Reflections on dis-connection, trauma and the Shamanic pathway

This is a post I started to write two weeks ago.  The critic just told me to trash it.  I am not going to do that.  In it I am trying to work out some ideas and make some connections, it may run all over the place but I am going to post it anyway.

Disconnection could be a recurring theme of my life.  I just sat down close to my computer and read a lovely gravatar intro page of another blogger who recently commented and just seeing it warmed my soul and I felt immediately connected.  A few moments before that the ether was pulling on me to the world of dissociation, shades and death which is where I am connected to some vast force but feel on some level dead to the outer world, sucked on by a lonely sadness, with the feeling death will call me out of life soon because I spend days and days and days alone, never seeing anyone much apart from my dog.

These feelings may in part have been prompted by reading today about how feelings of emptiness are one of the major symptoms of BPD and childhoods which are characterised by emotional neglect.  Feelings of emptiness or feeling dissociated or unreal also relate to responses the soul makes to traumas of the past, that were significant enough to make someone loose trust in people as well as faith in support.  Such experiences of absence, emptiness and not being met on a feeling level leave the person suffering alone in space with little foundation around them apart from a vast yawning emptiness.

I was also reflecting on how much the deep pain of the so called ‘highly emotional and sensitive soul’ may perhaps be connected to deep pain of earlier experiences having impacted bodily at a very young age leaving imprints of an aloneness that comes out of experiences of never being held, mirrored or ‘met’ in someone else’s eyes (or maybe too its a deep unconscious body memory for those of us who weren’t cuddled, touched or connected with on a level of sensation).

That experience leads the self to feel it is empty, a pretender or not real or embodied in life, has no home or way of touching or connecting.  In this soul state the lure of the ghostly realms of addictions and shades provides some kind of ground for the person but it is a temporary ground which only seemingly offers support, removing all support after a brief time and once again leaving the sufferer feeling like he or she is falling through space.

In my own life I have experienced this emptiness in the past as a lonely, vast, deep stratosphere that I can only make sense of as a conglomerate of part experiences of being flung out so far and away from human companionship and warmth, disconnected and sent away at critical times of loss.   In exploring the ancestral history I recognise this theme or pattern as going back five generations.  It is about far more than me alone.  This empty void (that becomes fuller if I enter it consciously and dialogue within it) is a place I have naturally gravitated to over many years.  It is not really a place for a human heart to dwell for all time with no living connection and yet, on a soul level, I feel it has been my fate to touch this place, spend lots of time there and also to speak for its value, painful, enormous and empty as it sometimes feels.  I do believe it can become a place of creativity if entered with greater acceptance and consciousness.

The astrologer Melanie Reinhardt once told me that those of us who face death (and this includes her and I, we both have had serious accidents that nearly took our lives) get a permanent mark imprinted upon our soul, we undergo something that removes us from the everyday and common place.  Trauma of this kind makes a tear that opens up a void and vortex of sorts in the person.  It leaves a deep and lasting imprint on the soul and can become a deep spiritual wound that can not be healed or fixed.  Rather the wound becomes a life task or vocation through which one is pulled towards a pathway that I guess some would call a shamanic pathway.

The Shaman is the one who moves between the worlds and is conscious that at any time there are two worlds that overlap, he or she can be living in the two simultaneously and often had the veil between worlds torn asunder at some stage through a deep, dark trauma.  The shaman works to connect and interweave these worlds in order to bring them into relationship, both in his life and in the lives of those who he or she helps.  He or she recognises or locates the tears in the fabric, calls out to the soul through identifying its wound and beckons the soul home.   Soul can only return if it is recognised.  The loss of soul that occurred at the time of trauma must be grieved and owned as the path of reconnection, calling the soul back to body, mending the tears between the worlds.  This is a process that takes time and will not often be recognised or given credence in a world which doesn’t have a language or way of even knowing anything about the underworld. It is the place of darkness to which the trauma victim is pulled as a result of their trauma and the emotional abandonment and the lack of recognition from those for whom the two worlds have never split apart  often leads them to misunderstand, pathologise or in some way scapegoat the person living torn between two worlds.

Reflecting on this a week or two on from when I began this post, today in meditation I was led to the following reading on coincidence.

I will pay attention to coincidence, knowing that it is at the moment of connection between the inner and the outer world that my soul and physical world come together.  My inner and outer dimensions intersect at these points.  They appear accidental, but they are the stitching together of two fabrics, two worlds.  It is said that coincidence is God loosing anonymity for a moment.  I will look at what appears to be meaning less coincidences as God talking to me and guiding me along the path.

