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Author Topic: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?  (Read 3318 times)

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pencils

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I'm healing from major emotional trauma from childhood, limping through it.  Some around me are aware of my difficulties, and want me to just let Jesus save me.

It got me to thinking: psychologically giving everything up to "Jesus" evidently really does/did something for these people.  I'm not completely convinced it was all that healthy but it did in fact ease their suffering.

How do various Pagan paths fill that same role?

I think the Jesus myth really is pretty ridiculous (hope I can say that in this company) but all the same, something is there.  I feel like it is that something that they are tapping into.  Much healing power there.

The basis for my thinking is the disintegration of my own Christianity.  Raised in one church, my (abusive) parents switched to a radically different one as I was coming of age.  "How could they be so stupid?  How could they not see their faith as ridiculous? . . . oh crap . . . no, don't you dare think that . . ."

A few years passed and then one day, poof.  "I don't believe this anymore.  Atheism, here I come."  I was online at Religious Tolerance's web, saw a link to Wicca.  "What the heck is that . . . no . . . no . . . Oh God . . . dess?"

Long story short, my religious facade fell away to reveal something very real and very powerful.

But the whole "hand it over to Jesus" thing doesn't really ring a bell, Pagan-wise.  If there is a Pagan version of that kind of healing, I'm not really sure what it would be.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 11:29:27 PM by pencils »
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Alces Alces

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2015, 05:34:14 AM »

In the Buddhist practice there is a statement that, in a nutshell, says, In life you will have suffering. I take it to mean you need to accept that fact and move on. I don't mean to sound harsh or unfeeling (I've experienced some horrible traumas). But, life is not easy all the time. The good and bad times come in waves.

I've find grounding is a great help. It's something I have done for years. Even before I knew what it was. It helps me to find my equilibrium. A way of connecting with and aligning with the natural world.  Please note this is my own personal take on this, and may not necessarily line up with a specific pagan practice. I hope in any case, this helps.
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Draconis Rex

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 07:09:45 AM »

Life is not fair!

For that we should be grateful; Just imagine if all the bad things that happen to us was because we deserved it..... :o
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pencils

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2015, 09:48:21 AM »

Thanks.  That's more or less what my gut says: bad stuff happens to good people; such is life.  The whole idea of slathering it into oblivion with deity seems a little like jumping over anger and getting stuck in the bargaining stage of grief (Kubler-Ross model).

In my experience forcing anything like that into hiding has serious unintended consequences.  Better to just go ahead and breathe fire for a while and then move through the rest of it.  Grounding is a resolution-level thing, I think.
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marisol

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 11:50:46 AM »

Pencils it's not really bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to bad people also. It's all just life, happening to everyone.
In all the life I have experienced grief has played a role. We grieve about loss relating to our childhood, lost love, the passing of family,
being alone. If we put our minds to it we could grieve over something new everyday. We all struggle daily.

It's helpful to find a place where we can be at peace. Some call it a "happy place". It can be an actual physical place where we can find
balance. It can be through meditation while sitting in the livingroom. The Divine doesn't want your troubles, but it does offer
comfort. This does require effort on your part.

We are just human, sometimes we are our own best friend. Don't forget we are always here.

BB
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pencils

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 12:15:30 PM »

The Divine doesn't want your troubles, but it does offer
comfort. This does require effort on your part. . . .

Thanks, and agreed.

One of the hard things has been getting it through my head that I did not cause the abuse.  I was dot deserving of it nor did I provoke it.  Not easy.

Getting that kind of thing through a person's head -- being abused or seriously ill or injured or anything of that level -- I feel like "help me Jesus" is a cop out, avoidance of necessary work that can be pretty painful.

There have been lots of studies done on happiness.  Ignorance really is bliss, but it is superficial.  So the easy way out - help me Jesus - is incomplete.  I regard it as one of the many detrimental things done to spirituality by religion.  As a Christian this odd distinction between the two made no sense to me.  It was "Godless liberal" babble, to use an Ann Coulter-ism.  But then when my Christianity fell away and I realized my spirituality had been made stronger as a result, then I understood that distinction.
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alyceavary

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 01:47:27 PM »

One of my favorite isms is: "the Goddess moves us as She will". I took my Aunt's passing a few years ago really hard. It wasn't like she and I were extremely close, but she had almost become a surrogate second grandmother for my daughter. Her heart/pacemaker gave out. No autopsy was done as per her (Christian) daughter's request.

