The Role of Intelligence in Healing Trauma

As someone who attaches mega amounts of importance to their intelligence - to the point where latching onto the knowledge I am smart stopped me from committing suicide at one time - I completely get the urge to muscle your way through trauma using your brain.


The problem with this approach is that you cannot think your way out of trauma.


Our minds are wonderful pattern identifiers. We can look back and analyze the whirl of choices that led to our lifequake, and see all of the other spaces we behaved similarly. We can become aware of where those patterns are recurring now.


And that is where our brain’s helpfulness stops.


The only ways our minds are capable of interacting with these patterns is to either


Comb over them indefinitely, picking them apart and putting them back together in endless loops, keeping what is past present (one of the flaws of conventional talk therapies that extends healing time), trying to figure out a way to make what happened not have happened.


Or continue repeating them in an effort to maintain the illusory safety of the known, no matter how much the known hurts.


The mind cannot create reason or incentive enough for us to change because it can only offer us a hypothesis in alignment with or in rebellion against our previous experiences. The hypothesis cannot equal the lived experience. Nor can confining yourself to “thinking positive” actually shift your relationship to events. Intelligence’s role in trauma healing is one of support, not as primary catalyst.


Creating new patterns is to act in sight blindness. It necessitates a fundamental energetic shift: a decision that comes not from your analytical mind, but from your bones and spirit. Lifequakes thrust us into the divergence between our learned dependence on Sight and relearning to trust and fine tune the more vastly connected, more accurate Felt sense.


This is the most challenging crossroad we will ever face: Rebirth, or remain in the Upsidedown.


How can you trust your felt sense when your body has betrayed you?


You start by letting your emotions eat you. Those massive emotional storm clouds rampaging through you like the “James and the Giant Peach” Rhino that you push back and fight and run from because they are unbearably uncomfortable and seem like they will take over everything that you are…


Let them catch you. Let them swallow you. And as you sit in the eye of the storm, you will realize


That which the vessel contains can never be greater than the vessel itself.


Living this, experiencing it as a body knowing, ripples a solidness through our neurobiological makeup that flips safety from an external circumstance that can never be assured and is always tenuous for its dependence on others actions


to an inalienable, internal state of being that emanates from our core around which all else flows.


bodymind, healing trauma, you cannot think your way to healing
Image: Intelligent Design, Kristina Carroll