We’ve been contemplating our post-retirement move – which quickly became an adventure in house hunting. Not being as physically strong and capable as in years past, one of the thoughts that kept coming up for me was: “Who am I to have a house of my own?”, and “I have no value as a human being, what makes me think it is okay to have a house?”
Self-deprecating thoughts are, of course, self-defeating. Negative thoughts bring up deeply held emotions of shame, self-loathing, guilt for taking up space in the world, hopelessness, and an explicable self-limiting belief that something is intrinsically wrong with me.
Why do some people grow up with an innate sense of well-being, and others grow up emotionally insecure?
The answer to that is finally coming to light for me. Studying the latest research by leading scientists and therapists in trauma healing, I have a name for an underlying reason for my struggles with low self-esteem, and my continual need to study all things “holistic healing”. That name is “Developmental Trauma Disorder” – a term coined by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk and his peers, as explained in his book “The Body Keeps the Score”. Understanding that in our earliest years, we create a perceptual map of what the world is like (safe vs unsafe), and that these deep subconscious beliefs drive our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and even abilities as we go through life… is enlightening.
For years, I’ve sensed that not everything is the way I perceive it to be. For decades, I held onto specific hurtful and confusing events from childhood as “evidence” that there was something wrong with me. Now I know that how my psyche shaped those internal perceptions was simply a result of my early childhood experiences. There’s nothing “wrong” with me as a human being. I’m not an unwanted piece of trash. For me, my developmental trauma was mostly based on my impression, at birth, that they were disappointed in me because I was a girl instead of a boy. They had no idea how that affected my sense of self worth… but here I am decades later – telling you about it – so it was not something I could “just get over”. Being a helpless, impressionable infant, my immature neurological system believed that there was something intrinsically wrong with me… and I was therefore at risk of not being safe in the world. I couldn’t simply “become a boy”… so I worked really hard to fit in and be significant in my family… thus ensuring my survival… but always felt an underlying sense of “not being enough”. And until my recent studies, I didn’t have the words to explain it.
So why am I sharing this “deep, dark inner secret” about my own mixed up psyche?
Why would I tell anyone about feeling worthless and undeserving as a human being?
Because last night, in meditation, I was able to clear (release and resolve) that old perceptual belief.
And that frees me to heal… to see myself as healthy… a fully embodied soul… capable, resilient, and whole.
And if I can do it… then maybe this will help someone else who suffers from DTD…
In my bed, I struggle to sleep. Failing that, I begin meditation. Knowing about Developmental Trauma Disorder gives me a greater understanding of the source of my decades of low self-esteem, I began working through my meditative question and answer process:
“I am Jo Lyn. Yes…
I have value as a human being. No…
Is this lack of value a divine truth? No…
Is this lack of value a belief? Yes…
Is this an ancestral belief? No…
Is this a collective belief? No…
Is this my own belief? Yes…
Is this a conscious belief? No…
Is this a subconscious belief? Yes…
I have value as a human being. No…”
Pausing, I feel the self-defeating belief deeply in my belly… visualizing the branches of my unmyelinated dorsal vagus nerve enmeshed throughout my visceral organs. The vagus nerve is directly connected to the limbic, reptilian part of my brain – the fight/flight/freeze command center – which was all I had to work with as an infant.
Tears flow from my eyes, running silently down the sides of my face, wetting my ears and my pillow. I couldn’t have known then, that just because they wanted a boy, did not mean that there was something wrong with me.
“I forgive myself for not knowing.
I forgive myself for being a baby when I was a baby.
I forgive them and myself for being human.
Can I clear this subconscious belief? Yes…
Do I know how to do it? Yes… “
Hands on my heart, I being tapping gently, intentionally…
“Clearing lack of value as a human being.
Releasing lack of value as a human being.
Resolving this developmental traumatic perception of lack of value as a human being.”
Tapping, clearing, releasing, resolving….
Sighing deeply, I feel the tendons and ligaments in my hip relax to a new level.
The decades old, unfinished fight/flight energy associated with feeling unsafe is allowed to process.
My hips and legs begin slight movements, which I recognize as completion movements related to flight…
“I am Jo Lyn. Yes…
I have value as a human being. Yes…”
Smiling, I continue…
“I am Jo Lyn. Yes…
I have value as a human being. Yes…
I create and share value with the world. Yes…
I am supported as I create and share value with others. Yes…
I am Jo Lyn. Yes…
I have value as a human being. Yes…
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
It is done, it is done, it is done.”
Now… I can go house hunting and feel great about it!
A beloved friend recently reached out in anguish,
seeking reassurance during a time of self-doubt,
a struggle she has faced since childhood trauma reared its ugly head.
I was slow in answering, because I was away from my desk,
and not immediately available.
When I eventually responded, others had already reached out to comfort her,
but when she saw my post, she reacted with the words –
“Oh – you DO care!”
Yes, dear one, I do care.
My heart overflows with exquisite compassion
that seems to come from somewhere else, beyond my own human smallness.
My husband and I were at the temple that morning,
and my state of being is feeling quite tender remembering it,
for I received such a powerful spiritual witness of The SON at the veil.
During the service, I imagined myself standing before God,
emptying my soul of everything I had been hanging onto…
like a little child would empty his pockets of all his treasures…
turning them inside out as he revealed
the bits and pieces of dusty stuff,
sticks and stones, marbles and string,
wadded up papers and scraggly bits of ribbon…
things he had picked up along his path,
or gotten from others in his meanderings…
pulling it all out, holding it tightly in his fists for a moment,
then laying it all out upon the bench before his father…
hair all mussed up,
smudges of dirt on his face…
with nothing left to give…
And then in my imagination, the bench became an altar,
and the great hand of God reached down and swept it all away,
scattering my once-treasured trash across the room and off into oblivion!