I think the best thing to do is talk to the Goddess......I usually find her in a clearing in the woods. I have a very personal relationship with her, in the past 6 months she and I have had numerous conversations, with her even making a joke to make fun of me (lovingly, of course). I find THAT as the equivalent to "give it to God/Jesus".
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marisol

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2015, 08:33:12 AM »

Pencils can I ask you what path do you follow or are ya still looking?
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pencils

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2015, 09:47:51 AM »

Pencils can I ask you what path do you follow or are ya still looking?

There is no clear answer to that.

The collapse of my Christianity brought a pain of suddenly realizing that something I had counted on as true was in fact an illusion manufactured by people.  I was pretty surprised actually to find any semblance of spirituality remaining.  It was (is) certainly related to something I feel about nature, an almost electric force that flows through the world.  The connection I feel is poorly resolved and almost ephemeral, but it is very real and stronger since the blinders of Christianity fell off.

These days I am very careful about reading something into it which is not there - the fundamental problem with Christianity that let me down.  But something is there, and probably also is felt by Christians and Mormons and everyone else who is firmly convinced their particular construct is the only true construct.

So there are no good words to describe my spirituality.  I am not against putting a name or names on the forces I feel, but it is important to me to remember that such names are just proxies.  However feeling and appreciating and being nurtured by the forces of nature I feel is a central part of what you might call worship.

That's not a very clear description, but it isn't terribly clear to me either.
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Amberhawk

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2015, 06:54:10 AM »

I don't follow a specific path, but as a pagan I generally just take responsibility and deal with it accordingly. To me that doesn't always mean take the blame per se, just pick up the reins and drive it through to whatever best outcome you can... not excluding recognizing you did the best you could dealing and to just let it go when nothing more can be done.

Basically recognize, accept, assess, deal, move on.  In that assessing process I do all I can to find the underlying causes or problems and figure out all possible fixes so I can move on to dealing with whatever it is.

I don't like talking negatively about Christianity generally, but that whole "give it to Jesus/God to work out" seems like a passing the buck and avoiding the issue tactic... denial in a sense. It was one of the bigger reasons Christians irritated me years ago. I guess I was always one of those grab the bull by the horns type of people when something serious came around and avoidance just seemed silly when direct dealing would solve so much suffering.
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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2015, 07:23:25 AM »

IDK if this will help or not.

Instead of "Give It To G-D" that some folks use, I am in favor of AH's reply.

Don't "give" it to anyone.  TAKE it.  Gain, from your Spirit, (through the G-ds or not), the clarity of your senses to gather input, the discernment to sort out that input and the wisdom of what to do with it all.  Find out your own role in the issues and deal with that.  After all, you are the only variable that you can change. 
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pencils

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2015, 07:44:26 AM »

Basically recognize, accept, assess, deal, move on.  In that assessing process I do all I can to find the underlying causes or problems and figure out all possible fixes so I can move on to dealing with whatever it is. . . .

One of the frequent problems resulting from childhood maltreatment (abuse, neglect, etc.) is a messed up limbic system.  It's what manages emotions and plays a big part in other aspects of brain function.

For example, an abused child's limbic system might not develop right because of exposure to high stress at certain critical development times (through early teens).  This makes their brain function prone to various things, and affects everyone differently.  It might be depression, or anger, or panic, or inability to fully experience emotions, things like that.  They can do brain imaging and literally see areas that developed incorrectly, almost to the point of (broadly) being able to tell what kind of suffering occurred and at what age.  It is very much a physical injury from an emotional mistreatment.  It can be extremely disabling.

If you encounter someone with serious dysfunction and wonder, "Were they dropped on their head?!?!?"  the correct answer is frequently "yes," in a nearly literal sense.

