December 29, 2020

Understanding Trauma through an Embodied Spiritual Lens.


2020 will go down in the annals of mental health as the year of healing emotional trauma.

I personally began experiencing symptoms of PTSD related to my childhood sexual abuse early this spring, taking five months off work for deeper healing.

Why was I suddenly afraid of almost everything and everyone? Why was I waking up in the middle of the night, afraid that someone would set our house on fire? Why did I feel constant pressure in my chest, uneasiness in my stomach, and succumbed by circular neurotic thinking?

These were some of the questions that I was asking myself in my quest to understand how these unexpected symptoms were related to my childhood trauma.

In addition to integrating embodied healing modalities into my routine practices, I eventually completed an online healing trauma course by the renowned Peter Levine. This information in the course offered me a scientific understanding of what I had been previously only able to convey metaphorically.

Essentially, I learned that according to my body’s biological intelligence, I had acquired the embodied capacity to begin processing the suppressed aspects of my trauma. Reframing the reactivation of my trauma energy through a spiritual metaphoric lens helps me to humanize and relate more empathetically with my healing journey.

I became more inclined to acquiesce my body’s invitation for deeper healing once I understood these suppressed parts of me were not resurfacing to uproot my life. I am sharing my embodied cosmic interpretation of trauma because I believe that we are collectively confronting a threshold of deeper healing.

My embodied definition of trauma is any occurrence in which we had to become physically, emotionally, and mentally separated from our experience in order to feel safe. In essence, trauma is a separation from what is physically and emotionally true for us in a given moment—because we perceive that accepting such truth would feel more threatening to our long-term physical or emotional well-being than enduring the actual event itself. Hence, our experience of trauma is impacted by the magnitude of resources and power that we perceive is at our disposal during the distressing occurrence.

As children, we rely on others for our well-being and therefore felt less resourceful with responding to overwhelming situations. Hence, we disconnected more greatly from our true sensations or impressions about our traumatizing events in order to feel safe. The sensations that we disconnected from would have otherwise guided us toward the instinctive choices that we needed to make in order to meet our vaster emotional needs for integrity, sovereignty, and belonging.

For example, disconnecting from the severe feelings of helplessness, which stemmed from the childhood trauma of being asked to something that I didn’t agree with, also disconnected me from the natural impulse to seek agency by getting or calling for help.

However, these suppressed emotions and sensations remained stored in our nervous system to be processed at later time, after we acquired greater capacity to experience those intense energies with more resourcefulness.

Thus, these dormant sensations will become more activated when circumstances or situations now demand us to recognize and meet the underlying emotional needs that are still embedded within these suppressed sensations. Healing is basically increasing our capacity to feel these sensations so we can reconnect with the wisdom of meeting the underlying emotional needs that these activations warrant.

From an embodied spiritual lens, PTSD activations offer us the necessary contrast (opposite) conditions that create the incentive or drive to meet the corresponding emotional need. Just like hunger alerts us to eat food or feeling tired alerts our body of the need for rest. On a spiritual level, our triggering experiences and activations are well synchronized moments that offer us a chance to expand our capacity to meet long suppressed emotional needs.

Throughout my own healing journey, I gradually noted that specific symptoms, neurosis, sensations became more prominent as the moon enters the various zodiac constellations. These unique triggers correspond with the emotional needs that each astrological energy current is compelling us to harmonize. The discomfort we experience during these activations stem from our inner child’s reduced capacity to experience the suppressed sensations, which inform how we should flow with the lunar emotional tides.

Having this broader spiritual awareness empowers me to stop reacting to my activations in a manner that simply preserves my inner child’s desire to disconnect from her true sensations. Anticipating which tendencies the lunar astrological energy will activate in our inner child gives us the altitude to equip ourselves with perspectives and practices that do not catch our inner child off guard. Rather, consciously reframing our responses to triggering sensations or experiences nurtures more resourcefulness and confidence in our inner child.

These combined moments of reduced reactivity increase our clarity to attune to the emotional currents of the lunar flow. Which results in feeling more capable to experience a wider range of emotions and circumstances—enriching the quality of our lives. I have come to refer to this embodied cosmic realm of emotional awareness as the “lunar essence of healing trauma.”


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