Wouldn’t it be awesome if in 2021 everyone started owning up to just how much we’re all winging it most of the time?
Sure. There are times when you don’t want winging. Flying airplanes (), in the field of medicine, trauma therapy, food production, sanitation… sure, plenty of let’s definitely not wing this guys kinda vibes. But the reality is even in all of those cases, YUP. Always an element of winging going on.
I see a lot of things, literally. My ideas show up in my brain in pictures, images, movies. I also learn that way.
Lately it’s been lots of pictures of past experiences. But from a different camera angle. This has been happening mostly in dreams, and on occasion in my waking hours.
With trauma-related content, we call this reexperiencing and/or flashbacks when a memory resurfaces and it’s a painful one. With not-trauma stuff, we call this remembering.
Phase two of healing according to one of my trauma gurus, Judith Herman, MD is remembrance and mourning. For the curious, phase one is safety and stabilization. Phase three is reconnection and new meaning.
In stage two land, remembering for a lot of us is the easy part. The mourning part is where LOADS OF PEOPLE get really, really stuck.
Although my entire career is pretty much founded on Herman’s position on healing, when I looked up the meaning of mourning, I wasn’t too thrilled with how we define the word. It sounds so…. I don’t want to do that. Sorrow, wearing black, bereft. But when I looked at the comparative, juxtaposing grief and mourning, grief had to do with the internal landscape, the internal process. Whereas mourning was thought of as something more culturally integrated. It involves group, outer awareness and acceptance, acknowledgment of the loss, on an ongoing external level. A space for the loss to just be. Continually. And for an extended period of time.
We don’t do that.
We literally do not do that in this culture. Hardly at all.
It’s a system of keep calm, carry on, pretend it didn’t isn’t doesn’t happen and move along. Nothing to see here.
I realize I likely repeat myself in these posts, but that process of carry on is the literal opposite of healthy. And like I say to many a client, the emotional equivalent of having to (sorry I’m totally going here) poop, but not letting yourself release. Which as it turns out can eventually kill a person. The bowels develop a massively dangerous blockage, and whatever does pass through the body typically comes involuntarily.
Not my cup of tea…….
When we do this with our limbic systems, we create similar blockages in the brain. Unprocessed, unresolved masses of pain, anguish, trauma, hurt, grief. But when we don’t find and/or create healthy places to process what is COMPLETELY NATURAL IN LIFE, we literally erode the health, wellbeing, and integrity of our nervous system. And start the slow IV death drip on our self-worth. And then find the unhealthy equivalent of the earlier mentioned bowel leakage.
But this comes in the form of sideways behaviors: addiction, avoidance, overachieving, ADHD, vicious divorce, the inability to forgive and let go. Pretty much any and everything that we diagnose as a behavioral/mental health issue IMHO.
Apply this avoidance at a systems level and viola, you have the United States of Repression. The most consumer oriented country but way, way, way down on the scales of global health.
Then to make matters worse, instead of looking past the present into the past, we slap a diagnosis on a person and now you are a problem. And not what happened to you.
Then the pictures start coming. The unresolved pain and the memories, and ta-da: the trauma loop. An everyday picture show of what is still not laid to rest.
The end result? The war with your self-worth. A lifelong unending battle after battle of I’m not okay. Not good enough. Not worthy. Did something wrong. Didn’t love right. Only love wrong. And the list goes on.
I’ll finish with this: if this post applies to you, please try to remember… just because you think it, it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to believe.
Self-worth comes in cans, not cannots.
I can heal. I can love. I do belong. I am worthy.
The survival brain may be wired for negativity. But the thriving brain, the thriving SOCIETY, is wired for yes, for together, for acceptance, for inclusion.
And above all else, worth. But the funny thing about worth is, it ain’t got nothin’ to do with the almighty dollar.
Here’s to self-worth, the truest form of wealth that ever there was.