Posts Tagged ‘spiritualhealing’

EMOTIONAL /SPIRITUAL RECOVERY FROM TRAUMATIC EVENTS

Life can change in a heartbeat. A few weeks ago, a family was stopped at a red light and rear-ended by a drunk driver. Their 10-year old son, Matthew, suffered a severe head trauma and is in a medically induced coma. The prognosis is not good and the family struggles to make sense of what was an act of sheer reckless endangerment. While hopefully many of us will never experience a trauma of this magnitude, we will all face some type of serious emotionally shock that we need to deal with. In some instances, the ordeal can be so severe as to dramatically alter who we are and the course of our lives. One’s life becomes unrecognizable in an instant. Even in those circumstances when we are given time to prepare for the inevitable, such as the death of a loved one suffering with Alzheimer’s or MS, the loss can be significant. In any event, one experiences a wide range of emotions that need to be addressed and healed in order that the individual can minimize any long term damage.

Trauma is defined by the American Psychological Association as the emotional response to an extremely negative event. It can manifest physically as well as emotionally. It is absolutely vital that one acknowledges their feelings rather than deny them. Every feeling has purpose and value and denial of such in no way dissipates them. They reside within causing unimaginable issues on multiple levels until identified and treated, much like termites on wood.

All emotions are the direct result of our thought process. What I think, my internal voice – the words I say to myself – dictates how I feel. Therefore, I choose my feelings. In any given moment, I can change how I feel by changing what I’m thinking. What makes trauma so challenging from our day-to-day emotional state of mind is that we continually replay the powerful event in our minds giving it energy to grow larger and more powerful. An understandable obsession that continually reinforces the horrific event we just experienced keeps it alive in our minds long after it has ceased. There are also neurological changes that occur in the brain after trauma as well.*

Common Emotional Reactions and Spiritual Solutions

Shock occurs when an event is so sudden or unexpected that we experience an extreme state of disbelief. Oftentimes, our belief system has conditioned us that such a terrifying act could not possibly happen to us. We believe we are immune to such a severe type of crisis. Initially, the shock can be so acute as to cause one to shut down emotionally, experiencing a sense of numbness and stoicism.
Slow, deliberate deep breathing enables oxygen to travel to the brain providing much needed nutrients that maintain mental clarity and stimulate our logical thought process. Realizing that no one is immune to tragedy and that God continually provides every resource needed to navigate this dark path gives us hope and strength to continue. That same faith in our loving Father reminds us that on the other side of tragedy is triumph as God heals our pain and restores inner peace and even joy.

Confusion: lacking clarity and direction. When one’s brain succumbs to emotional overload, it can be difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions.
Enlisting the aid of others willing to share their knowledge about what transpired can help you better understand what occurred. Expressing your hopes about what you want to do next and your longer term goals gives others the opportunity to guide you in the right direction and offer valuable resources to assist you. Breaking things down into smaller segments helps make the process more manageable and alleviates anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Denial: one’s unwillingness or inability to accept the reality of what transpired. Extreme disbelief deceives us into believing that there was a horrible mistake or that this is simply a bad dream from which we will awake. Fueled by fear, it keeps us trapped in an alternative reality.
Both logic and faith are the team mates that will help to bring us to victory over the inevitable. With the assistance of facts and the input of those we trust, we can face the truth about said event.”The truth shall set you free” is more than a catchy cliché. It is a powerful belief that reminds us that only when we deal with reality are we really able to take back our lives and move forward. Remember that God has already prepared us to face every challenge that enters our life and with each one our lives are enriched.

Sadness results when life does not cooperate with our plans. We experience disappointment and a sense of loss. One’s marriage was supposed to last forever yet somehow ended in divorce; homelessness is for those in underprivileged neighborhoods, not for the college educated. Sadness is a powerful emotion that robs us of the joy and motivation necessary to fully embrace life.
Prayer, our conversation with God, is a great tool to remove sadness and restore joy. Reminding ourselves of all that God continually blesses us with each day, what still remains in our lives to be grateful for, is the perfect antidote to sadness. One cannot be sad and grateful simultaneously.

Anger is derived from feelings of helplessness or powerlessness and is an outward expression of intense vulnerability and weakness. Extreme anger leads to rage. One experiences anger when their expectations are not forthcoming.
Everything external is beyond my control. I have no authority over anything outside of myself and my thought process. Realizing that life is not intended to conform to my demands and by putting my faith in the One who created and loves me beyond measure, I can relax and allow life to unfold organically. I understand that whatever enters my life has a higher purpose and is meant for my spiritual evolution. I can refocus my energies on how I allow my new circumstances to affect me, strengthen me ,and enrich my life.

