The Body Remembers, The Soul Knows
Can you imagine going to the doctor’s office with a complaint of pain and the following scenario unfolds,
“Doctor, you must help me! I can’t take this pain any longer!”
The doctor responds,
“Ok ok, calm down, just tell me where it hurts?”.
You reply, “Well I don’t know, I really don’t want to deal with it.”
Finally, the doctor responds, “Well, we are going to operate!”
I don’t think this is an optimal arrangement. To perform surgery without knowing the diagnosis is not a wise decision in my opinion.
And yet how many of us will try a wide range of healing attempts on our pain body, without any attempt to reveal what the source of our suffering is?
Many of us will just say, “No way, I don’t want to deal with that! I only want to focus on healing!” as if healing and the source of pain were two different things. In truth, they are intimately connected because there is a degree of healing that occurs from the revelation and another degree of healing from the remediation. Sometimes the remediation will involve an inner acceptance. We have the opportunity to discover the most powerful word, “ok”, which can release the power of acceptance in our lives.
“Ok, it happened”, we can tell ourselves. “It was in the past. That was then. This is now. I can let it go.”
Acceptance is the key.
When we experience trauma, it impacts us mentally and physically. In the experience, there is a moment in time in which we can’t believe what just happened. Sometimes to deal with the trauma, our minds will go into denial, a form of shock, to convince ourselves that “I'm ok” It’s as if the disbelief protects us from the shock of what's occurring in the moment.
I have seen people deeply wounded who went into shock and yet were completely normal until it began to sink in that they were losing blood, and about to black out.
In many instances in our life, we will experience something similar to this and some will carry this denial with them throughout their lives.
I know about this phenomenon. It’s happened to me.
When I was 12, my uncle Shelton, who raised me, made a decision that was to change the course of my life. It involved healing that took place over the course of half a century. The trauma was, in fact, so severe that I wrapped it in a cocoon, much like a spider wraps its prey, and I buried it deep within my subconscious until the day that my Soul knew it was safe to unwrap, re-experience, reveal and heal.
My uncle enrolled me into an all-white school. I was the second black child to integrate this Catholic school in the Avalon Park neighborhood of southside Chicago in the late 60s’. The other black child there was a 2nd grader. I was in the 8th grade.
This critical event spawned a spiritual transformation in me. Fueled by the painful abuse of being the focus of racially motivated attacks, I cocooned the memory of that trauma. My Soul led me to become a spiritual seeker and to explore the world's religions, including Buddhism. Having experienced firsthand the effects of violence, including my own inner violence, I became a conscientious objector and an anti-war activist.
My Soul harnessed this pain and moved me to become a Peacemaker in my daily life.
Thus the “fertilizer” of trauma became the seeds of activism for me. But only after I was able to uncover, discover and discard the false beliefs that I had acquired from the experiences.
Today, my eternal gratitude goes to the Ubuntu healing circle members whose compassion and willingness to share and listen have become the safe harbor for me to discover that I am not alone in experiencing the trauma of racism.
In the sacred space of Ubuntu healing circles, I have been able to learn more about the resilience of my African American spirit and practice the tools of healing to transmute the poison of trauma into the medicine of resilient spirituality.
I’ve learned that it has been the ancient threads of ancestral spirituality that have allowed people of African Descent to transcend the memories of hurt and harness the learning of the past to celebrate what we have overcome. Our intention for the deepening of our collective healing has become amplified and collectively strengthened, despite the daily reminders and re-activation of past trauma.
I’ve learned that there is nothing “wrong with me” but that “something has happened to me” and that the resultant trauma is simply a painful memory that the body remembers. I've learned that although "the body keeps score", I, as a soul-centered sacred witness to all that has occurred, have the power of dominion in my choices. My Soul knows that I have the power to decree the end of my suffering from the past and declare the beginning of new healing, right now.
Today I choose to transmute the poison of the old trauma into medicine for the people so that we all can reveal the healing so needed in our world today.
This is the power of Beloved Community to collectively heal and reveal the Truth. Although the Body remembers, the Soul knows. And the Truth always wins.