There are very few people who have not experienced emotional trauma in one way or another. Just like physical trauma, emotional trauma scars us as well. Perhaps in a more serious way because unlike physical trauma scars, the emotional scars are not easily recognizable.
Most of our emotional wounding comes from early childhood and even when we are in the womb. It is during this time of a person’s life that they are forming beliefs and opinions about life in the world. Even in the womb the child is forming opinions about whether the world is a friendly place or not; about whether he/she is welcome or unwanted. Initially these beliefs are taken on from the mother, and then after birth from everyone around them. If the mother is stressed during pregnancy, the child will absorb that stress and be highly strung or anxious.
These beliefs and opinions are so deeply buried into our psyche that they are not easy to recognise. We simply live our lives through the filter of these beliefs and the only way we come to recognise their existence is when we find that we are repeating old patterns over and over. Or we notice that we are over-reacting to a situation. Quite simply, our beliefs create our reality. The way in which we respond to events as we grow up has been shaped in our soul during our childhood even going back into the womb. As we grew and faced one event and one challenge after another, we developed ways of responding to them, also known as coping mechanisms.
The events that stimulate these coping mechanisms are called triggers.
Then as we grow older, the human psyche is further shaped every day by the interactions we have with each other and the world. Every video we watch, all the interactions we have with our family and coworkers, as well as every encounter we have with God, has an impact on the person we are becoming.
So the person we are today is largely a product of our past experiences, or rather how we have interpreted and stored them in our sub-conscious programming. The vast majority of emotional or behavioral problems today, like addictions, neurosis and even sickness, but certainly bahviours that keep you stuck – are likely the result of things that happened in our past.
This is how the events of our past come to affect the way we feel, behave, and interact in the present. If we want to change our current behavior and emotions, we need to change the way the past has affected us. While we can’t change the events of the past, we can change the way in which those events affect the way we live today.
These are broadly categorised as coping mechanisms and usually fall into one of three categories, fight (using violence), flight (escape) and freeze (numbing out).
Some of the coping mechanisms include disassociation, trivializing, escaping into eating disorders, substance abuse, workaholism, alcoholism and other escape methods. Any situation that were caused by trauma or abuse that is too much for us to cope with, results in some form of disconnection or disassociation from our true self. The trauma can be physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical pain, or any emotional pain that we can’t cope with at that moment.
Most of these coping behaviors are ones that we learned from our parents and or culture. Unless we have been born into, for example a family where turning to God and/or Jesus was a part of our life as a coping response to trauma when we were three years old, we learned to respond to such events without the light of God to guide us and the chances are that we chose behaviours that lead to stagnation and decay. (See the Chapter on the captive spirit).
Even if we are fairly conscious people and have done a lot of internal healing work, if we don’t consciously turn our lives over to the healing light of Jesus in us today, our patterns of thinking and behavior that have been etched in our soul before that light was present, are likely to continue. One sure way to know this is if you continue to respond in ways that were developed in relative darkness, even after you’ve done your ‘inner work’, means that regardless of your intention with regard to that inner work, it has not been done with the full power and extent of God.
Because the wounding was done at a sub-conscious level, we need to heal them on a sub-conscious level. While cognitive therapy might help us to see the wounds and even understand why they are there in the first place, no amount of cognitive therapy will shift them. It is for this reason that techniques using the power of the imagination, also called ‘Seeing in the spirit’ are the ones that work the best.
Another result of emotional trauma is that the psyche sometimes creates sub-personalities or parts, also known as Alters and Fragments. I have written a chapter on this which you can find here. Basically if the trauma is too much for the child to handle, they simply split off from the main personality and become an individual personality on their own. It is in these different parts of ourselves, also called sub-personalities in psychology terms, that we hide the parts of us that are in pain and wounded. This clip is well worth listening to in order to get a deeper understanding of how trauma results in the psyche forming parts.
All of these choices and coping mechanisms are stored in our sub-conscious mind. Every single event that has traumatised us from an unintentional rejection by our mother when she doesn’t comfort us if we are crying, to getting violated or go through some other trauma, remains in tact in our sub-conscious memory. Then later, when a similar event happens, even though we may not consciously recall the previous event, we may associate the two events and their emotions and react to the new event with joy. That is known as being triggered.
If we continue to react to similar events with joy, a learned response develops which tends to ensure the same response to future events that are similar. If on the other hand, an event like being bitten by a dog causes us to react with fear, it will leave a memory and a wound in our soul associated with fear.
