Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Our Inner GPS

Some people call it "gut feel" some intuition some "inner prompting".  It is our inner GPS only it never makes a mistake and never takes you via the busiest route or the longest way to reach your destination.  Some people don't know they have an inner GPS and some don't know how to use it.  It is an important code:  trust your gut it is never wrong.  We are taught not to trust ourselves. This is the false code.   A large sample study by Bessel Van Der Kolk world -renowned traumatologist and researcher, is discussed published in his marvellous book about traumatology "The Body Keeps Score". He concludes that most children are developmentally traumatised.  That means most families don't function.  That is not rocket science.  We only have to look around us. 

If you grow up in a family that doesn't function right and most of us do according to this research, ,you will have been taught not to trust yourselves.  This is a false code.  It is further reinforced by being disconnected from our bodies and emotions through dissociation or "zoning".  Dissociation is one of the 4 stress responses governed by the hind brain also called the reptilian brain or early brain.  Dissociation allows us to "buffer" ourselves from our emotions and is a vital and effective survival response available to infants and animals.   If our first carer doesn't bond with us an infant we experience traumatically stressful emotions which can kill us as infants.  They can send us crazy as young children or so fragment us as adults that we cannot function as we want to.   Infants do not yet have the frontal lobe development required to regulate their emotions.  After the Berlin Wall came down there were babies in orphanages in Rumania who were apparently never touched and had been the horrors of the war who turned their face to the wall and died of a broken heart.  Others who could dissociate survived though they would be depressed and suffer from other psychological problems like anxiety as they grew. 

Dissociation seems to be a response generally available to animals but not to  all humans.  . According to Peter Levine in his book Healing Trauma animals in the wild don't get Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  However in captivity they do.  Children growing up in dysfunctional families are essentially "in captivity".  If you  can dissociate  you will survive  but you will disconnect from your body where the emotions manifest and therefore also from your inner GPS.  The emotions continue to register and to be stored in your body.  They remain there until they are released.  Knowing how to do this is the essence of healing from trauma. As the person grows they either consciously or unconsciously remain terrified of their emotions.   Since dissociation is unconscious they  are unaware of having dissociated. They do not know how to ressociate. They remain "zoned" not present to themselves or grounded in their bodies and suffer accordingly.  People will say "I don't know who I am."; " I feel like there is a big hole inside where my self should be";" I feel like I am looking at life through a plate glass window".  So the inner guidance is not able to be utilised.  If people are aware of it they will ignore it.  They may  say I knew I shouldn't be getting married to this person as I walked down the aisle but I ignored it.  And my parents said you have to get married what will people think and the invitations have been done,  And there begins another long turbulent dysfunctional relationship with dissociated children perpetuating the problems in their lives. 
Bottom line Learn to listen to your inner promptings.  They are very close to you all the time.  Learn to act on them.  If you put them to the test you will find they are never wrong.  This is a true code. 

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