Salman Rushdie stated, "Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change – truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts."
For those who have suffered multi abuses or traumatic occurrences, healing has been metaphorically likened to "peeling the various layers of onion skin" - processing the material and feelings layer by layer until such time as there is a sense of resolution, peace, or dissolution. I have often used the metaphor of our soul being like that of an empty real estate lot upon which is built a foundation (beliefs), the design of which was dependent upon the actions and words of significant people in our early years. With very minimal input into this original design, our reactions to the world around us developed, and a structure was built, based upon our original responses/reactions to different situations. For those who had "frozen" trauma images and feelings, the structure would appear like a skyscraper with no real variations in the design from the original.
Many similar situations in the present time will elicit the same type of reaction as a person experienced at the time of the original trauma. This suggests that it would be more efficient, and therefore hopefully less painful and time-consuming, to work through the earliest known traumas that continue to recreate that unwanted reaction. This is in order to implode the other layers of the building that contain the same emotions, i.e., shame, guilt and, fear, etc. If the layers are then worked through, it will also break apart the original foundation through the reframing that would take place, i.e., recognizing that one was helpless, dependent, and a victim. This would leave the original lot (soul) ready and waiting for a new foundation and building (fresh experiences and responses rather than reactions). This is as a result of finally having a true sense of choice, independence and, in this state, the willingness to be healthily vulnerable, to forgive, to love unconditionally, to befriend the self, and to be connected and comfortable with one's own spirituality (Higher Power).
Most people who have been in an auto accident in which, for a split second beforehand, they ‘knew' what was about to happen, but not the outcome, can relate to the following common fear-based reactions. The body goes taut, one stops breathing momentarily, and we instantly "freeze" the image (still picture) of the moment that we felt that death or pain could be imminent. The treatment goal is therefore to "unfreeze" the image (picture) in order to allow the movie to "run on", so that all levels of one's consciousness and awareness truly know that one has survived, continued to grow up, and did not die. This allows for both a sense of inner peace and the dispelling of any self-sabotaging that may have otherwise surfaced. Core Belief Engineering is designed to reframe any harmful beliefs that appear stuck or frozen. To unfreeze such beliefs or cellular memory can change or shift the way we view or act in the present moment, or in the future.
Frozen development is the frozen vibration of the original trauma. This means that if it is not attended to and worked through, then similar vibrations in the present will create the same fear-based response. "In the extreme state of shock or terror, there is total immobility of the muscles, spinal cord, and the lungs, a defocusing of the eyes, and a partial congealing of the fluids and the arterial blood supply." (Keleman p. 66)
Energy healers may refer to "frozen psychic time conglomerates" as being when, from conception onwards, we had to stop the flow of energy around a particularly painful event; we froze that event in both energy and in time, which creates a frozen energy-consciousness. Any part of our psyche associated with that event also froze as we separated/dissociated, or otherwise stopped the pain. It is that part of the psyche that needs "thawing out," as it does not mature along with our physiology. It will not mature until conscious thought and energy get to the block and allow the processing to take place, and allow for true maturation. The need is to turn any still/frozen fear, or anxiety images, into moving pictures, and thereby merge the levels of consciousness and allow for the natural flow of the body's energies again.
When studying and researching how and where memories were retained and recalled, Wilder Penfield, a Canadian neurosurgeon, stated, "It was evident at once that these (memories) were not dreams. They were electrical activations of the sequential record of consciousness, a record that had been laid down during the patient's earlier experience. The patient re-lived all that he had been aware of in that earlier period of time as in a moving-picture flashback." (Talbot p. 12)
It was Karl Pribram who determined that the brain, through its holographic nature, had the amazing ability to store a staggering amount of information, and that the frozen imagery of trauma can be accounted for by the blocking of the necessary interference, and resolved when the interference patterns are unblocked and returned to a flow state.
