Healing Frozen Pain - Touching The Heart of Our Hurt

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Earlier this year, one of my apprentices gave me a very interesting article by Gabriella Tal called "The Nature of Hurt.
" Gabriela experienced a serious car accident that left her paralyzed.
Her healing journey led her to the work of Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, who helped her realize the power of the moment before the car hit her.
Looking back at that moment, Gabriela told Peter, "I should have run into the forest! I wish I had run.
" "Run now!" Peter told her.
So, internally, Gabriela ran and ran.
And in doing so transformed the internal pain that came with the grief and loss of the accident, and "the build-up of energy" in her body from wishing she had run.
While emotional healing did not change her physical paralysis, it lifted the burden of her emotional pain.
"Hurt is impact.
Pain is reaction to the impact," writes Gabriela.
"Hurt is a moment.
Pain is an impressioned lifetime and beyond.
Hurt is transcendable.
Pain clutches us and holds us, even as--particularly as--we purify our lives and move into more healthy choices.
Hurt may be physical or of the mind.
Pain is always of the mind.
" The distinction Gabriela makes here between "hurt" and "pain" is a very powerful one.
So often, in the face of hurt, we freeze, we shut down.
We become a deer in the headlights of the magnitude of the impact.
The hurt becomes an emotional trauma.
And when left alone with the hurt and the impact of the hurt, we become the bearers of frozen pain.
I have experienced this myself countless times.
The loss of a loved one creates heart-wrenching pain.
And to have to bear this hurt alone creates a downward spiral of pain.
My heart feels like a knife is stabbing me on the inside and outside.
And even clutching a pillow close to my chest, where the pain is, cannot comfort or contain the stabbing feeling.
I find myself unable to sleep, unable to relax, unable to do much more than curl up into a ball and breathe, trying to survive the hurt and pain.
Though I have a deep heart, and a strong body and spirit, there are times the sense of loss or grief can overload my circuitry, and what results is frozen pain.
What a difference it makes when I have a caring friend or loved one there who can open their arms and hold me.
In the safety of their embrace, I can cry, I can scream, I can writhe, and I can release the pain.
In EKP, we provide a safe place to find, to access and to melt through frozen pain.
Beginning with the stabbing feeling in the chest or the shortness of breath that provides a protective layer over the stabbing pain, we can provide support for the front and back of the heart, and create the space to connect with the memory and the experience of hurt that led to the pain.
The hands on the front and back of the chest, can provide the message, "you are not alone," and in receiving that message, we gain the access to the hurt, to the tears, to the frozen pain.
As the hands safely hold the front and back of the heart, the tears can flow, the sobbing can go deep, and with the tears and the sounds that come with them, the pain can melt and evaporate.
The comforting message of the hands--of support, of connection, of care--replaces the isolation, the aloneness that led to the burden of the frozen pain.
And emotional healing can begin.
In an ideal world, it would be great to catch the hurt and release it before it gets stuck as it lingers, becoming frozen pain.
The greater our emotional literacy, the more we can become "magical strangers" to each other, recognizing the power of a safe and caring embrace to release the hurt in the moment, and prevent the lingering pain.
This kind of embrace illustrates the importance of face- to-face relating in our increasingly virtual world.
An understanding friend in cyberspace can help release some of the tears.
Yet, a chain of e-mails is not nearly as sensorily complete and a physical embrace.
So, it is a great wonder of being human that through the wisdom of the heart and body we can still gain access to a moment of past hurt--whether the past was just a matter of moments or a matter of years.
And once accessed, grounded and supported, a long-held burden can truly melt away.
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