Reflecting on Sacred Responses to Trauma

I've been thinking that I'm in a time of transition. The church is weird. My job is weird. Things are sliding and changing. I think that I'm going to refocus my thoughts here on art and trauma. Beginning today!

Daily Haiku
Ever watchful
She perches gracefully
A throne of thistle

I did this watercolor painting yesterday inspired by @dearannart on Instagram. As I did it, I was processing physical pain. One of my ribs was twisted a little bit and it was setting my rotator cuff on my left side on fire. This had been going on for a bunch of days. I am used to almost always being in pain but I was ready to be done with it.

When I was painting, the pain receded and I didn’t think about it anymore. And I didn’t consciously NOT think about it anymore. This painting took a while for me to do and it took my whole being. By the end of it, the pain was nearly gone.

I felt as if my body resolved itself while I was doing the act of painting. That felt like a miracle. As if what my body needed was to do something that was actively a creative response to its internal trauma.

We don’t often talk about physical trauma. We often focus on mental and spiritual trauma. While I have experience with those things, I also have an experience of a body that betrays me again and again. It is really difficult when the betrayer is within you.

I feel like that could be our trauma response—whether emotional physical or spiritual—We are beautiful. We are standing and gazing out alertly. And we are resting on a bed of thorns.

If what we are gazing on doesn’t put us in the high alert, what we are resting on does!

I was surprised that my trauma informed care practice of art and creativity would also soothe my physical body. But yay!

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