A person may continue to draw fear-based situations into their life in the form of re-enactment, and it follows that these re-enactments will stop once there has been a resolution to the original trauma.
Theodore Millon described obsessions and compulsions as being similar to other neurotic symptoms in that they "reflect the operation of intrapsychic mechanisms."
Each neurotic disorder protects the individual from recognizing the true source of his anxieties, yet allows the anxiety a measure of release without damaging his self-image or provoking social rebuke. In phobias, the inner tension is symbolized and attached to an external object; in conversions, it is displaced and expressed through somebody part; in dissociative symptoms, there is blocking or splitting off of the anxiety source; in obsessions and compulsions, tension is controlled, symbolized and periodically discharged through a series of repetitive acts or thoughts. (p. 405)
The autonomic and central nervous systems govern the messages and automatic reactionary functions of the body. Therefore our heart rate, blood pressure, circulation, respiration, posture, and digestion can all be negatively impacted and lead to obvious physical tensions such as headaches.
Fritz Perls stated that, "Fear is the excitement without the breath." It has been established that for some, there is a direct link between having panic attacks and alcoholism, and that hyperventilation and fear of dying can be a direct trigger for the need to "mood alter." (Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. 1993. Vol.10. pps.1-2)
As already stated, stress can also be said to come from three main sources; fear, pain, and fear of more pain, which in turn can produce "anticipatory anxiety." Proponents of the Three In One Concepts believe that perceptions of fear, pain, and fear of more pain produce a Negative Emotional Charge (NEC). (Stokes/Whiteside p. 59) This is very relevant to the issue of reversals and corrections of the same.
Some data involving phobics with symptoms that range from simple anxiety to full-blown phobias would suggest that the subconscious has become saturated by past traumatic events, which are unresolved, and therefore lead to the over-saturation (or total depletion) of chemicals and hormones that are designed to regulate us. The key lies in the ability of an anxious person to realize the truth that, "It's over, let it go, let it rest in peace. I can't change it, the past is over, my control is in the present, not the past nor the future!" (Sahley, 1994 p. 9) TFT and other AIP's allow this re-framing to be facilitated at the core subconscious level and does not require behavioral modification or constant affirmations - as these appear to be automatically and positively impacted.
It is known that a certain level of stress is necessary to maintain optimal health. Hans Selye (a pioneer of research on stress and its origins and effects) referred to this optimal level as "Eustress" or "positive excitement." If this optimal level is exceeded and any form of system dysfunction follows, then that is referred to as "distress." (Gerber p. 440)
There is an obvious fear or phobic response as a result of something that has occurred in a traumatic fashion, or has a distinct possibility of happening, but, as has been stated, the body cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. This fits the acronym of FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). However, often a phobia begins following a trauma that has not been resolved, and the inner disturbance of energy can often manifest in some totally unrelated phobia.
Phobias are certain forms of distress, and there are many of them.
For a full list of common and unusual phobias, I would recommend reading Dr. James Durlacher's book Freedom from Fear Forever. (pps. 213-219)
Agoraphobia is a fairly common fear-based anxiety disorder and a handout entitled Agoraphobia – the Grip of Fear detailed the physiological response to stress and how it can lead to a particular phobia.