All those little things I had been holding onto were gone.
I had nothing left to give or to do.
Nothing left to hold onto.
I simply stood there, pockets and hands empty, standing alone before the altar of God.
Whereupon – God reached out his arms,
gesturing for me to climb up onto the altar.
So I climbed up to the cushion on top,
and curled up like a little child asleep.
And then, in my mind’s eye,
the great hands of God encircled the altar,
flowing Divine creative energy completely through me,
cradling me, cleansing me with an immense flow of Divine energy.
In physical reality, I still sat, demurely in my cushioned seat,
comfortable and safe in that holy place.
My mind returned to the words being spoken —
words I hold sacred within my heart.
As the session proceeded and I was asked to repeat the words,
I received an immense personal witness
of the physical and spiritual reality of the Son of God…
and His sacrifice…
and for all of us.
I do not know all things.
But I know when I am touched in the heart by the Divine – the Holy One.
Tears streamed down my face – I began tapping on my heart –
barely able to speak the words I knew so well…
and for someone who seems to always have a plethora of words,
I found myself nearly speechless…
Oh dear one,
If you could but see the brilliant light that is the truth of you,
Self doubt would never be your foe.
And yet, you live in human form,
Experiencing depths of contrasting emotions…
along this journey your soul chose to take.Good and evil
Pleasure and pain
Sorrow and joy
and so much more…
As excruciating as is the pain,
so exquisite can be the joy.God’s wisdom was that for our souls to gain
the prize we seek while in this realm,
The veil was drawn across our minds,
and we are to walk in faith…
or fear, whichever is our choice.
Yet, we are not left alone and comfortless.
The Light of Christ is in us all,
and The Holy Spirit witnesses of God’s love.If God loves you and me so deeply as to send
His Only Begotten Son
to chart the path for our return,
Then how, dear soul, canst thou doubt thy own worth?Lifetimes are invested in the search for truth and wholeness.
Could the answer already be before us – and within us?
As we align with the Divine to our best ability…
We position our heart to be open,
able to commune with God.
I remember my sweet mother,
just days before she passed,
saying “I can’t figure out what I must do to be able to go.”
And the answer came intuitively:
“Perhaps how to die is not something we can figure out at all.
Maybe the secret of the how is found in simply letting go.”
Trust Divine Guidance
KNOW that you are loved beyond measure.
Continue to seek truth.
For in the truth, shall freedom be discovered.
Appreciation for My Physical Body
DAY 3 of My 28 Day Gratitude Practice: Counting My Blessings.
Today I am consciously aware and grateful for my appreciation for my physical body, and how it empowers me.
I received a blessing at age 16 that told me I am blessed with a beautiful, strong body. But I doubted that truth. As a child, being very reflective of generational attitudes, peer values and media messages, I had already picked up some very damaging misconceptions. These twisted beliefs created inner conflicts regarding my self-image that damaged my feelings of self-worth and affected my ability to love and accept myself. In turn, this affected my relationships, the way I approached my roles in life, my perception about my capabilities and my beliefs about what is possible for me to be, to become, and to accomplish.
Holistic healing of these misperceptions and resulting emotional issues has been a long journey, but I am so happy to be able to say I have worked through them, and I am truly grateful for my physical body. My body teaches me life lessons, empowers my choices and allows me the joy of creating my life, day by day.
This morning I awoke very early, feeling heavily burdened. At this particular time, I have been carrying some excess weight, despite healthy eating habits. I have learned that my body is my teacher, so I began asking questions using my muscle testing process. I identified that I have been taking on and carrying some pretty heavy generational emotional burdens – habitually – and that habit has affected by physical physiology.
Apparrently, one of my earliest beliefs was that the way to ease the burdens of others is to take on, hold and carry their struggles, their pains and their troubles for them. Not so. I now realize that more correctly, my gifts as a healer are infinitely more effective when I activate my sacred gifts and become a facilitator, inviting and sharing divine love and light, and helping others to simply let their burdens go…. consciously, effortlessly, and joyfully….
So today, in increased conscious awareness, I used the Emotional Freedom Technique to free myself of this subconscious, debilitating habit. I can better use my holistic healing skills for good as I witness the healing power of divine love and light… so I began with myself. Tapping on my crown chakra and the tapping points on my face, torso and hands, I gave recognition to the issue, released it, sent it to the light, and felt comforted in my body, my spirit, and my soul. And for this, I am grateful.
My message to you today is to encourage you that it is never too late to heal your thoughts, heal your emotions, heal your relationships, and your life. And healing is often easier than you may think.
Counting My Blessings
So here’s ten blessings I am grateful for, in Appreciation of My Physical Body
1. I can see.
2. I can hear.
3. I can breathe.
4. I can smell.
5. I can taste.
6. I can walk.
7. I can use my hands.
8. I can move my body purposefully
9. I can think.
10. I can use my body to bring my thoughts into physical reality and express myself.
I am so grateful that I have learned to love myself enough to appreciate the beauty of being in physical form as a human being on this amazing planet. I am so grateful that I am able to use this beautiful physical body of mine to create experience this amazing world we live in.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is done, it is done, it is done.