In resisting our nervous system rhythm, we forget our innate ability to process stress and trauma. Instead we trap stress and trauma within our bodies and effectively recreate pain from the past over and over. We create a type of internal suffering that affects mind, body and soul. Peter Levine says, “Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood and untreated cause of human suffering.”
Trauma can occur whether we are physically, socially or emotionally endangered. Our nervous system interprets both emotional abuse and a car accident as a threat to our system. This activates our fight-or-flight response and, at times, the freeze response. Our nervous system rhythm knows how to process high stress and traumatic events in the same, resilient way wild animals do, but our conditioned mind gets in the way.
Each of us have been shamed to physically suppress our mammalian trauma processing, ie. shaking, crying, wailing, body-led movement etc. Without the freedom to process and release the trauma, our nervous system holds on to the “story” and so the trauma continues to live within our beings, embedded in our muscles, organs and nervous system.
These embedded “stories” create our somatic subconscious, stored traumas that relay an underlying message that we are not safe. Subconscious fear. This undermines our ability to be in social engagement states. Our authentic connection is eroded by this underlying fear and defensiveness. Deep relaxation states are also undermined and become more and more difficult to access. CHARGE and TENSION states dominate our experience and run on repeat because of this underlying message. This is called living in sympathetic dominance.
Learning to follow your nervous system rhythm, and then doing so on a regular basis, brings us back into our natural ability to process stress and trauma.
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