How Trauma Affects the Spirit Part 1
by Holly Malmsten
Do you know about the amazing ability of the human spirit to “check out?”
I was enjoying my Christmas break, during my senior year of college and I was on vacation with a group of friends. I was having one of the best experiences in my life and fully enjoying every moment. Halfway through my trip, I got a phone call from my mom. I don’t have an explanation for this, but when the phone rang in my hotel room, I knew something was wrong and the call was bad news. I picked up the phone, with my heart beating out of my chest, and I heard my mom’s voice on the line. My mom went straight to the point and said, “Holly, Heather died yesterday.” I sat there for a moment, confused about her statement and unable to comprehend what she said. “What do you mean,?” I replied. My mom repeated it again with a little more detail. She explained that Heather had been killed in a car accident. Heather was my best friend and I had just seen her bright and full of life, right before I left for my vacation. This news was like getting hit from behind with a baseball bat out of nowhere and I didn’t know what just hit me. At the same time, I felt like I was in a dream. I could hear my mom speaking but felt like I was out of my body watching this scene from afar and it wasn’t really happening to me. This news was in stark contrast to what I was feeling moments before I got the phone call. I was in the middle of one of the most memorable and positive experiences of my life. I couldn’t fit both of these polar opposite experiences into my being, so I choked back the devastation of my friend’s death, and all emotions that correlated, and decided to finish my vacation and avoid facing the reality of what had happened. The truth is, I hung up the phone after hearing the bad news from my mom, and I felt nothing. I was numb and emotionless. I had nowhere to put such devastating information, and it was like my heart and my brain could not take it in. It was too overwhelming, and shocking, and I hadn’t the slightest clue how to handle this or how I could let it be real.
It turns out, that this is a common reaction to trauma. Most people do feel numb and emotionless, after trauma and may have a sort of “out of body” experience. I now know that this sensation is a disconnection occurring, between the body, mind, and spirit.
The human spirit has the ability to disconnect and check out when the internal state of a person is negatively altered. If the body goes into stress mode and the mind goes into fear mode, the whole internal state is transformed into a dysfunctional container of negative vibrations, thoughts, emotions, and images. The human spirit does not function in such an environment. It can preserve its own atmosphere separated from the mind and body and wait. The good news is, the spirit escapes the negativity going on in the mind and body. The spirit will wait until the traumatized mind and body are ready and willing to begin the healing process. The downside is that the spirit becomes inactive and weakens from lack of use. If this goes on for too long, you can only function as a weak, fragile, fragmented person, instead of a whole complete being.
. The strange sensation of feeling outside of your body
. like watching a scene that does not seem real
Can you relate?
You may have had a different set of circumstances, but if you have experienced any kind of sudden shocking trauma, most likely you know what I mean. It feels somewhat like a dream, a little disorienting, and numb, all at the same time.
If you can relate to this “out of body,” experience, there is good news. Your spirit can be encouraged to come back into the present, and reconnect, in its proper place and function. Your internal environment just needs to undergo a slight change.
Transformation must occur internally!
The steps for transforming your internal state into the optimal healing and welcoming environment for your spirit to reactivate, reconnect, and function again are simple, yet profoundly effective!
Join me next week as I reveal the 4 steps to transform your internal state into the ideal environment for healing breakthrough and engage your spirit to lead this beautiful process.
4 Simple, Powerful Steps