Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

Choosing our Purpose

Life seems easier when we have a purpose, a direction.

I lost sight of my purpose when PTSD exploded. Purpose was replaced with survival, a desire to withstand my suffering.

To have a chance at happiness (wellbeing), doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, depression, etc. can not dominant our existence.


Next our purpose decides direction. If our purpose is to be wealthy and powerful, happiness may not be attainable.


Acceptance, giving and gratitude seem to be in the midst of wellbeing.


How could Mother Teresa’s life been that rewarding?


It looks like total sacrifice for the throw aways of society.

She lacks the pleasures we Americans think make us happy. She surrounds herself with lepers in need. Looks like back-breaking service without financial reward or power.


How could a life surrounded by disease, suffering and death been so rewarding.


If I were to guess, I would say she is happier than me or you.

Surrender: a great tool for healing, wellbeing (Happiness)

Healing was incremental for me, each plateau reached through concerted action over months. Nothing came easy or quick.

Complex PTSD from a childhood does not heal miraculously, quickly or easily. The mind was not fully developed when trauma entered its world. Hard to tell what is normal and what is the aftermath of abuse.

Aerobic exercise, therapy, reading, meditating, practicing acceptance, applying mindfulness and persistence each brought benefits for me. Sometimes all hope seemed lost but something inside refused to give up.

This trait is very important. Lots of setbacks, even perceived losses on this journey. That inner guide can be our savior in our low moments.

Meditating and mindfulness carved out a small secure space for me to survive. This space grew incrementally as I healed.

It was like climbing a ladder, each successive rung revealed more of the horizon, more of the path.

Acceptance was difficult, releasing the shame and guilt reached a sticking point. My fear, worry and confusion kept me paralyzed for months.

I still had resistance, actually I was terrified, enforced with cortisol by my fight or flight mechanism exploding. The drugs are real, the storyline is the mirage.

Being vulnerable, that is surrendering completely in the face of my trauma, broke the traffic jam. It was scary not to resist, to be so vulnerable, so defenseless.

With arms outstretched, totally open, I pictured my heart as a butterfly net.

I had found the next step, being vulnerable, surrendering to my fears.


This exposed my fears so I could observe them.

Try surrendering the next time you meditate.

Another look at Worry

Worry seems to have its own engine, a way of entering our consciousness without an invitation. It seems to be one of the function of our mind, everyone has worried, some incessantly.

When we worry the mind is engaged cognitively in the past and future, it’s speed increases. Awareness of reality, of this present moment, disappears when the mind speeds up.

Fear enters our consciousness with the possible consequences of our worry. Mental confusion makes it difficult to move, to take action, to let go of this created problem (Worry).


Worry seems to be a battle between the what if’s in life and living freely.  Worry in a way is a prediction of future doom created inside our doubts and fears.


So for me, my first task when confronting worry, is to slow my mind. I slow my breath, try to slow my heart and focus intently below the thoughts and emotions.


I know when my mind is racing, trouble is coming.

We always have our practice to slow us down and bring us back to now.

Worry does not exist with a mind that is present, empty and focused on the senses.


Worry will still visit but the stay will be shorter.

“Breath by Breath” The Liberating practice of insight meditation: Mindfulness



Mindfulness is unbiased. It is not for or against anything, just like a mirror, which does not judge what it reflects. 


Mindfulness has no goal other than the seeing itself. 


It doesn’t try to add to what’s happening or subtract from it, to improve it in any way. 


It isn’t detached, like a person standing on a hill far away from an experience, observing it with binoculars. 


It is a form of participation—you are fully living out your life, but you are awake in the midst of it—and it is not limited to the meditation hall. 


It can be used on a simple process like the breathing, or on highly charged and unpleasant emotions like fear or loneliness. 


It can also follow us into the ordinary life situations that make up our day. 


Eventually, it becomes more a way of living than a technique. 


One word that I personally have come to associate with mindful living is intimacy. 



Anger: part two, 2

The prefrontal cortex shuts down when we are angry. Anger then, should be used only when a real threat is present.

Anger is jet fuel for trauma (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders.

Get real angry and watch your hypervigilance, panic attacks, avoidance and dissociation increase to frightening levels. Watch your fight of flight mechanism fire with full force when you are angry.

We fear being vulnerable. Anger feels powerful, vulnerable does not.


Guess which one is better for us?

Expressing our anger is a choice.

In the right circumstance anger can save our life or people around us.

Most of the time our anger is connected to feelings of being hurt, marginalized, overlooked, targeted, mistreated or vulnerable. Anger isn’t just an emotion, it’s a constellation of emotions.

I have explored my anger, followed it back to my childhood abuse. Anger remained stuck in my childhood and scared the hell out of me.

Mastery of emotions is beyond my skill level, however I express my anger very rarely now.

Where I place my attention each day decides my attitude, my fate.

This emotion is different: Anger; part one



5 Ways Anger is Not Like Other Emotions By Jonice Webb PhD ~


“Anger is not just any old emotion. It’s special.

In fact, it’s so special that a 2017 survey by the Mental Health Foundation of 2000 people found that 28% are sometimes worried about the level of anger that they feel.

First, let’s outline what makes anger different from other emotions, and then we’ll talk about how you can use this information to become happier and healthier in your life.

5 Ways Anger is Special


* It’s Motivating: Anger’s purpose is to push you to protect yourself. Anger gives you energy. It’s activating, and it drives you to engage, not withdraw, as most other emotions do.


* It Never Stands Alone: Anger is always a result of feeling something else. You feel hurt, marginalized, overlooked, targeted, mistreated or vulnerable. Anger isn’t just an emotion, it’s a constellation of emotions. There are always layers of feelings underneath it, feeding it.


* It Seeks a Target: Other emotions can simply be. Anger cannot. Like an arrow shot from the bow, it looks for a target. This is what makes anger so easy to misdirect. It may erupt at the wrong person, in the wrong way and at the wrong time so very easily.


* It Can Be Turned Inward or Outward: Sometimes directing our anger at its true target can be acutely uncomfortable, and sometimes we aren’t aware of the true target. This is when we are at risk for turning our anger inward, directing it at ourselves.


* It’s Capable of Damaging Your Health: Research has shown that anger prone individuals and people who express their anger as rage are more at risk for heart attacks and cancer.

Anger is a powerful, protective, complex emotion.

Yes, it has potential to do great damage.

But used properly, it also has potential to help you mightily.“


A follower who has practiced meditation writes me with concerns

My emotions…😥😪😭 rejection, fear, anger, sorrow, loneliness, loss, worthlessness, deception, physical pain, almost more than I can handle. I don’t feel I’m functioning, but simply going through the motions. I want my mindfulness practice back so badly, but have yet to find the energy or motivation to get there.


My feelings…tightness in my throat, burning tears, rapid heartbeat, fingers numb and tingling, severe pain between my shoulder blades, tiredness”.
My two cents: We get lost in our thoughts while surfing our past or projecting into the future.

The emotions described started with thoughts, negative and judgmental, then emotions attached to them.

The emotions power the thoughts. Fear, resentment, worthlessness can grow to enormous size.


Our “Ego” loses power if we let these thoughts and emotions go.

That resistance, that lack of motivation and energy, is the “Ego” grasping for control.

Our “Ego” is in control when we honor these thoughts and emotions.

We gain control when we are present and empty of these thoughts and emotions.


Very simple solution but not easy to implement.


Use aerobic exercise to fuel your spirit.

We have to take action.

Whatever it takes, we must move to get better.

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