When we experience trauma (and we all do) a piece of ourselves stays behind to remember. A wonderful adaptation that helped us to survive in that moment. However, that piece, often disconnected from our conscious awareness, is like a puppet master: pulling the strings and causing reactionary behavior.
We often feel powerless to these reactionary and compulsive pieces of ourselves. We learn, we do the self care, and still it’s like something in us can.not. let. go.
Gratefully, more and more research is indicating lifelong plasticity in our brains, especially when we encounter nurturing.
This world is not always nurturing obviously. Despite our best efforts life will always have darkness, chaos, and ups and downs. We can’t resolve all of our toxic patterns, relationships, and environments right here and now…. maybe ever… so what do we do?
You always have the power to be more nurturing to yourself, no matter where you are, what you are doing, and with very little time.
Try it right here and now:
Place a hand to your heart.
Say to yourself: ” I’m so sorry, please forgive me, I forgive you, thank you, I love you”
It feels funny at first, but keep trying, some part of you, the part of you reading this article right now, believes in your innate deserving of love, forgiveness, and gratitude.
(this is a Hawaiian forgiveness practice called Ho’oponopono, if you’d like to know more)
BONUS: If you feel extra sweet on yourself, try noticing when any unwanted thoughts, emotions, images (memory movies, flashbacks, etc) or sensations come up.
Acknowledge these elements as a part of yourself and ask this part of yourself – “what are you feeling? what do you need?”
(check out Nonviolent Communication’s list of feelings and/or needs to become more familiar)
Take a moment to imagine, feel free to fantasize wildly, meeting that need in the most wonderful way, and take a breath.
Let us know what comes up for you and what shifted as you tried these practices!
Kathryn A. Walker is a pioneering medical researcher and psychiatrist known for her groundbreaking work in the field of mental health, particularly in the area of ketamine treatments. With a deep passion for understanding and alleviating the burden of treatment-resistant mood disorders, Kathryn has dedicated her career to investigating the therapeutic potential of ketamine.
Through her relentless efforts, she has played a pivotal role in shedding light on ketamine’s efficacy in treating conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Her research has not only transformed the way we approach mental health care but has also provided hope to countless individuals who had previously found little relief from conventional treatments.
Kathryn A. Walker’s pioneering contributions continue to shape the landscape of mental health medicine and inspire new avenues of research in the pursuit of better mental well-being for all.