Five Phases of Trauma
“Acceptance is the observation of life and the suspension of judgments about events, even though they are good or bad, right or wrong.” – R. Smotherman
Acceptance is the phase when we become an observer of the pain and embrace the situation we are in. We observe and absorb the events with less to no judgment, leaning into what is happening.
For many of us, the past weeks have been intense.
A new routine. A new normal.
We lost our ability to go places, we feel unsafe around people we love because of an invisible virus and have been separated from them. Lots of learning and losses are forcing us to be more adaptable and less judgemental.
Scientific studies have shown that many of us experience similar behaviors after a significant loss or trauma, and may go through 5 phases:
Denial, Anger, Negotiation, Depression, and Acceptance.
This framework is close enough for me, as a natural response to the changes and adversity I faced.
Facing each phase with my “vulnerability cape” requires a lot of courage and self-awareness. It’s very easy to fall into a pseudo hero persona and pretend I have all under control when I certainly don’t.
But why do I do that? Every time I act as if I have my ‘crap pulled together,’ I realize I became more emotional, tense, and fragile. Running away from my vulnerability makes me weaker, not stronger.
During this pandemic, you and I may be emotionally trapped within ourselves for some time. Self-awareness is one of the tools we have on arms reach to help us move forward.
This morning, I was meditating and realized how my body was responding to my Ujjayi practice. Check my blog Pause. Play Positivity. to learn more. While I was changing the rhythm of my breathing, I could sense how different areas of my body were feeling.
The weight on my chest, the pain in my knees, the stiffness in my neck. Each part of my body showing me how I am responding to the changes COVID-19 has brought to my life.
I then realized how I as well, denied the situation we were in, forgetting the fundamental truth: that we are all connected.
I didn’t get angry but was afraid of all the odds. I wanted to change and control things, but I couldn’t.
The planet’s remote control is in God’s hands now. He has the full power of why, what, where, when, and how. All that is in for me is to let it go.
Within winter, I felt the grief getting into my heart, probably due to the shared pain and fear all the planet was experiencing. Praying and meditation were instrumental to be able to overcome the sadness.
We are one, and we exchange powerful amounts of energy with each other. No question about that.
I am all in for accepting the situation that we are in, bowing to the superior forces above me. I am doing my part for the safety and health of my family. I am also in a ‘review mode’ of my beliefs.
What Does Really Matter?
I am evaluating what this teaching means for my life and for my family. The changes I want to embrace moving forward, the friends I want to keep, and the ones I need to let go. The habits I want to switch, and the new things I want to learn. What my purpose should be.
It’s a new chapter in my life, in our lives. This chapter is being written, and we don’t know when it will end. We all know the future will be very different than what we were used to.
Let’s grab a pen, write the meaningful life each of us is looking for, and start working on it now. Because you and I can.