Overcoming The Trauma of Illness, Death and Major Life Challenges
Yes, it is easier said than done. To hear someone say “just change your mind and focus on something else, something more positive,” gets old after a while no doubt.
The Question is: How does one successfully focus the mind on something more joyful, more positive, more loving and inviting? This becomes an invitation to change just about everything in the life. It may start with the Diet. As you clean up what is ingested, everything changes. The mood at first might be more agitated, but eventually your emotions actually become more peaceful, if you can adjust to a diet that you enjoy. Normal eliminations include diary, sugar, meat, gluten (grains), and sometimes even fruit.
Then the rest of the physical changes may be necessary including exercise and general fitness, but if the disease does not allow for much movement, the next steps are to look at what the thoughts are and what the emotions are doing.
This is the theme underlying the Inner Vision Journey work. We are not only giving exercises for getting the mind in control, but we encourage the reader to move forward, not give up and take the baby steps necessary to create what is wanted and needed in life.
This involves a multitude of tasks beyond just an immediate need for clarity, emotional, mental and physical health. This involves a set of survival skills that will take the reader into a deeper understanding of the self, the personality and the Self, the Higher Self or Soul.
We have come to this good Earth to explore and learn more about who we are and in so doing, we learn about those people and situations surrounding us.
We are intricately involved in a tapestry of intimate relationships and we are not separate from them. We are part of the whole. As we learn to get quiet, listen, be more aware, we can begin to fully appreciate so much more than what we have previously been aware of.
- Have stopped to listen to your body lately? What is the sound of your heart beating? Has it changed over time.
- Have you asked your body what it needs that is in it’s best interest.
- Have you asked your best friend what is not serving your life at the moment and what you are willing to give up to move the system back to balance.
Trauma in life moves quickly into the cellular structure of our being. It becomes who we are unless we are able to work effectively with it to coax it up to the surface and out of our system.
Traditionally we have been told that years of psychoanalytic counseling is necessary to do this, but in the process, many times the one being analyzed is repeatedly traumatized in the process, only imbedding the feelings more deeply into the body/mind.
Being diagnosed with an illness is one of the most traumatizing things that can happen to us in our lifetime. How many millions of people experience this everyday? Yet, we each go inside and come to our own conclusions about how to work with the trauma. It is as if we are the only ones this has ever happened to.
There are emotional and psychological symptoms of trauma including shock, disbelief and denial, rage, anxiety, denial, guilt, blame (self or other directed), despair, hopelessness, fear, withdrawal, numbness, mental confusion and emotional pain.
These can last from days to months and even into years in some cases. Normally, a traumatic situation will be dealt with and the symptoms will dissipate over time, but if it is a major disease that is being dealt with either for yourself or for a loved one, these issue can become part of the norm.
This material is asking you to show up in new ways for yourself. Change is not the most favorite activity of most humans. It can be threatening to core values, so carefully formulated over a life time. It can induce high levels of fear and trepidation. It can also give unimagined hope and comfort to know that one is capable of huge amounts of change.
Being in the Moment Through Trauma
What are some of the small, yet powerful steps that can be taken right now, right here and now?
Imagine that you or a loved one have just been diagnosed with a life-changing, unexpected disease that has rocked the core of your being.
You are in shock. You begin to feel sad and begin to feel somewhat despondent.
What can you do?
- Sit with this for a time and feel what is happening to your body.
- Notice what you mind wants to do and finally, what emotions are coming up for you.
- This is the beginning of a process that can affect your life from this day forward. There is no time like the very present moment to launch into the role of the Witness. This is a place of Power.
- Decide right now – are you going to show up for this challenge from a place of heightened awareness and presence, or are you going to immediately be pulled into a place of fear.
- Begin to take the slow, controlled breaths so that you can establish a balance.
It is acceptable to go through the inevitable emotions that come with this kind of traumatic occurrence. In fact, give yourself permission to experience the gamut of feelings. Just notice them, if at all possible as they come up for you. i.e. Sadness – check, Anger – check, Anxiety – check, Denial, etc.
Your world has been turned upside down and whether or not you want to, you will most likely be in a state of shock at the very beginning of this process. Imagine that your three-year-old child is watching you go through this process and how you would show up for him/her.
