whatever violence or ugliness has darkened your life, lives on still inside you in the form of trauma until you do the hard work of introducing it to a new address, a new home, a new place to dwell other than your body. It is the ultimate reclamation. You taking back what was yours all along.
You are likely going to need help. EMDR is the fastest and best way therapists know to help us. It works when nothing else will. It works faster and better than talk therapy. Try it. Give it twelve sessions. I bet you will find yourself much improved before you are halfway done…
For me, the moving out and on of my trauma was a lot of work for a lot of years. I had a lot of heavy lifting to do but it wasn’t until I did EMDR that I really felt it leave my body. It was like some alien occupation lived inside me most of my life and somehow my willingness to address it in EMDR made it begin to move and be processed within me. And now, my body feels like mine. I do not feel trapped by it anymore and I am coming to love my host so much better now that we are no longer at war. My body was a coffin for my pain. It was buried deep within me and now I have put it somewhere else. Writing has been the salvation for me. This blog, this daily commitment. This is where the pain went and lives on. Not my flesh, but here. The page a safe and welcome recipient of all that kept me stuck and hurting for so long.
Hiking, well more aptly named cryking, also helped me keep it moving so that it not lodge itself elsewhere in me…writing and cryking. Those are my salvations, what are yours?
For you it may be something else…but it matters less what it is than what works for you. Try them all, be open and creative, resurrect the pain this time with the intention to allow it to find its rightful home somewhere other than your body. End the occupation. Move it on and out so that you may finally live at peace within yourself. It is possible. I am living proof. And I share it so that no one is left behind residing each day with an enemy deeply stored inside our physical beings, I share it so that your trauma can be unbound from your body and take up residence somewhere else…