Saturday, January 24, 2009

Healing PTSD: Putting the Subconscious to Work, Part 1

It’s been a busy week here in the BRIDGE THE GAP healing workshop. We’ve been assessing the role of commitment in the healing process and the importance of having courage to support our commitment. If you haven’t had time to work through the exercises this week, you still have today and tomorrow before we move on to the final week of executing PTSD Healing Resolution No. 1: I will create a powerful healing intention.

In the meantime, a little recap about what we know about the subconscious and how we can use it during this year of healing so that it helps us instead of hinders us.

Today, a few things to remember:

1- The subconscious is the warehouse for storing all of our memories.

2 - The subconscious is the origination of all our emotions.

3 - As the largest part of our mind (88%), the subconscious provides the motivational source for everything we do, feel and perceive.

4 - What lies buried in the deep dark of the subconscious mind is the root of our PTSD.

5 - The imprint of traumatic experience hibernates in the subconscious, quietly directing our subconscious mind to behave in ways that are meant to protect us from imagined danger.

6 - The subconscious mind’s response to the fear generated by the imprint of trauma is the crux of all our PTSD problems.

7 - The power of the subconscious mind is limitless.

Why does all of this matter? Because the culmination of this gathering of facts is this one most important thing: What we think about is what we create. And that's on both conscious and subconscious levels. Beginning at the origin: what’s housed in our subconscious – what we focus on and are driven by – is what we bring into our lives.

A little story to illustrate this point: My own traumatic experience was medically based – I was given a medication to which I had a rare and severe allergic reaction. No one on the medical staff of a major New York City hospital had ever seen the illness with which I was admitted. There was no treatment protocol, no expert to consult, no one to guide my parents and I through the ordeal. Forever afterward one of my biggest fears was that this situation would repeat itself; that I would have some strange medical problem for which no one could find a cure or help me with a solution and which would threaten my well-being and my life.

For years I lived with this fear daily, thought about it often and worried about it constantly. It became such a priority that…. Voila! As my PTSD grew in size and proportion, my subconscious worked overtime to create what I was thinking about until, 16 years after the original trauma a trigger sent me into an insane spiral in which I was, again, presenting with physical problems for which no doctor could find a cure or diagnosis. My greatest fear had come alive because (through the power of my mind) I had, unwittingly, willed it into existence.

How am I so sure of that? Because when I was finally diagnosed with PTSD and began to heal it, suddenly all of the medical issues evaporated. While none of the 50 doctors I consulted could help me with my symptoms, suddenly when I began to heal my mind my liver, intestines and stomach all spontaneously healed, too. Imagine that. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The years I lived in fear brought on more and more reflections of that fear until I was completely debilitated by it.

Conversely, when I began to live in determined hope of wellness and PTSD healing, more and more healing came to me in several ways and from several sources. We are the creators of our own destiny, not just in life, but in the world of PTSD, too.

What are you thinking about that is creating negative experiences in your life? Become aware of these thoughts. Write out your fears. Make a list so that you can see what is swirling around your mind. Many thoughts can be as flimsy as the Wicked Witch of the West: stand up to them with a bucket of water and they shrink in size. For each stated fear write a sentence that is the antithesis of it. And then repeat this sentence to yourself every time you hear your fear thoughts or feel your fear emotions. Get in this habit. Repeat the antithetical statements with conviction and authority. Carry them with you. Say them out loud. The healing process includes a rigorous effort at retraining your brain. It starts now. You are the ring master. Crack that whip!

In the coming week I’ll delve into this idea further with a post that gives some tips on how to use our subconscious, and some tricks on how to keep it in line. In the meantime, what tips, tricks or testimony have you discovered about harnessing the power of the subconscious?

(photo: *caramimi*)

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