A person who finds himself in a dangerous or threatening situation responds with a "fight or flight" reaction. The mechanism is located in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. When a person is threatened, the brain transmits a biochemical message, and this causes the adrenal gland to produce adrenalin,
which in turn sets off a general "call to arms" throughout the body. What happens in the body? The muscles tense, the pupils dilate, the heart beats faster, the blood pressure goes up, breathing increases, the stored sugar and fats flow into the bloodstream, digestion ceases, and all senses are heightened whether to real or imaginary demands. This state is temporary as the body cannot maintain it as a lasting condition. These biochemical responses to stress develop ulcers, headaches, skin disorders, insomnia, etc. The panic disordered person's response to stress is a feeling of terror (panic) and subsequently, the development of anticipatory anxiety, panic thinking, and avoidance behavior that becomes agoraphobia. (Se-Cure program. J.C.Quinn workshop 20th April ‘94)
Fear can also provide "secondary gains," inasmuch as allowing us to avoid fulfilling our true individual potential. Abraham Maslow noted that the fear of our own higher potentialities is quite common. "We enjoy and even thrill to the godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe, and fear before these same possibilities. Fear of knowing is very deeply a fear of doing." (Ferguson p. 91)
Having knowledge carries with it responsibility, and once something has been made conscious to us, we have a choice – and if we do nothing to change things, then that in itself needs to be recognized as a choice. At least the gift of healing brings one back to a place where true choice is again (or for the first time) available. If one decides to do nothing differently, it is at least a decision made from a state of healthy reasoning ability, and not from one of psychological imprisonment, torment, or ignorance.
In a sense, there is a need for reframing of the mind and/or re-patterning of the body to return it to a state of full integrity. This means, in effect, going back to the original action in order to heal it. This is a form of abreaction, but it does not have to be in a totally literal sense, as one is more often than not able to "tune-in" to the experience and not be subject to what is called "exposure or confrontation" therapy. Good memories produce endorphins, whereas bad memories have a toxic impact.
Memory is stored as vibration; strong emotions cannot get evoked if the body is in a total state of relaxation, therefore if one is able to remove muscle tension, then memory stored in that area of the body can be safely released.
In his research, Dr. Stanislav Grof noted that memories of emotional and physical experiences are stored in the psyche not as isolated bits and pieces but in the form of complex constellations, which he termed "COEX systems" (systems of condensed experience). He believes that each of these COEX systems consists of emotionally charged memories from different periods of our lives and that the common denominator that brings them together is that they share the same emotional quality or physical sensation. The COEX may have different layers, permeated by central themes, sensations, and emotional qualities, and these layers can often be identified by the different periods in a person's life. Each COEX has a theme such as major events of humiliation, embarrassment, degradation, or shame. Another could be of all incidents that appeared to involve being abandoned. Any life-threatening incidents could lead to a frozen COEX state, which again can help us understand the energy packets that can be dissipated by energy healing. COEX packets are also made up of very pleasant memories. Therefore these packets influence the way we perceive the world, others, and ourselves - they shape perceptions and reactions that echo the stored COEX systems, and can continually re-create negative or harmful experiences. (Grof p. 24) It is said that we will continue to re-enact until we have found a resolution, therefore understanding the origins and the usefulness of our personal COEX systems can go a long way to getting back to a state of healthy homeostasis.
The energy packets then are the energy of the stuffed, repressed, and unexpressed emotions – they lead to a desire to mood alter, to escape the pain and overwhelm – which leads to unhealthy relationships with people, processes, and substances.
It has become a matter of Repression vs. Expression, and repression, isolation, and trauma are often at the centre of the creation of addictions, depression, anxiety, and ultimate self-sabotage.
The goal becomes to move from being an Adversary to being an Advocate – to live 24/7 with a ‘best friend' for company, bearing in mind that you are the only person you will never leave or lose.
YOU are also the world's leading authority on yourself and therefore are able to use, what I refer to as, the ‘independent, expert, observer self'- that which knows all about you and has access to all of your wisdom, knowledge, and life experience and can you use to direct your life in the direction of healthy thinking and action. If you were to live according to your wisdom and not slavishly to old stuck patterns of belief and behavior – then life would be one of being able to respond rather than react to any given situation.
It could be like having an internal committee of those you most admire, e.g., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa (or whomever you most admire) – sort of an internal round table – whose role it is to observe, support, and guide you. This is actually a very good tool to support you in maintaining your personal set of values and goals in your decision-making. With this particular internal committee, it is rather like asking, "What would love to do in this situation?"
Lesson 5 will be about making a Personal Template Trauma List.