By: Deb Kitchenmaster
My fascination and enthusiasm for life continues to grow – no matter what’s happening. I may not feel comfortable but, hey, that’s a great opportunity to grow in my relationship with the Holy Spirit (The Comforter)! Isn’t it interesting that Father God promised Jesus if He would finish the work on the cross by becoming our sin that we might become His righteousness on the earth, the Comforter would be sent to live inside? His name is Holy Spirit. He knew so well that there would be times in our lives that we would be uncomfortable; therefore, He knew we would need a Helper that would bring comfort to our souls.
My journey of understanding trauma began with a vision I had in 2003. I saw a fan blade spinning counterclockwise. I asked, “What is this?” I understood that this was the energetic field of ‘trauma’ and it was INSIDE me. Inquiring how to rest in this discovery without judging what I saw, or me for seeing, I sensed to look inside, not run to someone, ask for prayer, or jump into drama; so I did. You can only imagine what was waiting for me. A song! Couldn’t sing it to you if I had to today, but in the moment, it was there and I sang it. I watched as this song slowed the spin of the fan blade until it halted in one place and then began to spin clockwise.
Trauma is described as an injury (such as a wound) to living tissues caused by an extrinsic agent. The cortex (social/emotional control center), hippocampus (short-term memory cause-and-effect cortisol) and amygdala (fight, flight, or freeze) functions of the brain are alerted. If you can’t fight or run away from a particularly painful or horrifying situation, some part of your awareness withdraws, anesthetizing strong sensations, and distorting time, perception and memory. Many of us are familiar with fight or flight. Less is known about what scientists call the ‘immobility’ or ‘freeze’ response. Having lived in Minnesota, I understand freeze and frozen! We had an outside stainless steel water bowl for our dogs. I brought it inside to thaw. Going about my morning, I heard the sound of glass shattering. I was certain a bird had hit the south window and shattered the bay window. It was the sound of frozen thawing.
PERFECT, UNFAILING LOVE thaws Antarctica inside us caused by trauma and horses are excellent conduits for healing the wound of trauma.
Some identifiable traits of trauma are: startle response, shame, self-hatred, panic attacks, overwhelming emotion, chronic pain, headaches, eating disorders, substance abuse, self-destructive behaviors, little or no memories, depression, irritability, loss of interest, numbness, insomnia, decreased concentration, hopelessness, nightmares, and flashbacks.
Horses can experience trauma. A nocturnal critter entered a stall one night. The horse was beside herself. She refused to go back into ‘that’ stall. Horses with a history of trauma easily draw out the unresolved emotions and repressed memories of humans who have been abused. Engaged in a session, I noticed the horse’s left hip off balance. Upon asking the handler questions about her left hip, she told me about being in a car accident as a child and her left hip was broken. She physically was healed, but she carried the trauma in her body from that accident. The horse was totally aware of the trauma and wanted her to release it. She left the grounds free from this trauma.
Have you heard the saying, ‘be angry and sin not’? “Anger” and “Forgiveness” are not opposing forces; they are completely equal partners in the true healing of your soul. Real forgiveness is a process that creates true separations from torment and tormentors; and true separations require the boundary-restoring energy of anger, or they won’t mean a thing. Forgiveness naturally follows the honorable restoration of your sense of self. You no longer have abandoned your “house” (body), you return. “Knock” “Knock”, you open the door; you’re home.
Horses demonstrate emotional, energetic, and spiritual characteristics while we are with them. When we open our minds and our hearts to these sensitive, powerful beings, something indescribable shifts inside, and true destiny is transformed.