Self Realization through Trauma

Post-traumatic stress, what comes to everyone's mind is something terrible happened and the result is PTS! This is true, it is also true that it's not something bad, in fact, you are normal if you develop PTS, just as normal as someone who doesn’t! That's because PTS is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. It's our bodies’ response to those terrible things that have happened to us! Now the philosophy side of this is that we can say well those happened for a reason and brought us to where we are today. The past preparing us for the future. That's the concept behind today's post and something about myself that I am just realizing.


Being in the infantry, I have seen a lot of terrible things, and undoubtedly I have done a few terrible things as well. Though I cannot judge myself on things I did earlier in my life while in the mindset I was in. Meaning that now that I have clarity, I cannot look back and be upset for my actions when that clarity was not there or be upset with my ignorance. I guess that's why Christians say that as long as you ask for forgiveness that Jesus will forgive you for your actions knowing that if you are asking for it then you are in a different state of mind and you can go to heaven peacefully. Or something like that, right? I do not study the bible currently, I am just trying to paint the perspective.


After my service, I had no idea I had PTS and then the anger outburst started to happen, I would for no reason just start attacking people emotionally (angrily) yelling, etc… I also would have these daydreams which felt like 20 min but would be only split seconds, called flashbacks. Aside from those all the other symptoms were present as well.


One thing I would tell people is that I didn’t know why these things were happening to me. I knew that they were PTS symptoms but I didn’t understand what set them off. I will say that I didn’t live long enough with it having that control to figure it out either. I was lucky to have found yoga pretty early in my condition. I also told people that I would lose complete control over my body and brain, it was like I was watching a movie, and it was me being angry or violent towards something or I would watch myself cry hiding so no one could see me. All of these accounts of my PTS taking control were freighting to me because I didn’t know who was going to be the next victim and I was powerless.


What I realize today is that the out of body experience was me, in the question who am I, I was within my true self and that person that body doing those actions was not who I was! This created an enormous amount of confusion and I was completely disconnected from myself. Lost in a place that I didn’t know and in a reality with zero knowledge. I thought I was supposed to be there but I was here and didn’t know why. When I began yoga, the first change was being able to control my body, through my practice I now wasn’t worried that my body and brain would claim its next victim. I didn’t realize it at the time but I already knew who I was and that my yoga practice was my true self reconnecting with my body so I could properly express who I was.


That out of body experience that I had felt was a glimpse of myself. And in the practice of meditation, we sit to learn to focus on the mind, and by focusing I mean we are learning to quiet it. Separating ourselves from our body willingly and letting our bodies stay at rest while we explore the real world. A world of not looking down at ourselves but looking up at the stars and visiting them. When you are in that space, everything is connected, and nothing is physical, it's all energy of space and time, while space and time are both irrelevant when you are in that space. When I venture there, what feels like forever is only a few moments in my body and it is hard to stay there before our mind goes into another thought. So then I quiet my mind, again and again, repeating this process. Before I even realize it 20, 30 min have passed by and I come back to earth and end my practice. Sometimes though I don’t have that experience, I still practice it any way and sometimes I end my practice only to find that I have not come back and my physical movements are very limited. I walk around and can function but I have no thoughts and remain in this space for some time. It’s an amazing space, just like when I would have a PTS moment but the actions were not violent here.


My PTS gave me this awareness and when I learned how to control it, it is all I desire. I want to be in that space forever, the space of being connected and at peace, where no pain lives, and no suffering. Where there is only love and everything is beautiful. Through these teachings, I have been able to make that my reality and my perspective the majority of the time. My body is only the physical expression of who I am and I cannot allow it to control itself and do harm to anything or anyone, because that is not me. I am everything and violence only hurts myself.



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©2020 by Nicholas Caris 

www.VeteranYogi.com