Do you recall an instance when you truly laughed? How the laughter built up and built up to its rapturous fullness. Our whole body trembling, convulsing with it (sensations), thoughts (images, the connections our mind was making of what we saw or what was said) and feelings (oh so much joy and pleasure) all in their fullness. The full engagement of thoughts, sensations, and feelings. Then it gently dissipated leaving us feeling lighter, fresher,… released from some tension. We may fondly recall the laughter creating event for us, after a while, after a day or two, or even after a week, but that rapture, that volume of feeling is gone for good. Until we laugh about something else the next time…
The volume of feelings
The process we experience with laughter is the same process that would occur with any kind of feeling that we don’t dare to fully feel. Including all of the feelings, we believe make up the PTSD-creating events or the feelings we have not been able to experience during our intolerable, unhappy past sufferings.
Each and every feeling only needs this same process of fully connecting thoughts, feelings and sensations, in order to be fully felt until it is released, until it subsides and it’s over with. Just as with the laughter. We may recall it after a while but the intolerable intensity of the feeling would not be there any longer. Its volume gradually subsides just as it does with the laughter. Its energy value, just as with laughter would enrich us, and make us more at ease with ourselves. Leaving us feeling rejuvenated.
Disrupting the laughter
With the laughter, now imagine someone/something coming in before our laughter fully builds up and chops it into three pieces, such as would be if thoughts, feelings and sensations are separated for us in our body, our psyche, our mind, in our organism, our energy. We would not be able to connect the chopped pieces to have our true, full and proper experience of our beautiful laughter. We simply could not connect the sensations in our body to the feelings, to the thoughts that brought the laughter in. How uncomfortable, sad and lacking this would feel instead of enjoying our beautiful laughter infused release.
This is the same with each and every feeling that for one reason or another we find uncomfortable to attend to. Too intolerable to attend to. Thus depriving us of our rejuvenating release, by not having fully experienced it, by fully connected thoughts-feeling-sensations of it.
The rejuvenating release of trauma
Letting us believe our experience cannot be experienced. Perhaps too intolerable to even try. Yet this is only so because, at the point of this horrible experience, we rightly, naturally, due to its feeling volume, felt unable to experience it. The volume of feelings might have been too intolerable to allow ourselves to feel, as the experience, the experiences occurred. This in turn left them chopped up into pieces that now need to be connected, so that the experience can, little by little be fully felt – gradually in order to release it, benefiting us in the same way that the laughter does. The rejuvenating release of trauma, we might have been carrying.
The event which caused us the PTSD may feel much greater than what has made us laugh, of course, it would have been. But if we can see it made of smaller parts, we can choose to experience one little bit of it, at a time. Once we do, the troubling memory of that little bit, will dissipate, in the same way the laughter does. The intolerable is only ever made of feelings that are patiently waiting to be fully felt once, for one full clear moment, in order to be released for us, to enrich us, to build us up.
And what if still can’t do it?
We may at times also feel that some situations are so difficult that there is simply no going to them, no matter what anyone tells us. Then we accept this is how we feel about it for now. Noting, observing thoughts-feelings-sensations of not wishing to go there… And see if we then can look at something around these situations? Something about the periphery of these experiences? Maybe a recent event in which we may have recognised some similarities of how we felt then…? We may find here some feelings that we can find the strength to feel, and thus release some energy previously stuck in them, for ourselves. We never ought to do more than we feel we can at this time. Always keeping in mind to be kind,… gentle to ourselves. We are amazing creatures and our genes have already succeeded through so much, hence we evolved to be human (from that warm water puddle billions of years ago).
Marija Eljuga started her inspirational blog Kounselling four years ago with an aim of contributing to the growing mental health / wellbeing movement. She views this as part of the evolutionary process, a process in which we can consciously participate by becoming more aware of our body sensations, feelings and the cognitive aspect (the story line) of our traumatic and otherwise undesirable experiences, in order to grow through them. Her aim is to empower individuals and groups in this respect. You can find her on WordPress - KOUNSELLING.