Coming Out of the Dark (We Finally See the Light)

(I will return to Your Body Is Not a Disneyland in my next post.)

What a truly inspiring week for the sum of humanity who witnessed the miraculous rescue of the Chilean miners. Whether one was involved personally or was riveted to the television, this event went a long way to redefining how we can all witness a news event as a positive outcome and challenge us to seek a more peaceful world. And my being an On-Air consultant to CNN Networks during their climb to earth was a once in a lifetime gift. Perhaps the most synchronous part was that the miners were reached on John Lennon’s birthday – “Imagine” that. As a psychologist, I am often looking at metaphors that life evokes, and the circumstance of these miners, rescued after being trapped below the earth, provides such an apropos metaphor for the world to learn from.

So many times in the history of mankind, we, as a collective, have created the circumstances that contributed to our traumas, and those who were supposed to protect us either caused the trauma or did not do what could have been done to prevent it. As a result, we feel betrayed, neglected, unloved, and our trust is shattered like a stone through a window pane. Through our experiences in this world, we are taught to hide our traumas and pains deep inside ourselves.

So many of us have so many wounds and pains that we feel helpless to know what to do with, and we believe that the deeper we bury them, the better off we should be. Sooner or later there comes a time in our life when something so egregious happens that we can’t just turn our backs to it. We have to act, there is too much to lose if we don’t, but we often don’t have the resources to find our lost selves and heal them. We require the help of others. But how helpless it can feel when we are trapped by our own negligence and denial.

So we work to dig and drill down to the depths of our soul traversing the various strata of our defenses, addictions, attitudes and beliefs of indifference, anger and mistrust, the efforts slowed by almost impenetrable doubt and fear, and still we press on, learning that failure is the process of learning on the journey. Quitting, not an option, we continue, refining our technique with proper guidance, until we reach them.

Still alive, we give them enough to sustain them until we can bring them to the surface, one by one, and the efforts begin again.

Trapped for so long in indescribable conditions, banished to the recesses of our unconscious, we understand that to feel our wholeness and resolve our shame we must bring them back into the light. As we widen the reach of our efforts, we are able to free our pain from our self-imposed tombs, and we bring our traumas to our light, and as each is exposed, worn, sickly, and wary of the light, they require time to regain their strength. Share they must their traumas and pains, no more to be buried and forgotten. Learn, we will from them They ultimately grow in strength from the light. Stronger they are to stand with us, changed forever, by facing our truth we realize that our shame was not suffered through the trauma, but was the result of our own disrespect of our self and our soul.

Through this we learn, as failure will teach, that the love and respect of ourselves and others leads us to understand that there is no price that can be put on our soul, nor one else’s.

But when the miner’s were rescued, their president spoke to the world of the “33” being strong and better for their experience, denying their own negligence and accountability. And the miners’ pain and their potential pain to come, should they bury their experience behind their shield of strength, indifference, and financial reward to come, as so many have before them, would only be borne by them as others would have moved on long ago. Shall this all be forgotten when we turn the channel?  I hope not.

I dedicate this not only to the indeterminable strength of the “33” miners, but to the indeterminable strength of the human spirit that lives in all of us.

Bless you all in your journey to healing, and God bless us all in our journey to truth.

Dr. E…