PTSD and Spirituality
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been studied in depth by the mental health community. This article discusses the spiritual implications. The term “post traumatic” indicates that one has experienced some sort of traumatic event. Whether victim, witness or even the perpetrator of the trauma, the emotional effects, or “stress” can be similar. From a spiritual perspective, there is a “disorder” or even a disconnection between conscious thought and soulful self. Everyone is born as a loving being. Negative emotions are taught and learned through human experience. Traumatic events can push the true, loving self aside and allow negative emotions to come forward. Those negative emotions include fear, regret, anger and hate. One of the consequences of negative emotions can be outwardly destructive or inwardly self-destructive behavior. Denial is not the answer. Using man-made chemical substances as a means of escaping reality is not the answer. Blame and being manipulated by fear is not the answer. Hatred of self or others is not the answer. Allowing or causing further trauma to self or others is not the answer. Love is the answer. Love of self and all beings is who we are. Love is the positive that overcomes all the negative. How can we find that love? Start with understanding and forgiveness. Whatever you have done, whatever has been done to you, whatever you have seen done to others, can lead to blame. Blame of self or others can lead to regret, anger, hate and fear. We must understand to forgive. Coming to terms with who and what motivated the behavior leading to traumatic events is a big step toward understanding. Forgiveness is not acceptance that a particular action was acceptable. Forgiveness is releasing the anger within yourself. Once the anger is released, even the smallest glimpse of love can begin the healing process. Nature and the elements hold an amazing power to heal. Earth, wind, fire (sun) and water combine to help us find a centered, connected, healing space. Sitting in a dark room or curling up in a chair and thinking negative thoughts, effectively pulls one away from those healing elements. Part of self love is allowing oneself time and space to heal. When thoughts of traumatic events come to mind there is a conscious choice to either hide them away in denial, or process those thoughts, accept the reality, forgive and follow a path toward self healing. That self love and self healing will lead us back to the loving being that is our soul and the essence of who we really are. In that process of self discovery is where the path to inner peace is found.