I am not really sure how this reading from Tian Dayton links into the thread of my blog today.  Only to say the person with a shamanic connection may be open to the understanding that the trauma they or others endured may have been partly the outcome of a kind of coincidence, a moment of divine chance involving a meeting or meshing of inner and outer worlds, perhaps a breaking open of the outer world or an interpenetration of it by forces in the inner world supressed, seeking to make themselves known and propelling us who suffer the trauma onto the next stage of a journey not chosen consciously but never the less necessary for our evolution as a soul.

Returning for a moment to the idea of the way in which traumatic experience creates a tear or fissure between worlds, which remains imprinting certain like experiences I feel this when I am invited to events, there is the sense there is no way I will make it there, getting there will be problematic,  I could get stuck, something will occur to prevent me going, or worse the situation is just too common place for me to fit there with my trauma history.

This has been a deeply subconscious feeling until recently that is buried under layers but now the anniversary of my near death accident is drawing closer I am aware of this ghostly imprint hovering on the edges of my awareness, rattling the chains of my tentative attempts to reach out tentacles to others.

Often on the threshold of reaching out and opening up I meet the Grim Reaper, a solid, dark presence barring my way with lots of negative thoughts.   Lately rather than allow them to hold me back, I summon up the voices, try and feel all the feelings and move forward anyway, even on threat or fear of death.  I need the courage to walk into the fire and let the voices in the ether holding me back with fears go.   I realise now in reading this back that it is the traumatic imprint of two very serious accidents which is there like a ghost always pulling on me but not at a conscious level.

Today I sensed for the first time that out there somewhere is a place I may belong, if I tried, but I don’t dare to try.  I want others to be able to meet me in this other world but only a few can (and why should they, when its not their experience?)  I am feeling it keenly as my therapist left for Greece recently. Her going away is affecting me more than I realised it would.  I know she will come back.  I know she cares about me.  But I really miss the one person who seems to ‘get’ me.

Today I posted my In The Ashes blog.  I am getting back really bad attacks after I go out to the park and connect with someone there and then return home to my house alone.  The attacks go on for about an hour and a half. I only realised that it was deep sadness and loneliness today.  I had contacted a friend to catch up tomorrow and she could only do a limited time and when the attack came I cancelled but the minute I sent the text I started crying and couldn’t stop.

I heard a voice that told me loneliness, disconnection is the biggest health hazard of them all.  Sure we need to take care of diet but if we are permanently alone and disconnected its harder on our health than eating too much carbs or not exercising enough.

The pain in my heart is longing and loneliness.  I need others and have isolated a lot, far too much.  At times I have pulled back when I needed to stay there in the thick of conflict and pain and front it head on.  I am seeing this clearly today.

I need to do more reaching out and connecting.  How I am living is just not sustaining me any more.  That is becoming clear and tonight there is such a burning rasping pain in my heart its making me nauseous.

These later few paragraphs come from the blog and the state of mind I was writing in two weeks ago.  Mercury being retrograde there was a tearing going on for me, I now see.  There was the pull of the outer world and the longing to connect but there was also the part of me that in longing to stay home and find ways to express my own trauma was trying to remain here in a way and stich the two world back together.  I am reading through and re-editing this post today (Monday 19th September) and Mercury will start to go forward again in two or three days.

I had during this time associated Mercury, (the messenger that moves between the worlds of unconscious/past/body/inner brain parts amygdala and other parts of the inner brain that carry trauma imprints and conscious/present/mind/upper cortex part of brain that carries present time functions) with the Shaman who moves between the worlds.

The tear that we navigate when we have been imprinted upon and impacted by trauma is profound, we no longer inhabit just this present waking moment as our brain and being is often triggered in ways that we feel dimly and unconsciously or at a bodily level but do not fully understand with our minds alone.

There  a mysterious part the intuition and intuitive gut knowing plays in this entire process and we need to develop skills too for the power of unconscious trauma can pull upon us so much at times that our entire connection with present life and time becomes broken and that is dangerous ground.   We who  have suffered must keep working painstakingly to find ways to enter the trauma without becoming trapped in it and by all the associated feelings.

Counterbalancing this we need also to ground in the present moment and try on some level to maintain our connection with the present time so that trauma does not keep us locked in isolation and repeat and repeat on a negative feedback loop endlessly.  I fee we can do this by making sure we keep in touch with real things in the world which engage our senses and attention in an affirming and loving way, doing household tasks mindfully, getting a massage, engaging in gentle or vigorous exercise, engaging our senses through touch, listening to music, spending time with a friend or in a support group, with our therapist, eating good food.

In this way we can honour both the worlds.  We can acknowledge that each is real and come to understand that at times we inhabit one and at times another.  We can acknowledge the impact and consequences of our trauma but not endlessly feed into them.  We can respect that there are dimensions of being that lay beyond what we see in the common place and every day, dimensions of being and experience at times terrifying and daunting to others that never the less have an important part to play in deepening our soul.   Trauma on some level opens our connection to psychic level of being where our being and feelings interconnect with the being and feelings of others.

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