The Body Keeps the Score - Deepstash
The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score

Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

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Trauma & The Impact On The Imagination

It is easy to acknowledge the direct impacts of trauma but some of its more life altering impacts are what it has on the mind.

In addition to the impact from the direct interaction, the imagination is not only stunted but also becomes a place where you relive the origin of the trauma, over and over, snowballing new trauma from the imagination with the initial trauma, maimed by things like regret and guilt.

Eventually, the imagination only becomes familiar with the past, being rooted only in what has happened and not being able to fathom a future any different.

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Trauma Hijacks The Imagination

The imagination is the mind's eye: how we perceive & even interact with intangibles in the cosmos.

When we experience trauma, the imagination relives the moment over & over, searching for ways to avoid the experience in the future or overcome it. With every replay of that moment, we experience a second hand trauma compounded on our original experience.

Eventually, we blame ourselves for what happened, taking on guilt, shame & regret. Through repetition in the mind, the imagination conforms to a reality where only shame, guilt & regret are the only thinkable outcomes. This stunts our perception.

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Trauma Influences Imagination Escapism

In other instances, instead of guilt, shame & regret, we seek to escape from a reality that we feel is too much to bear. We begin to fantasize on the what ifs, & explore those mythical timelines in our imagination. Slowly, we begin to yearn more for the fantasy as it temporarily eases our stress, but it also removes us from the present & in turn impede our ability to impact it for the better.

Fantasizing may seem harmless at first but it is teaching the mind to interact with the unreal parts of your experience. The escape isn't just from the pain, but also a vacancy from your driver's seat.

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Inspiration Vs Fantasizing

Inspiration & fantasies may seem like the same but are vastly different. The imagination intakes both similarly. But one is birthed from the body's fight or flight system & the other catalyzed by an appreciation of something, even in the bad.

Fantasizing is an effort of escapism from reality while inspiration is an attempt at impacting reality. We often fantasize when we are bored or uncomfortable etc, in hopes of passing time with more ease.

Inspiration comes when you're able to see the possibilities of what's infront of you in the present. The attention to detail & awareness of yourself.

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Snuffed Imagination

When the trauma overwhelms the mind, when the replays become suffocating, when the inspiration no longer comes, the imagination chooses numbness. This coping mechanism shuts down the ability to perceive to spare ourselves the trauma. This numbness while copes in one way, icreates a hopelessness and despondency. Without the active imagination, the mind is unable to perceive future possibilities, & it is disconnected from the past that you could learn from. The dead imagination disrupts our interactions with one another and the ability to deeply commune with each other in the intangible ways.

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Revived Imagination

The imagination is meant to be inspired, to see possibilities by appreciating what is available to it. While it is no simple task to see the good in everything, the imagination powers the image of the reality you will perceive. Therefore it is not the image of the past nor the image of the present that should influence us, but rather the image of the future. Not allowing what has happened, nor your present circumstance, to completely change the image of your future. Perhaps it may refine as we learn and grow, but appreciating the image of the future will enable us to remain inspired by it.

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Hope Is The Mind Tiller

The imagination powers the way you see the past, present and future. The image of the future is hope. Hope is built by what you feed it today.

The best food for hope is knowledge, understanding and faith. Learning new things helps us broaden our horizon. Understanding things helps broaden our capabilities and belief helps us broaden our performance.

The imagination thrives under the inspiration of hope. The power to channel the strength & joy of your future through hope, is the power of the imagination. With a goal in mind, it provides a way forward.

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CURATED BY

24thhour

People die because of a lack of knowledge. Understanding makes the blind see. Wisdom is the principle thing

By understanding how trauma fully impacts us, we can become more self aware and find the capacity to overcome.

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