Regret: one feels remorseful over what they failed to do or what was done improperly. An intense desire to relive the situation so that one can craft a more desirable outcome is not uncommon.
Recognizing that every experience, good, bad or indifferent, is a necessary part of one’s emotional and spiritual journey brings great comfort. Additionally, choosing to learn from the experience and share that knowledge with others so they may learn as well, adds immense value to a tragedy. Vowing to refrain from repeating the same unfortunate choices builds confidence that future traumas can be averted.

Fear is the antithesis of faith. We worry that the event will reoccur or that we may not survive what we just witnessed. Anxiety also arises from our concerns that we and/or others may not be fine with their new circumstances. Extreme fear can result in panic attacks, creating an immobility that prevents the individual from moving beyond the incident.
On a practical level, one can rely on their inner strength and attitude to overcome fear. Building on prior experiences of overcoming hardships helps to strengthen one’s self-confidence. However, faith in God, trusting in the promises of the Lord, is the true path to overcoming fear. When one truly knows that God would never allow anything to enter our lives that we were ill-prepared to handle, and handle well. His perfect love for us would shield us from that experience if necessary. Therefore, I need not fear the here-and-now nor the future for the same loving God is ever present.

Blame is a self-defeating behavior directed at the one we believe to be rightfully responsible or it can be wrongfully aimed on the self. People may hold themselves accountable for something they had no control over. For example: a parent whose child is diagnosed with a severe disease may feel as though there was something defective within them that they inadvertently passed along to their child, causing their child to become ill. Some blame God. However, our loving Father cannot cause bad things to happen as this violates His very nature. He gave us free will, intellect and choice. Events of the human genre are caused by man’s own actions.
Blame involves judgment which is a defeating action as it devalues the individual. Taking ownership for one’s mistakes while being compassionate of mankind’s imperfections removes shame, self-loathing, and misdirected anger. Forgiveness for their misguided actions and for their weaknesses allows us to move beyond anger and blame and restore the peace God intended for us.

Revenge often follows blame (of others). There is a natural human need to seek justice on those who perpetrated the offense against us. However, vengeance never produces justice as it cannot right a wrong or undo what has happened. One is still left with the residual effects of the event and a healing must still occur. Revenge is often thought of as a learning tool for the offending party as well as a deterrent from committing the atrocity again. However, neither has ever proven effective and only perpetuates suffering onto another.
Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. This in no way implies that God will punish those who committed the offense. On the contrary: Divine Love seeks to teach and heal and that is what God seeks for all His misguided children. Prayer is a powerful deterrent to revenge. Pleading for mercy for the offender heals the one making the request.

Guilt is not an uncommon reaction to a traumatic event particularly when others have suffered more than you, been severely injured or lost their lives. Survivors guilt is a common occurrence when others have passed away.
Understanding that you were in no way responsible for the event occurring, nor could you have prevented it is a good beginning. Many survivors find great comfort in realizing that God has a special plan for them. Realizing this and fulfilling His Will can be very comforting and alleviate residual guilt. It is also important to remember that even for those who have been injured, their experience is just as much a necessary part of their life’s journey as your suffering is for you. This in no way minimizes it but simply helps one to find some sense of peace, though rarely in its entirety. As for death, many view it as an end or a punishment. It is neither. Death is a transition from the temporal physical world back to the existence of eternal spirit which is our ultimate goal. One can find great comfort in knowing the other party has achieved a state of permanent salvation.

Never allow your life or who you become to be defined by your trauma. You are not your ordeal. It was a life experience that has a higher purpose. Your knowledge of and reliance on God will enable you to better navigate your way through a devastating event to a more empowered and meaningful life.

Acceptance of what is or what must be for our higher spiritual awareness allows us to find peace in our new circumstance.

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*https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/09/16/the-science-behind-ptsd-symptoms-how-trauma-changes-the-brain/

Rage Against a Lion Killer

The recent trophy killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist has enraged the world. Social media has exploded with demands to bring the killer to justice and ban hunting entirely. I am an animal lover in every sense of the word and share in the anger that so many others feel. Yet as angry as I am over the senseless slaughter of one of the world’s most majestic creatures, I am far more horrified at the gruesome beheading of Christians around the world by radical extremists. Planned Parenthood, with the recently released videos admitting to the dismembering of unborn babies and the selling of their body parts, is sickening. Yet to me there is a disproportionate level of outrage among these issues. In a recent discussion with some of my colleagues I began to search for the reasons behind this imbalance. I found several:

1. Even though there are raging debates on trophy hunting, animals are generally considered a less controversial topic than humans. Typically, unless attacking a human or for the purpose of controlling over population of a species, their killings seem senseless. Whereas with persons, arrogance has divided them into groups and subgroups, each being assigned a specific value. Those adults who do not conform to our personal ideals or to society’s dictates have lesser worth than those who comply. One who is different, has opposing views, or one who has the potential to harm us is demoted in significance. The unborn are offensively considered by some to have minimal value as they deem them not yet human. And are we more upset at the murder of an attractive teenage girl than one who appears to be an alcoholic homeless man living on the streets? Even in the animal kingdom, those whom we consider to be more valuable evoke a stronger response when murdered than those whom we assign a lesser significance. The grandeur of a leopard, for example, may trigger greater outrage than perhaps a less appealing warthog.

