Most of us wish that our world was a platform for harmony and for pleasure. The reality, however, is that while where is harmony and pleasure here on earth, there is also conflict and suffering. Every day traumatized soldiers return from war. Inhabitants of war-torn areas struggle to pick up the broken pieces of their lives and move forward. Children are abused, women are raped, and natural disasters leave people with nothing. Emergency teams, such as ER doctors, first responders, and firefighters, assist others trough horrific circumstances and often find it difficult to process the distress of what they have experienced. Others succumb to addiction to try to drown out the pain of emptiness. All of the difficult circumstances that we struggle with have one thing in common: trauma.
The symptoms of trauma can manifest as flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, paralyzing fear, addictions, anxiety, or depression, as well as unrelenting thoughts about a specific past event or series of events. Some people may find themselves struggling with low self-esteem, issues of self-harm, chronic pain, mental illness, or just a generally unsatisfying or painful life. Often a person does not know what is causing their symptoms. They don’t have any idea that it’s connected to an unresolved experience. Most painful episodes like these have their origins in childhood trauma. A person might not even be consciously aware of the trauma, even when it causes serious grief in day-to-day life. As current psychology modalities are beginning to recognize this, therapists’ approach with patients is slowly but surely switching from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”
No one is immune to trauma. I have used the Completion Process with people, from children to adults, living all over the world, from many different cultures, in various stages of life, and on all types of career paths. In my own practice, I have used it to bring about resolve and integration for people who are grieving: who are struggling with mental illnesses, addictions, weight issues, chronic or terminal illness; or who are recovering from childhood sexual abuse. Sometimes clients can’t seem to make their relationships work or they lack a sense of purpose. It has also been very effective for people who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of trauma from wars, accidents, disasters, or personal tragedy.
What are we trying to complete?
LIfe is unpredictable. You may experience phases where you feel as if you finally have it all together, only to have it all turned upside down. You may suddenly feel like a train that has been run off its track or that you are heading up the creek without a paddle. When you are heading for a train wreck or find yourself floating along in utter chaos, it can be a sign that you need to seek re-integration. All of these experiences are valid and necessary, they are part of our development, so learning about them can be a fascination and very beneficial.
Once you learn to pay attention to the triggers of your memories and take time to deal with the core issue, then you can finally heal. The trigger is an important concept, so let me take a few minutes to explain it. A trigger is anything that helps you recall or bring to the surface a traumatic memory from your past. It can be a word, a tone of voice, a smell, sensation, a face, a place, or any situation or thing that causes you to feel unsettled or fearful. You might not even know what is causing you to suddenly feel sick, hurt, anxious, or uneasy, but your subconscious mind knows.
In this way, a trigger is a reminder of a previous wound and it is a signal to address the issue. Triggers are not negative or unwanted in this scenario: rather, they are an invitation for you to re-integrate fractured aspects back into your being. In essence, the Completion Process is a practical and powerful way to use triggers to re-integrate the fractured aspects of yourself and become whole again.
This approach will make more sense as you continue reading, but for now, just think of yourself as a river and the parts of your childhood self that fractured due to traumatic events are like streams branching off the river.