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Causal Healing: Freedom from the Bondage of Trauma, Beliefs and Emotions

by Anthony Deavin(more info)

listed in healing, originally published in issue 170 - May 2010

Those of you reading this article will be aware of an undeniable inner knowing that there is 'something' unique to us which we are here to understand and fulfil. This 'something' is generally not easy to identify and carry out, but without so doing we may be left rudderless and depressed. People who are able to realize their direction in life have the energy available needed to maintain direction, undeterred by any obstacles which may arise. Such people always seem to have time for others. They work with a sense of compassion and a clear sense of 'Thy will be done'. How can it be that this way of living, to which we would all aspire, seems at times so difficult to achieve? The answer lies in appreciating that we are Spirit, with a Soul dimension which holds the blueprint and direction for our life.

Horse Chestnut Bud Unfolding - Symbolic of New Life
Horse Chestnut Bud Unfolding - Symbolic of New Life


In this realm lies complete clarity of guidance and purpose. The body which we are given for the purpose of fulfilling our destiny is endowed with the senses and mind which can create a sense of separateness, governed by the ego. This situation can disconnect us from awareness of the Soul's agenda for our life, though in fact this disconnection is never total. As a result of this remnant of connection, we experience unease and dissatisfaction with life and find ourselves searching, even though the object of our search is not clear to us.  So, one may ask, how are we to use the gift of our body and mind, without losing our connection with the subtle realm of Spirit? The answer to this question lies in the resolution of the trauma patterns which we all carry, for in the absence of the disturbing effects of trauma, we would naturally be aware of the Soul's agenda for our life.

Trauma, Beliefs and Emotions

A trauma is a disturbing event or events, such as may be experienced by a child who strives in vain to gain the attention of his or her Mother. The impact of such events on the body gives rise to turbulent emotions, while the mind formulates beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the trauma, or how to handle it. Just what emotions or beliefs arise as a result of trauma will depend on the qualities which the child has been endowed with in this life. For example, the child failing to gain the attention of its Mother may experience anger and formulate the belief: "I have to fight to succeed". Other kinds of children will respond with fear, or a sense of lacking love. "I need to stay safe at all costs" could be the belief accompanying fear, while "If I help people they will love me" is a typical response of those who believe that they lack love. Such emotions and beliefs, if not resolved, have the potential to lead a person in directions which are not consistent with their unique life purpose, e.g. the person who rushes around helping others in order to find love will succeed only in wearing themselves out. If only they had found stillness within, they could have connected with their heart centre and the love which is always there.

To achieve the change from turbulence to focus and clarity of purpose, it is necessary to look within, acknowledging the disturbed nature of one's state. Given this, it is our good fortune to have available a rich variety of methods which enable us to resolve turbulent emotions and beliefs. It is not our 'fault' that our emotional and belief state is as we find it, since there was never any conscious choice on our part for this state to dominate our lives. The good news is that we can empower ourselves to become clear of any disturbance and fulfil our unique purpose, for the tools exist.

Resolving Trauma, Disturbing Emotions and Limiting Beliefs

As discussed above, a trauma will give rise to disturbing emotions and limiting beliefs. Therapeutic techniques vary as to whether their main focus is on the trauma itself, on the emotions, on the beliefs, or on all of these. Becoming clear of one's inner problems is generally a journey of discovery, a stepwise process, rather than an instantaneous event. The skill of the therapist lies in their intuitive awareness of how the session needs to proceed, be it working with trauma, or emotions, or beliefs, or simply giving a gentle 'hands-on' session. 'Hands-on' therapy, can lead to a state of relaxation and calm and resolution of 'issues', without the need to specifically focus on them. As Carolyn Myss[1] has pointed out, healing is ultimately a mystical process, beyond the ability of the rational mind to comprehend. Thus the therapist works in a state of 'not-knowing', i.e. without holding any intention or idea regarding the progression of the session, or its outcome. The underlying conviction is that the therapy is guided from the client's soul level; it is this that the therapist respects and is aware of during the therapy session.

In this and subsequent articles I shall discuss those techniques of which I have personal experience. No doubt, the reader will be aware of other ways of working. After all, an important aspect of our development as therapists is to discover the ways of working that best suit our nature. It is this combination which will meet the needs of the clients who are attracted to working with us.

Working with Beliefs: the approach of Byron Katie

Background Information

Byron Katie[2] defines a belief as a thought that we have been attached to for years. Byron Katie is very clear about thoughts:

"A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It is not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts that causes suffering."

