The power of reconnecting with a sense of goodness
No matter what disturbance is gripping your mind, there is a level of peace you can tap into when you connect with your soul.
Having a family member with post traumatic stress (PTS) has motivated me to research the subject and has led me to the practice of mindfulness and other approaches. I attended a professional development training where they recommended a book called "The Act Resilient Method from Trauma to Transformation" by Genie Joseph, Ph.D. It didn’t take me long to get excited about this book! I was hooked as soon as I read the table of contents.
The titles of the chapters alone made me feel excited about exploring and applying the methods listed. What struck me so profoundly is that all the titles are so positive and inviting – for example, the first chapter is “Reconnecting with Your Sense of Goodness.” The chapter titles did not make me feel like something or someone else had all the power. The first chapter alone made me feel that this syndrome can be managed and that the methods should be more than drug and talk-therapy.
It explores the idea that trauma is not just a psychological issue, but also a physical experience. It’s in your heart, bones, cells, nervous system, guts and muscles. In order for healing to occur, all these levels need to be engaged. The Act Resilient Method approaches healing across all levels of experience.
True healing has to engage the real source of the pain. Joseph says that, specifically, you need to address not just emotional wounds but moral injuries to the soul. You have a physical body, but you also have an energetic body that is connected to your soul. Your soul is you – at a subtler/higher level. According to Dr. Bruce Goldberg, author of "Soul Healing," the soul is our essence of being.
Joseph further explores this idea by explaining that you can’t lose your soul but you can lose your connection to it. This idea hit home for me. As it is exactly how my family member described feeling. He felt disconnected to himself and others, much like having a dissociative disorder. Joseph describes it as feeling like you have lost yourself or lost connection with your soul – an example of a moral injury. You can feel depressed, disengaged, like nothing matters, nothing feels real and nothing feels good. However, the good news is that according to Joseph, with a little consistent effort and desire, you can reconnect with your soul.
Joseph explains that the soul is capable of forgiving and is the part of you that remains connected to “Greater Goodness.” No matter what disturbance is gripping your mind, there is a level of peace you can tap into when you connect with your soul. Reconnecting in this way is key to recovery and is a key principle in Act Resilient because it is the foundation of optimism and belief that you can be happy.
One recommendation from the book designed to help reconnect with goodness is to get a pet. Many studies have documented the benefits of petting and loving an animal. Other suggestions are to use affirmations and to meditate or practice mindfulness.
Michigan State University Extension offers a mindfulness series that teaches the basics of mindfulness; breath, eating, thought surfing and mindful laughter.