It would be excellent if you begin writing down your feelings and thoughts. This can be a daily exercise and can serve as a powerful release or a way of putting words to your process. It will be invaluable to you later on as you look back into your reactions as your healing progresses.
You may choose a family member, a good friend or a therapist to talk to about this huge development and what you might do with this ‘unwanted guest.’
If you decide to be quiet about your process and just going inward without letting others in your life know about your illness, that is certainly a viable choice. Your process may be too personal for you to share with the world. You do want to consider, however, choosing at least one person to go through this challenging time with since human beings are essentially relational and tend to grow and thrive when in relation.
There are also a variety of herbs for calming, sleeping and for healing. If you are interested in pursuing a natural approach to your healing, either alongside a doctor or instead of a medical doctor, be in touch with a Naturopath, Homeopath, Acupuncturist, Energy Healer or other Holistic Practitioner. If you need help finding one, ask at a local Health Food Store or go online and search.
When you are in a state where you are ready to take action to quiet the mind and find a place for connecting to your Higher Self, begin the Inner Vision Journey process. This will not take much time out of your day, but will guide you through very powerful exercises to clear the mind and begin to visualize more potently. You will want to begin seeing yourself whole, functioning in the world and completely healed. We always go to the “Act As If” place when doing any kind of inner healing work.
The healing that comes can be transformative on many levels. You might decrease or eliminate pain, you might begin to see symptoms diminish and begin to feel better, you might be healing your emotional body, so that the stress of the disease is reduced. This can bring a calm, peaceful feeling throughout the heart/mind that can take you in the direction the Soul is calling.
During any illness, it is always advisable to GO INTO THE GOLDEN/WHITE LIGHT. This is a training for healing as well as at the time of transition. Going into the Light is one of the most powerful exercises you can practice. It can heal the body, emotional field or mind. It allows you to merge with Soul or Spirit.
If you have not enrolled in the Inner Vision Journey Program, do so now. It’s always a good time to begin this work.
Give yourself huge appreciation for researching what you can do to move forward in the time of Trauma. You are showing up in a BIG way today. You are taking charge of your life by determining to Thrive instead of hide. You may or may not feel up to this task, but know that without a doubt, this will be one of the greatest challenges of your life, and once you are on the other side of this issue, you will find your courage, strength of mind and will power greatly enhanced.
No one consciously chooses to go through a time of trail by fire. We choose a life of ease and comfort for the most part. Now of course there are some who might say “Bring it On!” Knowing how we expand in times of difficulty, but most would chose a more gentle, simple path to higher consciousness.
But here you are. In the middle of yet another of life’s challenges, ready or not, it’s happening. So gather your resources and prepare to begin the journey. Don’t let the external needs of appointments, work, family responsibilities, etc. detour you from the work at hand. Dive in and begin what could be the most profound time of your entire life.
This life-changing time can be met in a variety of ways.
If you find yourself shrinking from the pressure and weight of the responsibility, go back and being the quieting exercises. You can go into Inquiry, if that method suits you. You can simple questions you have with “And then what?”
Examples: “What will happen if this challenge proves bigger than what I can handle?” “And then what?” “How will my family and friends be without me?”
“and then what?”
“What if my children / partner never gets over this loss?”
“and then what?”
“What if I live and am not able to do my job or support myself?”
“and then what?”
“What if I am institutionalized because I can’t function?”
“and then what?”
“What if I recover and then have to go through all of this again?”
“and then what?”
“What if I never quite recover from this illness and I have to go live with my friends or family?”
“and then what?”
You get the idea. Just keep asking and answering your own trepidations.
Eventually you’ll see that there is always an answer and that each path is just another opportunity for learning and expansion of consciousness.
Remember it’s not the Journey itself that will bring you peace, but how you chose to go through it.
What is your choice?
Inner Vision Journey offers a personal guide to developing, enhancing and unlocking answers to life’s greatest questions. In addition to the life changing Inner Vision Journey Guidebook, to encourage self-reflection, visualization and meditation we are offering Preparing for Death – Conscious Living, Healing and Dying by Cherie Peterson to people on the path for a limited time at a special price.