Returning to Ourselves: The Wisdom of Trauma
For many of us, the global crisis has reactivated old fears, depression, dissociation, feelings of isolation and numbness. We live in times of uncertainty that awaken old traumas and reactions in us. When we are under stress and feel challenged, we resort to old patterns of survival.
Many turn to spirituality to alleviate pain and suffering. The internal discomfort of anger, sadness, fear, shame, or self-loathing is soothed by pleasant or blissful experiences encountered through meditation, yoga, chanting, prayer, and connecting in community. Spiritual bypass occurs when we use our spiritual beliefs, practices, community and way of life to avoid experiencing, revealing and processing emotional pain.
Spiritual practitioners can get caught in the trap of assuming a spiritual identity as a defense against emotional pain, and as compensation for underlying unconscious beliefs such as “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not lovable”, or “I did something wrong”. When we identify ourselves as being spiritual, or are praised, valued and recognized as a practitioner or teacher, the split between what we experience on the inside and what we present to the world becomes greater. The original wound can remain unhealed, despite years of dedicated spiritual practice. We may even intensify our practice in a disciplined effort to suppress difficult emotions.
Spiritual bypassing can be addressed through compassionately guided self-inquiry supported by bodywork, which together invite pain, discomfort and repressed emotions to come to the surface to be experienced, witnessed and worked through in a safe, supportive setting. Acceptance, allowing, non-judgement, expression and self-compassion are the ingredients needed for resolution.
This moment of crisis and uncertainty provides a potent opportunity to recognize old trauma dynamics and create new ways to respond informed by trauma education.
This program will feature Dr. Gabor Maté’s unique therapeutic work and teaching, Compassionate Inquiry, enhanced by movement and breathwork led by Betsy Polatin. We will explore emotional realities and traumatic imprints that spiritual modalities often ignore. It will be an in-depth program, suitable for therapists, spiritual seekers and anyone looking for a profound, experiential understanding of their traumatic imprint and the hidden beliefs that sustain it.