2. Social media is inundated with images of slaughtered animals. These sickening photos make the issue far more real and linger in our memories long after it is no longer considered newsworthy. If one were to post actual photos of a human who’s head was severed from their torso or the individual blood-stained limbs and tissues of an unborn baby, people would demand the sites quickly remove them – far too graphic to be shown publicly. The old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words, certainly holds true in this case as does out of sight out of mind. The more powerful the image the more intense the emotion it triggers. Animals receive more coverage; hence more outrage.

3. If one is attacked by a vicious animal or deranged human, self-defense is a rational and universally acceptable response. However, in each of the aforementioned instances those murdered posed no threat and were in fact considered harmless at that time. The thought of such a grave injustice being imposed on an innocent life is appalling to most members of the human species. It is a senseless act without provocation or justification. And in some cases it can subsequently evoke fear for one’s own safety: if someone can take it upon themselves to gruesomely slaughter another, what guarantee is there that my life, or the life of a loved one, won’t be next?

Humans have lost all regard for all life, both human and animal. All life is sacred to God for each is an expression of His love and goodness. Furthermore He resides in all of His creations. To deliberately destroy one of God’s handiwork is an abomination against the Divine.

So take your anger, take your outrage and use it for a productive and universal good. Take a stand for life, all life, for all has value. Life belongs to the One who created it and in that regard God has exclusive dominion over it. Be respectful – treat all of God’s creations as the sacred gifts they are.

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Let Go (of) My Ego: The Connection Between Ego and Anger

While in college back in the 60’s, I majored in psychology. While it was not my eventual degree, I continued to find it a fascinating subject even decades later. I remember during one of my classes the professor stated that there were only two emotions: love and fear. I found that difficult to comprehend at age nineteen as I was certain I had experienced far more than just two feelings during the my life. Over the years, I’ve frequently reconsidered this concept as I gradually began to understand its veracity. In fact, the more I studied and understood spirituality the more I was able to grasp this idea.

In recent years there seems to be a growing debate between the role of ego in our lives vs the function of spirit. In its most simplified form, (according to Dr. Sigmund Freud), the ego is that part of our psychic energy that seeks to satisfy our basic urges, needs, and desires whether life-sustaining or frivolous. When a need is not satisfied, (me speaking again) we experience tension, agitation, and anger. In The Secret Side of Anger, I define anger as the direct result of unmet needs and expectations. Ego identifies itself as separate and apart from others, protecting itself from its perceived lack of resources, a sense of unfairness or injustice, or a threat (whether physical, verbal or psychological). “I must safeguard myself from those who seek to harm me; I must take what is rightfully mine before someone else claims it; I am entitled to, deserving of, should have what I want; this belongs to me.” Each of these statements affirms a fear-based mindset. Ego’s motto? Obtain – Secure – Protect from the (apparent) enemy.

On the flip-side of ego is spirit: our life force, the very essence of who we are – spiritual beings temporarily encased in physical form seeking to fulfill Divine Intention. Spirit is the extension of the Divine, longing to express its authentic self in every word and action. Spirit has no desire or need for possessions, status or recognition such as does ego. It is Absolute Love whose “soul” purpose is to love; not to be loved but only to offer love. Rather than deprivation and lack, spirit recognizes the infinite blessings God has graciously bestowed upon us knowing that all needs are provided by Father and distributed equitably among His children. Spirit identifies it’s oneness with all Creation – no division, only unity and concern for all. Born from the Divine, spirit possesses like qualities of its Creator: compassion, kindness, understanding, fairness, justice, forgiveness, stillness, and harmony. Anger and fear cannot survive where God’s peace resides.
On a human level, ego is necessary for our survival. Were we not concerned about our wellbeing, our need for food and water, safety from our enemies and/or nature’s threatening elements our physical bodies could be at risk for harm and possible death. The key is being acutely aware of ego’s influence for without proper restraint it has a tendency to become demanding, haughty, rude, arrogant, envious, hostile, and aggressive – all fear-based behaviors.

Spirit, on the other hand, has no agenda or capabilities other than to love. Period.
So the question is: Love or Fear? Spirit or Ego? Love engenders peace. Ego resides in fear (a root cause of anger). Do you desire less anger? Then transition away from ego and dwell in Spirit. It is your undeniable essence.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
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