A Personal Story - The Role of Meditation in Healing From Trauma

{5 minutes to read}

 

One of my most memorable moments ever was when I sat with my Mom after thinking she might die. She had always been a gifted gardener, was beautiful and loving with her children, and she had always faced the life ahead of her as if it were a shining dawn. 

Then sometime 15 years ago, her wellbeing began to reverse in relentless slowness seemingly taking from her one thing after another. Her chronic pain was well investigated, but not very well understood. She endured so many surgeries, all seeking to capture the pain and fix it in its tracks. But the suffering was everywhere - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. 

She had endured being mostly bed ridden for a decade. Suffering pervasive and debilitating pain, I always thought, “I’d be angry at life too.” These were very dark times.

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Almost as terrifying as death and pain, though, was the prospect of a life of lost freedom. 

When we first started talking together about meditation and how it could help her medically, I told her, “I want to help you find a way to use the feelings that hurt now, like fear and anger, I think they can empower your healing.” 

Because I believe that it’s not about recovering the life that we’ve lost, but about doing the best with what we have. The yogis teach that if we can do that, we can be at peace.

And don’t we really want peace? All of us get stuck. Stuck in the past. Stuck in anger, stuck in fear. Stuck in regret. 

I think that being stuck in mental and spiritual pain was as devastating to my Mom as her entirely fused spine. I felt that if her heart was set free, then maybe life would breathe back into her spirit, maybe there’d be a chance for a miracle.

Because mind, body and spirit are one, and radical healing only happens when this triad is allied. 

She added a mindfulness group to her assembly of doctors. She was radically accepting her life - it was amazing. I was optimistic, maybe too optimistic. Because then, another crisis. 

I hate it when my Dad calls with bad news, especially when it’s Thanksgiving. I guess bad news doesn’t care about holidays. She had gone into unstoppable seizures and a coma was medically induced. She went on a journey for a couple of weeks. 

In this most memorable moment of mine, when she finally woke up, I was there with her. I had crawled into her hospital bed, and was singing to her for hours. With compassion so strong it ached my heart, I meditated and prayed for fearlessness because I knew, that as she awoke, it would be an even deeper journey of acceptance.

 

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I’ve come to see that happiness and grief are the polarities that swirl the energies of the heart. Both are sacred.

 

And that boundless compassion for suffering comes simultaneously with the heartbreak.

Though my Mom's prior conditions weren’t magically erased, I think what came of this trauma was a miracle. Now there’s no pain that she won't face, nor any part of her psyche she won’t explore. She has a warrior’s heart and a devoted soul. The coolest part is that she knows she’s a walking miracle, and feels grateful. 

I'm forever thankful for certain approaches to meditation that teach how to honor and resolve anger and fear. I didn't even have to know what I was doing, but it naturally carried me closer to an inner state that includes feeling grateful and blessed.

We can just practice and see the new cell formation creating new vistas to the horizons of our body, mind and intellect..

If you have a practice, just keep doing it, and if you don’t but want to, reach out to a teacher.

 

 
It’s continuously amazing how meditation organically unravels and exposes our true nature and the nature of the world.
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Recuperative benefits of meditation are just the beginning. It puts us into contact with wisdom that speaks of the whole cycle of life and death - if we stay for the message to come through.

It strengthens our connection to spirit, the part of us that’s healed and whole, no matter what. And the part of us that we need in order to get through and thrive.

Since this disaster my Mom went through, she's told me, “I’m lucky to have survived what's happened.”

What I saw was a seeming newfound appreciation for life and I smiled with tears in my eyes.

 

With Love,

Lauren