The brain is plastic though, and can be healed from that.  Focusing on positive emotions and a peaceful "sanctuary" probably is an essential component.  Spiritual meditation is a frequently recommended practice.  There usually are three general areas for abuse victims to focus on:

 - positive association with others and having positive emotions generally
 - exercise (promotes proper hormone function) -- can be as gentle as Yoga/Tai-chi or walking
 - meditation, especially toward the spiritual end

Traditional organized religion hits the first and last, mostly the first.  Pagan spirituality, I would say, accomplishes the last, with very good effect.  The second can be worked in very well.  (To me, when a Christian takes a meditative walk through nature, they are leaning strongly toward the Pagan roots of their faith without realizing it.)
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Amberhawk

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2015, 05:50:49 AM »

Basically recognize, accept, assess, deal, move on.  In that assessing process I do all I can to find the underlying causes or problems and figure out all possible fixes so I can move on to dealing with whatever it is. . . .

One of the frequent problems resulting from childhood maltreatment (abuse, neglect, etc.) is a messed up limbic system.  It's what manages emotions and plays a big part in other aspects of brain function.

For example, an abused child's limbic system might not develop right because of exposure to high stress at certain critical development times (through early teens).  This makes their brain function prone to various things, and affects everyone differently.  It might be depression, or anger, or panic, or inability to fully experience emotions, things like that.  They can do brain imaging and literally see areas that developed incorrectly, almost to the point of (broadly) being able to tell what kind of suffering occurred and at what age.  It is very much a physical injury from an emotional mistreatment.  It can be extremely disabling.

I find the above more true and more critical with timing during infant and tot ages as its is usually before memory develops therefore much harder to weed out and correct later in life. Often through the grammar school ages as well, since most children don't have the experience or knowledge to know how to cope yet either. It seems to me tramas in the teen years, though they can be difficult and definitely life and mind changing/damaging, can often just teach lessons providing that teen had the proper support outside of the situation. Most have friends that help them cope during family upheavals for example. That kind of support can be difficult to find under the teen years for most kids. Its how so many get away with child abuse, conditioning from earlier ages.
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oldghost

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2015, 03:04:21 PM »

I think in away that people that have and had problems and come to Wicca or magic in itself see the female aspect of it and it brings to them comfort . They look at it and see a mother , someone kind, that cares and nourishes them like what a mother should be . It can bring them peace and warmth into the coldness that they find themselves in . Look at how many people express the idea of mother . We have Mother Nature , Mother Earth , phrases as " only a Mother's Love  ". " Mother and Childe " . Your first taste of kindness was from your mother . It's what we want to believe in , how we thinks things should be ?.
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pencils

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Re: Healing from Major Emotional Trauma - Pagan Path Plays What Role?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2015, 12:03:30 AM »

I think in away that people that have and had problems and come to Wicca or magic in itself see the female aspect of it and it brings to them comfort . . . .

That's liable to be true in many cases.  I think for me personally there is a big aspect of avoiding anything remotely connected to my upbringing.  I can have a Pagan spirituality in peace, under my own terms.  It's between me and the indescribable-that-is.

When I was a kid I went to Sunday school, spent many an evening reading my Bible trying to figure out how to be a better kid and not make my family so miserable.  All of that was an invented, false reality.  The stories in the Bible are just stories.  I never made my family miserable (they made themselves miserable and blamed me for it).

Now when spring comes I have my own little "Imbolc-y" things I do to celebrate the rebirth of spring.  It's the circle of life, and it's real.  Solstices and equinoxes are connected to harvest and life and reality.  I do my own private "ritual-y" things to celebrate that, to tap into the fabric of real life.

From a functional standpoint there have to be certain "translations" of the untranslatable.  Goddess is a reasonable description, but for me personally it comes down to "female for lack of a better term."  There are the four elements in my practice.  There are certain tools.  A certain layout.  But when it comes right down to it, what I am connecting with is very much real.

That, to me, is healing.  I'm not trying to force myself into a multi-layered misrepresented, embellished fantasy that's being used to manipulate me.  I'm plugging in to the forces of life and being recharged.  And healed.  And nurtured.
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