Posts Tagged ‘MINDFULNESS’

Ptsd: the roller coaster ride of our life

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I have tried EFT, TFT, EMDR, hypnosis, cranial sacral, acupuncture, CBT, ACT, developmental trauma therapy, EDIT, holistic, internal family system, biofeedback, two intuitives, and some actions forgotten on the journey.

Over a decade I had three therapists, two intuitives, a slew of books, and five years at a Zen center.

There is a spiritual component connected to meditation that has been a big part of my journey. Mindfulness has been an anchor on this journey.

Months we’re spent trying to apply everything learned in therapy, in books, and online.

My effort and dedication were intense and persistent, I wanted to heal completely and dedicated the last decade to this pursuit.

I exhaustively read the latest about brain science, the cutting edge therapies, the exploration of survivor traits, the mindfulness (meditation) connection, the lack of focus on the body (exercise), the absence of daily support, and the never mentioned urgency that was missing entirely.

Frustrated to be at PTSD’s mercy again, stuck, in pain, feeling like I have lost my mind, life is painful.

Times like this, life limps along, I feel wounded and extremely vulnerable.

Giving up is not an option, so the next action is checking out a chemical imbalance.

Need to either confirm or eliminate this possibility.

After that I am out of solutions.

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Jousting with Forgiveness

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Healing is unpacking old habits, then repeatedly and persistently inserting new healthy habits.

Like staying present instead of dissociating or letting go of thought instead of ruminating or following body sensations instead of the emotion.

Not forgiving is a huge impediment to my healing.

I replace it first with my mantra, “Forgivness is for me”.

Slowly as I delve deeper into finding ways to forgive, resistance is stiff at times, but other times the path is open.

One big change, I have decided to forgive, I will find a way.

My inner critic has received the message and recognizes I am dead serious.

Know thy enemy.

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Healing is counterintuitive,

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Healing is counterintuitive, fighting PTSD is not what you think.

Instead of battling trauma, we accept, surrender and hopefully forgive to wage our war.

Being humble then vulnerable is needed to improve or heal.

That’s not the gung-ho battle charge we see in the movies.

The war with trauma is internal, intuitive and irrational.

Forgiving frees me, forgiveness is for me.

I am praying for the strength to forgive.

Funny to ask, do I have the courage to forgive?

Never thought of it like that, it takes so much courage to forgive, far more than resist and hate.

I have faced so many demons, why is forgiveness the hardest?

Many others were cortisol filled with a perceived threat but forgiveness is a different foe.

Hard to attack forgiveness like intrusive thoughts.

We want to annihilate intrusive thoughts, shut down our fight or flight mechanism, calm our nervous system, mindfully follow our body sensation, but what the hell do we do with forgiveness.

I wanted to get rid of all of those things, but forgiving I avoided, it scared and enraged me.

Forgiving exposes us to what we fear about the abuse (abuser), frozen from the shame, we avoid forgiving out of survival, we think.

The battle with forgiveness has begun for me.

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A Canary in a Cage,,,,,,,,,,,Awareness

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This idea is from “Forgive what you can not forget”, we need an awareness as keen as a canary in a cage as we go down into the coal mine, to the depths of our abuse.

I take everything way to personally, never forget the damage inflicted by others and look to discredit or do damage back.

That canary would be in the emergency room headed for ICU without some awareness.

Looks like I steered a decade of in depth meditation around forgiveness. Five hours a day for five years and forgiveness was coated with Teflon.

If I were Superman this is my kyrtonite, my blind spot, my habit of blaming others, being extremely rigid and shallow.

Whew that’s a harsh assessment, truly expected from my inner critic. My inner critic is viscous.

He is an expert at criticism, a failure at approval, acceptance, wellbeing.

It’s a pessimistic attitude, when I take a step back. That brings a sadness to my soul.

Hard to be reasonable when I am outraged, projecting dads constant criticism to present life.

Man, blinds spots are so obvious to others.

With all my reading, therapy and meditation how did this giant stay hidden.

My therapists never pointed this out.

Or did I never hear them?

This is all good, discovery is awesome, maybe painful but it is the path.

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The Healer of our Pain

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From “Forgive What you can not forget“

That person who hurt me may be the cause of the pain. But they are not capable of being the healer of my pain. Or the restorer of my life.”

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My two cents: In some way we all want our abusers to pay, want them to acknowledge their offense and show contrition or some remorse.

Maybe we entertain scenarios of revenge in our fantasies, rewriting past wrongs.

I know my actions have giving life, power to my abusers.

Forgiveness is the key to freedom, wellbeing.

This is my new goal, forgive my abusers.
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How to use our Meditation to heal

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“Pray for yourself to find peace and healing, pray for them to do the same, pray for forgiveness to release yourself and forgiveness to release them. Pray for an opening in your ego to allow the heart to temper it all with love and grace.”

My two cents: How do I go about accomplishing these goals?

First by setting intention before meditation.

I was taught to ask for information, knowledge not solutions in my intention.

Asking for different ways, different ideas, outside the box that will help me succeed, has helped me in the past.

It uses the law of attraction and the basic building block of neuroscience, where we place our attention grows, where we withhold withers and dies.

There must be many ways to find peace and healing.

It’s like climbing a ladder, each rung we ascend expands our horizon, our visual reality.

How many ways are there to open our hearts that I have never entertained.

The big issue for me is forgiveness. Praying for the ability to forgive is a unique approach.

Trying to just forgive has not worked for me yet.

The hurt and shame feel alive, present, oh PTSD is so irrational.

That’s why the phrase “Pray for an opening in your ego to allow the heart to temper it all with love and grace” gives me hope.

Cognitively or rationally forgiveness feels impossible, opening the heart seems the only path.