The wound, the memory and the emotion are all connected. Events that we perceive to be similar can activate or trigger the wounded part of the soul. Later, when we’re approached by a dog, the wounded part of the soul can be triggered along with its emotion of fear, even though the dog may be friendly. When we experience sudden rage in the present, it’s often the result of a wound in our soul related to an event from our past being triggered that causes us to feel rage.
When we experience rejection, doubt, or any other negative emotion in response to an event, there is usually a wound in our soul being triggered which causes us to experience the emotion we’re presently feeling. This is especially true if we find ourselves over-reacting or stuck in patterns of the same things happening over and over to us again. This is because part of being alive in this Earth is that you have come to experience Soul healing and retrieval and as you do this, you clear the vibrational path for others to do the same.
For a three year old, for example, something as simple as being locked in a closet for ten minutes can be extremely traumatic. A three year old doesn’t have the capacity to understand that they will eventually be let out of the closet. It’s not unusual for children this young to imagine they will never get out the closet. When we re-visit events from our past with the perspective we had as a child (it’s generally impossible to view them otherwise) it’s often difficult to see anything positive in them.
Emotional healing gets to the deepest root of the pain from the trauma and gets it healed permanently. The method that I use involves working in what I call the ‘imaginal realm’. Basically it is using the power of your imagination, guided by Jesus, to bring about the healing. I have done this for many years now and the results are impressive. This clip beautifully explains how a heart gets broken.
Short Prayer for Healing of Painful Memories
What follows here is a short prayer that you can do yourself to bring about inner healing. However, it is difficult to play two roles at the same time, that is, the healer and the one being healed. This is why it is better to have an experienced healer to guide you through the process.
Working in the imaginal realm of spirit, receiving healing of painful emotions and memories can be a fairly straight-forward process that consists of three simple steps:
- Identify the painful emotion associated with a particular event
- Ask Jesus to take the painful emotion from you
- Ask Him to heal the wound in your soul caused by it
For many people, emotional healing really can be that simple. Emotions simply need to be felt. Once you’ve felt them, you no longer need to carry them around, if they are painful.
The Praying Medic says: “The main problem I’ve found with emotional healing is that people who are extremely rational by nature may ask a lot of “why” questions in the middle of the healing process, which causes distractions and impedes the healing process. It doesn’t matter why something happened to you; the only thing that matters with regard to healing is how it affected you. If you focus on the emotions you’re feeling, and identify them one-by-one and allow Jesus to heal them, it’s likely that you’ll be able to receive healing fairly easily.
One of the things Jesus purchased for us on the cross is healing of our painful emotions. The Bible says that Jesus has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Is 53:4). If He has borne our painful emotions for us then we do not need to carry them any longer.
Healing painful emotions usually requires you to go back to events in your life where you can feel an emotion that is troubling you. Once you’ve accessed the memory of a particular event and you feel the emotion associated with it, ask Jesus to come to you.
- If the emotion you’re feeling is sinful, (sin is any behaviour that you in your highest moral self believe to be less than of God or Love). Confess it as a sin and ask Him to forgive you of it. Say that you believe His blood has taken away the penalty and consequences of your sin.
- Tell Him you want the emotion removed from your soul.
- Ask Him to heal the wound in your soul caused by the emotion.
- Tell Him you receive His healing.
An optional step that some people find helpful is to ask Him to give you something positive to replace the negative emotion that He is removing. If you ask Him to take away sadness, you might ask Him to give you joy. If you ask Him to take away anger, you might ask Him to give you peace. If the emotion is there because you believed a lie about that situation, ask Him to show you the truth about it”.
When you are done with this, bring the memory of the painful event to your mind again. If the emotion was healed, you should not be able to feel that emotion any longer, but there may be a different negative emotion that you can feel. Determine what negative emotion is strongest and do the same thing with it that you did with the first emotion:
- Tell Jesus you want the emotion removed from your soul.
- Ask Him to heal the wound in your soul caused by it.
- Tell Him you receive His healing.
When you’re done, bring the memory of the event to your mind yet again. Once more, try to determine if there are any negative emotions. If there are, repeat this process until you can bring the event to your memory and you feel no negative emotions. This process can be used on any memories that are associated with negative emotions.
If you suffer from amnesia concerning the events from your past, you can ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your memory the things you’ve forgotten. As He brings the events to mind, ask Jesus to heal them.