I Went Into The Black Dot, And I Survived

About a month ago, maybe longer, I was relaxing in a bath and a thought rose from my soul and so I said out loud, "I am willing to see things as they really are." I wasn't thinking of anything specific so I had no preconceived notions about what I might see.

Boy did I see.

Later that day I was able to see a behavior pattern that I started in childhood, for survival. It's a behavior that is still with me, and it has caused me a lot of pain and confusion. Even more interesting though, was that I was finally able to see the underlying cause: a traumatic event(s) that I had been minimizing for years. And even more shocking was the secret belief I developed about myself because of that event. I won't go into the details. Suffice it to say it was HEAVY.

Over the course of the next week or two, I was not only able to look at this trauma and the way it wired me, but ALL my trauma. It seemed since the door was open, all the other trauma wanted to have the same opportunity to heal.

I've been very good at hiding my trauma from myself and others. Sure I knew what happened. I knew it was there. But I didn't acknowledge it as trauma. It was normalized and minimized by family members and myself. I was coping, and well, I thought. For more than ten years I have been doing my own pretty deep work. But there was a black dot I hadn't wanted to go into, so I found coping and distraction methods.

Here's something interesting I have been learning from one of my spiritual teachers, Siri Atma.

In the beginning stages of embarking on a spiritual path the soul and the ego want the same things, but for different reasons. The soul wants you to grow spiritually and take the path that is your destiny. The ego might want to go on the spiritual path because it wants you to deal with your anger issues so no one will find out you have them, or so can become a nice person so people will like you, or so you can become a great healer or teacher. They have different motives. But it's okay, because you are on the path and that is helping everything in your life. You grow, you glow, and hopefully you learn to recognize the ego for what it is.

The first years of the path are very good and blissful or full of rapid change. You develop real spiritual power and you can move the cosmos. At least that was my experience. Then around 7 year or more into the practice there is a change. In Kundalini Yoga we call this stage Shakti Pad. The ego and the soul start to diverge. The ego can put up challenges, commotions. It no longer wants the same thing as the soul. And, in this stage, things can get tricky because it can be difficult to see progress in this stage-- you are not longer accelerating but at velocity (like being in an airplane it is difficult to tell how fast you are going).

This is what has been going on with me for a few years. I can't tell how fast I am going, and my ego keeps trying to pull me into something that seems more instantly rewarding, like chaos--repeating behaviors from the past, additions, anxieties, drama, and anything else it can.

The ego isn't bad. The mind creates it to protect us, because the mind isn't sure that God will. In this case, what my ego has been trying desperately to protect me from is my trauma. It wants me to avoid looking at it, and if something mimics my trauma, it fires off old soothing mechanisms (usually some form of behavior or mood that might once have served but now is unhealthy.)

As Mercury went into retrograde a few weeks ago I realized that this was the perfect time to do the work my soul wanted me to do: heal and complete intergenerational trauma so that it no longer has power over me. I was to "repair the breech" and restore the "paths to dwell in." (A fave scripture from Isaiah 58).

This picture reminds me of the self made box I sometimes think I'm safe in, but really, it's a prison.

Of course, my ego wanted to control everything and make a giant therapy plan with bells and whistles. Ego says you have to take care of this right now. There isn't enough time. If you don't do this right now you are going to die/explode.  But soul spoke to me through another's voice and said, "It's not 'What am I going to do about this?' It's 'What am I going to surrender about this?'"  And, despite what ego says, there is all the time in the world.

So, I asked. What am I going to surrender about this? and I surrendered.

Ok, sometimes I didn't. I kicked and screamed and schemed at times, how to avoid looking at the black dot, but then I surrendered again, with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and a lot of other help sent from God.

Let me say it again, I had a lot of help. I still do and will continue this lots of help and loving people around me thing. I realize that isolation has been a big part of my dis-ease. There is no DIY trauma resolution. You've got to involve a community of loving others. Interestingly, my teacher keeps reiterating to me, that this phase of spiritual development cannot be passed through alone to the next phase. The community must carry you. So thank you for those who have done me any service including praying for me.

Here is a healing hack: There is something nice about clearing your calendar and saying, this time is for healing, even if it is just half a day, and see what happens. I had a pretty clear calendar for a couple weeks and so each day I was sent or told what I needed. Sometimes it was something to do, somewhere to go, sometimes it was not doing.

At first, going into the "black dot" as some trauma therapists call it, felt life threatening. But as I did, with lots of help and resources, there were a lot of Aha's. As Judy Crane says, "when you unravel the trauma story the behaviors always make sense." Ahaaa. That's why I have a long distance marriage that works so well. That's why I react as though personally attacked when I smell something bad. That's why I... etcetera etcetera.

And now, I don't have to use that soothing or distracting behavior anymore. I can keep myself safe. I'm reprogramming. I'm rebirthing.

Don't misunderstand, I'm still on the surrender plan, although I'm feeling good now and I have gone back to more regular life and calendar. I'm not DONE by any means-- I'll always be doing my own work--but there is something hugely relieving about just being honest with yourself about your story.

I am a trauma survivor.

However, telling one's story is not enough. The trauma also has to be released from the body, where it has been stored, and layered upon, often for years. Trauma distorts our memories and distorts our current perception of interactions with others. As we heal, the story changes, can be retold and ideally rewritten. For me, writing and poetry has been a big part in my healing.

Not surprisingly, my personal healing work has also made me a better therapist, teacher and mother, but in ways that I did not expect. Wahe Guru.

The more I surrender, the more I learn how to surrender, and the more I find that God is doing for me what I couldn't not do for myself.


  1. Are you serious that I can't heal from trauma in isolation? Dang it. that always sneaks into my plan. I know that's true, though. So many good things in the post. It feels like such a scary thing to heal, but the only way out seems to be through. Thank you for validating that sometimes it feels like it's going to kill us, but it doesn't.


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