Sneak peek at a chapter I’m contributing to a book
Sometimes feelings or experiences can be so painful, so traumatic, that to survive, you shut them down and attempt to block them from your awareness. When I first saw my surgery scars in the mirror, I remember saying to myself, forget about them, don’t look, ignore it and you won’t have to feel it. It was too upsetting to focus on the ways my body and life were changed.
But what I discovered from my own life and from talking with hundreds of cancer survivors, is that when you “shut down” the painful feelings, you can inadvertently shut down ALL your feelings, until you are left feeling “numb” or “frozen.”
PTSD can make it hard to feel loving feelings, pleasure in the things you enjoy, and even anger can be muted. In the process of protecting yourself from pain, all the feelings can become muted or shut off. And when this happens, you lose access to life force energy and important information about what you want from life and how to make decisions that will enrich your world.
I’m contributing a chapter on the benefits of yoga therapy in addressing emotional blunting in cancer survivors. Emotional healing requires a tender and compassionate look at what leads us to protect our psyches from pain and strategies for gently coming back into life and learning to feel more.