Byron Katie calls her approach 'The Work' or 'Inquiry'. The work that is required is to make a list of all the thoughts that one is holding around an upsetting situation, e.g., in Byron Katie's book Loving What Is.[2] Mary describes what she thinks about her husband:

"I hate my husband because he drives me crazy – everything about him, including the way he breathes. What disappoints me is that I don't love him any more, and our relationship is a charade – My husband is a wimp."

On closer questioning, Mary states that her husband should not breathe so heavily. On being asked "is that true" she answers "Yes". Byron Katie points out that what is true is the reality that her husband does breathe heavily, not what she thinks should be happening. This is a profound insight. Only the reality of what is happening is true, which is why Byron Katie called her book Loving What Is.

"The Work reveals that what you think shouldn't have happened should have happened because it did, and nothing in the world can change it. This doesn't mean that you condone it or approve of it. It just means that you can see things without resistance or without the confusion of your inner struggle."

So we accept that reality, or 'what is', is how it has to be, whether at an individual or global scale.

As Byron Katie puts it:
"Nothing terrible has ever happened except in our thinking. Reality is always good, even in situations that seem like nightmares. The story we tell is the only nightmare that we have lived. When I say that the worse that can happen is a belief, I am being literal."

This insight is both momentous and practical. Being clear from judgement, aversion or attachment to the situation, however awful it may appear to be, leaves us in a peaceful and alert state, able to act effectively in whatever way may be appropriate. Whenever we feel disturbed or experience suffering we can enquire: "What thought am I holding now?" Release will follow from identifying the thought and following the approach outlined below.

Is It True?  Can You Absolutely Know That It Is True?

Byron Katie's work consists of asking four questions about the thought, e.g. the thought "I don't love him any more", given in the example above. The first question is "Is it true?", which can be followed by the second more demanding question "Can you absolutely know that it is true?" These questions can penetrate to the deepest part of ourselves, beyond all our conditioning. Even to appreciate that the thought may not be true begins the process of release. All that is required is that the person from the depth of their being really does want to know the truth.

How Do You React When You Think That Thought?

With this third question, the person  quickly identifies the turbulent emotions and ideas associated with the thought, e.g., "It makes my whole life a charade" was the reaction to the thought "I don't love him any more". When this third question is asked, the painful consequences of holding the thought become very clear and the impulse to be liberated from the effects of all such thoughts becomes stronger. After all, it is natural to seek to be stress-free and happy.

Who Would You Be Without the Thought?

This is the fourth question. In responding to it, the person comes to appreciate just how different their life would be without the thought. In the example above, the person discovered that without the thought "I don't love him anymore", "it would be great. It would be fabulous. That's what I want."

We see that, by means of the third and fourth questions, a person may come to realize how profoundly the quality of their life, whether of pain or happiness, is affected by the thoughts they hold.

Turn It Around

The final step in Byron Katie's work is to 'turn around' the thought in order to discover what a more truthful  statement  might be, e.g. in the above example, the person realized  that the turnaround to "I do love my husband", was true, not the original thought "I don't love him any more". Knowing if the turnaround statement is more true than the original thought is possible because the person really does want to know what is true, and is able to access that place of knowing within themselves, unaffected by conditioning and turmoil.

The next article in this series (Issue 174) will cover the approach of Theta Healing to the resolution of disturbing beliefs.

References

1.  Myss C. Defying Gravity. Healing beyond the bounds of reason .Hay House. ISBN 978-1-4019-2290-0. 2009.
2. Katie B, Loving What Is. Four questions that can change your life. Rider. ISBN 0-7126-2930-0. 1988.

Acknowledgement

Anthony wishes to express his thanks to Helga Frank for the advice she has given during the preparation of this article.

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About Anthony Deavin

Anthony Deavin BSc PhD RPP RCST has a BSc and PhD in chemistry and research experience in the biological sciences. Anthony then studied Ayurveda (Indian Medical Science), qualified in Medical Herbalism, and lectured in Anatomy and Physiology and Pathology. Subsequently he qualified in Polarity Therapy and Cranio-sacral Therapy, and established a Training in Polarity Therapy. More recently, Anthony's focus has shifted to gaining the skills necessary to help his clients overcome the trauma, limiting beliefs and turbulent emotions which prevent them realising their direction and purpose in life. To this end, Anthony has qualified in Journey Therapy and Theta Healing and has studied many other methods, most recently Reference Point Therapy. Anthony now teaches Causal Healing, which integrates all the methods he has studied and practised into one unified approach. His clinic work combines Herbal Medicine, Polarity Therapy and Causal healing.

Anthony may be contacted by on Tel: 01737 842749; anthony.deavin@btopenworld.com   www.causalhealing.com

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