What has worked in your attempts at forgiving the abuser or abusers?

Next post we will craft an affirmation around our goals.

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Coping better is my Goal

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I do not think there is a cure for childhood abuse (C-PTSD), do not think there is a space where we say, I am healed.

It is possible to learn coping skills, navigate life, and find some wellbeing.

Childhood trauma is hard wired while the brain developed, so it is never going to disappear.

There is a huge difference between actively coping with PTSD and being a victim.

Knowing I will never heal is not an opportunity to give up, the journey is the same, the results maybe different than total healing, that’s all.

I am not healed but my life has both wellbeing and suffering.

Coping is using my trauma skills to minimize PTSD’s impact when activated.

When PTSD is dormant, I Strengthen my mindfulness skills, always preparing for the next battle.

It is a precarious existence, often an internal war being waged inside the mind.

Remember our hippocampus is smaller while our amygdala is larger, combined with the left Prefrontal cortex being compromised.

Trauma will explode from time to time as we navigate life.

Our goal is to live and risk in the midst of PTSD terror and enjoy our trauma free Periods fully.

Our challenges come when intrusive thoughts bombard us at a rapid pace, then our fight or flight mechanism fires, how we handle this perceived threat determines life.

Be prepared, develop as many coping skills as possible and practice daily.

There are no guarantees with childhood trauma, life will suck at times, unworthiness and fear will prevail at times.

We do have a choice, resist or give up, deciding not to have PTSD is not an option I am aware of.

We have to be determined, courageous and have the ability to take action in the face of fear and anxiety.

I have learned not to resent my place on this earth, that is a victims stance.

Life Axiom: Sedentary is closer to death, action closer to life.

Healing takes daily action, suffering arrives without effort.

The Dance between PTSD and our Thoughts

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Taking a step back, perusing life around me, then exploring my mind, ideas percolate.

So much of well-being depends on our thoughts, abstract inventions filled with bias and emotion.

Expressed by wrote or speech, certain thoughts are damaging if we adopt them.

Remember 60,000 thoughts cross our consciousness daily.

Why do trauma thoughts dominate the 60,000, take up all the oxygen in the room?

Who do PTSD emotionally charged thoughts have so much power?

Why do some never go away, not present all the time but visit each new day.

Thoughts can shape our narrative, identity who we think we are, waste huge amounts of time pursuing that image.

Implicit memory (stored trauma) brings the scariest thoughts, lethal threat memories of abuse or trauma.

On the PTSD discussion boards, childhood abuse and rape were constant companions for so many.

Stuck in the violence of childhood like an invisible prison, suffering is the dish served over and over.

Recovery seemed impossible from my observation point.

For me, healing has taken power from these memories, granted me periods of well-being.

I realize some thoughts become weaponized with emotions, seeming enormously powerful, it is all hot air.

PTSD is a bully, know thine own trauma well.

Matthew Ricard describes thought as ephemeral, fleeting and hollow.

Our thoughts on self (self-worth) are extremely important.

These thoughts influence the Ego’s (identity) creation.

Our Ego has been severely compromised during childhood, we need to reparent and be aware of how the mind works.

Therapy and meditation have been my reparenting effort.

The mind is extremely complex but is programmed by simple repetitive actions.

For me that action was found in meditating, learning to focus intensely.

Calming my nervous system and being able to let negative thoughts go, remain my most powerful tools.

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My Top two skills for PTSD

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My focus skills have helped me the most, have always been there to access in low moments.

Meditation, the ability to focus on an object, the breath, mantra, etc. opens many doors.

My daily practice of sitting quietly, intensely focused on the tiniest body sensation or observing a trauma trigger thought from a safe distance, calms and soothes me.

Any therapy or skill is applied through meditations focus, it is a safe space to take risks.

My fight or flight mechanism calmed from firing by meditating everyday for hours.

In my mind, this is imperative and the first goal on the healing path.

I have been able to risk at times because of meditations power. Meditation allowed me to use exposure therapy in a safe place, over and over and over and over again, until I had enough courage to face triggers in real life.

Next I learned to separate from my Ego’s grasp, allowing me access to reality, my true self without bias or confusion.

To this day my wellbeing depends more on my ability to focus, then let go than any other skill in my tool box.

Aerobic exercise has always been beneficial in many ways.

It is a physical challenge where trauma thoughts die a fast death.

I flush the poisons from my system, gain achievement which is shared with my mind, deplete cortisol and adrenaline, then escape out of my head into my body.

Aerobic exercise is such a release for my body, meditation is a release for my mind.

If you are not using aerobic exercise, a great healing opportunity awaits those who can take action.

Start slow, focus and know you are actively healing.

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Is Ptsd a bad genie in a bottle?

Genie in a bottle

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PTSD’s power emerges from the fear and anxiety it perpetuates through dissociation.

Dissociation is the lynchpin of Ptsd, the fuel trauma uses to control life.

Without time spent in the past, judging, ruminating or just handling trauma thoughts, Ptsd whithers in that moment.

There is normal healing where life becomes easier to navigate.

Set accurate expectations, we are never going to be happy go lucky or be like others, we will be our own happy self, whatever that looks like.

Thinking in absolutes seems to be the rhetoric of the inner critic (Ptsd) employs to control us.

If we leave this present moment to delve into the past, suffering will materialize.

It’s almost like a genie in a bottle, Ptsd that is.

Ptsd is a bad genie, traumatized and unworthy at his core. Sounds like the inner critic’s voice.

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If we rub that lamp, suffering comes pouring out.

I entertain the dream, I am perfect as my true self, right now, right here, right this second, then I move onto the next minute.

Know the enemy and how he/she operates.

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