|Client painting in the Art Therapy Studio.
In my 30s I decided that I was never going to be in a relationship with a female friend again where I felt I was taken advantage of. I was tired of being the giver and not the receiver in relationship. I wanted to be in relationships where the flow of energy, respect and care was equality shared. So, in the process of trying to heal this, I worked hard to understand and identify why I attracted women to me that ended up taking advantage of my generosity and kindness. Then, as I entered what I thought was a new healthy relationship with an exciting fellow artist, I slowly realized that I was in one of the least healthiest relationships of my life. I couldn’t understand why I kept drawing the same type of woman into my life. I thought I had healed this and now I could move on. But, what I didn’t know was that my body was doing exactly what I wanted, clearing the pattern so I could move on. It was showing what needed to be healed.
Pierre Janet was the first psychiatrist to identify the need and compulsion to repeat traumas. The human brain is hard wired to master overwhelming experiences and we are consciously or unconsciously compelled to re-enact traumatic experiences. In this brilliant way, the body seeks the healing it requires. However, if we do not enter the event consciously aware and awake, it is difficult to do the enactment differently thus changing the ending from being traumatic to healing. The changes we are seeking usually take a creative and strong action from us to reverse things. The wonderful thing about this is witnessing our body’s drive to move forward in a healthy healing way. The awful thing about this is if we haven’t worked on the trauma, and if we aren’t aware and awake about what we are doing and why we are doing it, we will repeat the trauma causing more pain and suffering. When we find ourselves in the same situation that we felt we had conquered years ago or when we find ourselves repeating the same mistakes, instead of getting frustrated we should celebrate the wisdom of our bodies to know that we need to repeat this event in order to clear it from our lives. We need to trust that things show up because our neuro-somatic programing is trying to free or clear us of being stuck by a trauma in ways that we aren’t aware of. Changing consciousness is a complex process that may take several tries.
This year, 2013, I want change, but I also want to welcome my re-enactment as gifts from my body in order to clear the way for real change to happen. I hope I feel the same when I find myself in a frustrating re-enactment of a situation.