To paraphrase one of my mentors, “Trauma happens in a split second. Everything that happens, after that second, is a survival strategy.”
What that means, in essence, is that when we are healing trauma, we are actually mostly healing our survival strategies. These “strategies” are responses, beliefs and behaviors that came in to protect us from experiencing emotional and physical pain.
But, the strategies hang around far longer than they are needed. Most of the strategies are not in alignment, or appropriate, for our everyday life, so they eventually limit, or even harm, us.
Examples of limiting survival strategies might be putting walls up in relationships, lying to avoid pain, getting sick to be cared for, avoiding situations that remind you of a specific trauma.
And even though we want to heal, the last thing we want to do is give up our survival strategies—after all, they kept us safe once. So, the illusion is that they still keep us safe.
People ask me all the time why someone would be resistant to healing. This is one of the main reasons. Most of us are not consciously resistant to healing. We are subconsciously attached to our outdated survival strategies.