PTSD Symptoms and The Paradigm of Change
It is far too easy to be influenced by external input these days as we’re constantly bombarded with information.
If healing from Post-Traumatic Stress is one of your objectives, I think it is wise to think carefully about what you are exposing yourself to on a daily basis.
You most likely know by now that staying in a toxic environment where you are exposed to continued abuse is not conducive to healing. I would argue that extends to what you tune into for information, be it TV news, or social media. If you expose yourself repeatedly and deliberately to news which evokes fear, disgust or anger, you will become fearful, disgusted, and angry; these feelings will seep in and will become part of your reality.
If you have traveled or lived in other continents and stepped out of the western paradigm and news feed, you will know how much mind-fuck is going on through the so-called news. Other countries and continents are doing just the same in their own ways, but it takes a while for the mind to catch up; therefore, if you take the time to travel, the space in between is a good space for reflection. If you have retreated in nature for more than three weeks without any news, it will have a similar impact.
You can set an intention to want to heal, and it certainly starts there, but you will first have to remove yourself from all toxic environments before you will have enough energy to actually work on your healing; otherwise, much of your energy is expended in managing a compromised situation.
There is no need to go to the opposite extreme and become all flower power, but do cut out the news as much as you can or choose it very wisely. It is mostly propaganda anyway, with its own agenda.
Hone your interests, and feed your reality with those passions.
Identification and The Continuation of Post-Traumatic Stress
This world is possessive.
It seduces you into taking a stand all the time; to agree or disagree, to be for something or against something, to believe or not to believe. This world wants your attention and your energy and one way to achieve your participation is through your voluntary engagement. It doesn’t really matter if you are for a particular belief, be it political or otherwise, or against it. The thing is that when you are engaged by it, your energy flows into it, and you thereby become part of it. You are identified with it.
Love binds; hate binds even more.
It is tricky to talk about this because the mind very quickly intervenes and brings up justifications: “But we should be doing something…” or “If I don’t believe or stand for anything then nothing will ever change.” The fact is that in spite of both reaction and negligence, things have not really changed. Technology has evolved, but the human mind and our emotional responses have remained the same, leaving us basically in limbo and on the verge of self-destructing.
In order to look at such a complex issue, then, I think that we have to look at it from a micro-perspective first. If we look at it first from a perspective of Post-Traumatic Stress, we might then be able to look at it from a macro-perspective and perhaps deal with the world in a healthy manner.
The Process of Dissociation as Complex PTSD Symptoms
I have mentioned time and again that excessive thought, the insistence of finding out the “why?” of a particular emotion, feeling or experience, or the reaction of wanting to solve or get rid of it, are dissociation responses and are never going to help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. The where you want to be, psychologically, is an illusion and is flowing out of the very pain of where you are and your inability to meet that pain in the here and now.
I might have lost you here a bit, so let’s illustrate that with an example:
I am hurting because I have been physically and psychologically abused, and that hurt has stayed with me over time. I have suppressed anger, a deep wound of loneliness out of a lack of love; therefore, I subsequently suffer from anxiety, depression, and lack of self-worth.
This part here above is the essence of human suffering that many– if not most of us– go through in varying levels of intensity.
Now, I am constantly fighting with my symptoms. I tell myself I should be more assertive, get out of this, take action, and when I fail, I get upset with myself. I self-blame, feel hurt, and retreat again into loneliness until depression takes over. I might also cope through addictive behaviors or substances from time to time. I might also project that if I just have enough money, or have someone, or if the world was different, or if I can only understand the cause of my suffering, everything would be better for me.
So, my mind is continuously escaping and thus self-perpetuating its own state through constant reaction, and I keep telling myself I should do something because if I stop, things will be worse. I am locked into this perpetual cycle of suffering with apparently no way out through trying to overcome, through avoiding, wanting to force change, and through wanting to get rid of my past and emotions.
How to Treat PTSD Through Non-dual Awareness
Real change requires a different approach altogether. It requires a willingness to listen to your pain, to become intimate with it, to hold a state of non-duality in which you are not choosing one extreme over the other; in which you are neither fully identified and are becoming your suffering nor where you reject your suffering and your pain.
It is that very listening into the various complex layers of trauma and dissociation that helps you connect to the source of your emotional pain and, thereby, through adequate containment and resilience, you will start to process the emotional residue within and thus start to heal and integrate. The past will become a part of the past because you have fully met the emotional residue and worked through it.
Our personal traumas are what shape our outward society. You cannot separate them. They are intertwined, meshed up.
Resonating With a New Paradigm Beyond Hurt and Belief
When dealing with the outside world, a similar approach can be applied.
There will always be the latest self-help guru or politician promising change or that you can achieve whatever you want, and if you are hurting and hoping for release, it is easy to fall for it.
Similarly, you might be swayed by the current beliefs of where you live– be it religion, politics, a consensus in science or economics– and react through choice, through being for or against, and thus become part of that cycle.
It takes so much more work to observe non-dualistically– as with working through post-traumatic stress– to set your boundaries clearly regarding where you want to live, which people you want to have close to you, and what information you allow yourself to be informed by.
It is hard work– as it is hard work to go through PTSD trauma and its layers of complexity– to shape your life according to a paradigm that is not based on the old, and this applies both to your inner cosmos, the ways in which you have been dealing with your emotional residue, as well as dealing with the world at large, and they go together.
This world is made up of a mixture of so many realities defined by one’s beliefs, convictions, and choices. If you understand that deeply then you know your reality is exactly that; it is made up of your beliefs, convictions, experiences, and choices.
You can, therefore, be more fluid, forever questioning the nature of your reality and invite change.
It is up to you to want to resonate with another paradigm and thereby bring another reality, another possibility of living into being. It will be your responsibility and you alone are accountable.
What can you do to start making steps towards a new paradigm? Share your comments below.