Standing in the Place of Power: Trauma Healing as Initiation
Updated: Sep 24, 2020
Trauma has been studied, validated, and channeled by people all over the world for everything from mystical rites to military strategies. As I shared in the previous email, trauma changes us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Entire bodies of work have been devoted to analyzing how trauma affects each of these aspects of our being because it’s such a universal and an unavoidable aspect of the human experience. This is a fact.
Most people don’t realize that, while trauma can occur as a result of acute or chronic abuse, acts of violence, and social injustice, it can also occur due to regular life events, like the loss of a loved one, a car accident, injury, job loss, or extremely stressful life experience.
Trauma creates liminal (in-between) spaces, and what we choose to do with those spaces shapes us. This is such a powerful place because it’s an opportunity to rebuild and elevate ourselves to a new plane.
Spiritual gifts and trauma
Shamanic traditions would use trauma as a rite of passage into higher spiritual ability because they knew it was an opportunity. If we learned how to move through our trauma from a place of power as opposed to being at the effect of it, we could profoundly empower ourselves to use that same approach in every area of our lives.
Knowing that fear is the biggest factor in how we experience trauma, Shamans would create rituals that elicited fear so that the initiate could learn to stand in a place of power as they took charge of the physical and spiritual aspects of their reality. Rituals are a container used for learning skills to apply to life. They provide an opportunity to change your relationship to fear so that it doesn’t control you but instead informs you. Trauma healing has the same goal. Many spiritual traditions have ceremonies that involve facing death. How does this relate to trauma healing? Every time you go into fight, flight, or freeze, your body is literally responding as if you are facing death. As you engage your healing, you will constantly be working through this state, which manifests as fear, anxiousness, depression, and feeling stuck or helpless. You too, can use your healing process like an initiate seeking spiritual growth, and becoming adept at standing in the place of power and taking charge of your experience.
The gift is our ability to choose how trauma shapes us.
While we may gain newfound access to spiritual gifts as a result of our trauma, that IS NOT the gift. The gift is in the re-membering and the newfound growth — the putting yourself back together after trauma has taken you apart and owning your ability to write your own story.
Trauma healing is a powerful and profound opportunity for awakening. To make the most of it is to come through the other side with a deeper capacity for love, presence, and courage.
The access to manifesting this in reality is being present with your feelings and memories, and shifting your inner narrative from shaming and criticism to compassion and caring.
Courage comes not only from facing your fear, taking risks, letting go of control, and stepping into the unknown, but from doing so with an intentionally open heart. Forgiving yourself and others, trusting, and practicing deliberate self-love are all part of the healing process. Practicing these principles each day cultivates resilience, compassion, wisdom, non-attachment and a profound bond with life. This leads to a new awareness and a new way of being that promotes even more healing. As trauma heals, life as you have known it changes. You are more present, aware, and grounded. You are in a state of flow, feeling clearer and more connected to everyone and everything around you — but most importantly, to yourself.
Healing is more than stopping the pain, it’s a means to achieve wholeness and belonging. Wholeness and belonging are ultimately an experience of the Divine within you and everything you are looking at — the good and the bad. When you experience this, it changes things. You no longer feel like a victim.
We (not our trauma) are the sculptor and the sculpted.
Trauma is an event. It is the physical process of the story. But you are the writer of the story. What you write and the kind of writer you are is your choice and your work. Trauma can feel like winding up far away from the one you love. Healing from it is the journey back to the love of your life — yourself. Along the way, you will see and learn many things, and in that process you become anew. Whether you find the love of your life (yourself) again — and the quality of who you are when you do — is the point of the healing journey. Who you are and who you become out of your trauma is what you are shaping. Ultimately, you are the seeker and the Lover you seek. This is the foundational quality of your life and your relationships. All of this we have power over.