Monday, May 12, 2014

The magic wand

We'd all love a magic wand or pill sometimes. If you have unresolved issues that are causing you any sort of pain (physical or emotional), you'll most likely want to be able to sweep it all away, especially if it's been going on for years.

The thing is, there is no magic pill. Wanting desperately to have something gone, while completely understandable, can turn us into headless chickens with no direction. As a line in a U2 song goes "Desperation is a tender trap, it gets you every time". Or we'll go in lots of different directions, frantically trying out anything and everything to take the pain away. But this is like putting a plaster on a deeper wound. Sometimes the plaster looks really pretty and "positive" and we feel good for a while, but the issue usually comes back. And if that keeps happening, it becomes even more frustrating and can lead to beliefs like "I can't be helped", "There's something wrong with me", "It's just too hard". The real truth is, you're stuck in what Peter Levine calls a "positive feedback loop".

Don't be misguided by the term "positive" here, because it's anything but. It's a closed loop, or merry go round, that feels like you can't get off (but you can), which is frustrating at best, and retraumatising at worst. A negative feedback loop on the other hand is open like a river, so you can move forward instead of staying stuck.

I know of no other way except to go through trauma, whatever tool or technique we use to facilitate that. The self trust, strength, esteem and confidence that is created when we resolve, not just plaster over, trauma is authentic and lasts.

The best way out is always through ~ Robert Frost

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