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How can I let go of the past?

It may seem that we have let go of the past, because we have chosen to not think about the experience, or we decided we were going to block it out. The problem is that the story still exists in our nervous system. Our system fluidly integrates good times. The hard times, however, can cause our system to be fragmented, stuck and murky - even if we think we have let it go by choice.

What we know about “trauma” is that the experience causes a movement in our brain to turn off certain areas and light up other areas. This is an involuntary survival response. And after repetition, these areas of the brain either:

  1. Get stuck in the dysregulated state, or

  2. Jump back into that state very quickly, with little to no reminder of a past event.

So, what happens when something new unconsciously reminds us of the past experience? We are immediately thrown back into the same emotions and thought patterns that relate to the old time period.

The difference is, we are not experiencing the same emotions and thoughts; what we are experiencing is what we remember those emotions and thoughts were from the last time we thought about that experience.

We may immediately feel some or all of the following:

  • Sadness

  • Anger

  • Loneliness

  • Frustration

  • Holding of our breath

Our narrative, our truth, about the event is what keeps our nervous system in distress.

Now, what happens when the old states are constantly reactivated?

The short story is that adverse health conditions occur in our bodies.

Here are a few:

  • Anxiety

  • Disrupted or lack of sleep

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Illness

  • Foggy memory

  • Inability to make decisions

  • Arthritis

  • Cancer treatment

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Chronic pain conditions

  • IBS

Ugh. Nobody wants anything from that list! So, what do we do? How do we let go of the past in a safe, effective and long-lasting way; thereby protecting our mental and physical bodies from this emotional distress?

I’ve recently come across a specific journaling protocol for releasing past traumatic experiences. There have been over 200 peer reviewed articles to support the protocol and its impact on every aspect of our health. This isn't your everyday journaling, like you would make entries into a diary. It is specific, directed, and time oriented.

It helps bring certain parts of our brain online, allowing for a better understanding of the event, which leads to an organization and regulation of our autonomic nervous system. The physical shifts that have been documented are significant and long-lasting. They include relief from pain, greater immune activation, and more (aka, that list above is obliterated with this exercise).

Here is what I.C. said after doing the full exercise:

“Did this!!! Amazing results. I see the situation totally differently now. It’s not as triggering. You realize that that giant, triggering monster isn’t really a monster at all. It’s just a memory. Very empowering experience.”

Are you interested in learning more? I am putting together a workshop in January. Let me know which day of the week or time of day would be the best for you to participate on Zoom.

We are stronger together, together we can heal.



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