Trauma and Couples Intimacy


The Process of Intimate Relationship Recovery (Marta Luzim/Moseley process):

When an individual is in a committed relationship, their significant other needs to be in the recovery process.

This then becomes integrated into an individual  and couples experience.

Shadow work Thoughts, feelings, behaviors, beliefs that are hidden, unconscious defenses, excuses, rationales, blame, shame and judgements that the child learns in order to survive. Family of origin- Family patterning: victim/victimizer, special worthless, martyrdom, attack/collapse, control/manipulation, withhold/projection. Shadow work involves dream work, archetypes, myths and fantasies we hold in the psyche. Shadow work is an archeological dig into the emotional body to mend fragmented pieces numbed out in order to survive trauma. In the shadow is how we unconsciously act out mother/father and generational patterns and behaviors that we cannot identify in ourselves. Feelings that are frozen in trauma memories. Click to Download Patterns of Codependence
Feeling Breathing and slowing down to identify, name and connect to a feeling. Feelings will come up as an energy or reaction in the body. A felt sense. Stopping to give time to understand your own feelings living in your skin, bones and gut. Feelings come and go in the moment. But trauma feelings are frozen and are unfelt, unresolved and unexpressed.

Anger, rage, sad, hurt, grief, terror, excitement, joy, warm, hot, cold. Hopelessness, loss and numb. Feelings are not in the head. I think I feel…, You make me feel… It is like…. Feeling are clean and direct. I feel sad, hurt, angry etc

Expressing Trauma Work Understanding Addiction as a symptom of trauma. Journaling to subpersonalities splintered in our mind/body to survive trauma to deny, delude and stay safe by escaping into fantasy or dissociation in order to survive trauma

Inner child work, journaling, drawing, movement, dialoguing, mindfulness, meditation, slowing down to feel, express and receive.

Understanding metaphysically cause of chronic illness, depression, mental illness and anxiety. Talking to the body to uncover cause and effect of trauma.

Receiving Holding, deep listening and acceptance of the present experience of how you feel, think and behave. Inquiring into triggers and unhealthy responses or reactions- Feeling physical and emotional sensations in the body. Digging down into the belly and heart to connect to the part of yourself you are protecting and allowing feelings to emerge without blame or shame. Being in the present time with another and witnessing your reactions to the other fully without projection and judgement. Owning your own reactions without blame.

Feeling your feelings is receiving yourself and your needs, boundaries and emotions. At the same time receiving the others experience. Untangling co-dependency. Practicing independence and interdependence.

Time Making space to process, inquire and communicate. Creativity, meditation and self-care to replenish, repair and renew emotionally, spiritually, creatively mentally and physically. Self-care that nourishes your mind, body and soul.
Touch Healthy touch and affectionate touch, non sexual touch. Experiencing safe touch and connection.
Attention Self -validation, self -acceptance, self- respect, self- forgiveness. Compassionate witnessing of yourself and the other. Giving grace and allowing for change to occur in its our time and space.
Commitment Practice of intimacy skills. (above) Building boundaries, building a tolerance to feel pain, acceptance of imperfection, shame, blame, reactions, rationales that cause resistance to the process. Asking for what you need, sharing what you feel, and being pro-active in changing oneself. Commitment can take time out to discover and inquire into yourself. However, commitment is a long-time recovery in order to maintain a long term intimate relationship Never giving up (read intimacy and trauma)
Truth Accepting ands.. contradictions, paradoxes and confusion. Messiness in the process. It is not either or. Truth is multi-dimensional. Accepting different lens of truth from inner child inner, teenager, adult based on personal experience. Finding what is actually happening in the moment, taking responsibility for actions and behaviors, feelings and thoughts. Sharing in the moment what feels uncomfortable, fearful, unsafe. Asking for help and guidance. Vulnerability, trust and safety is an important foundation of truth telling. All the above needs to practiced relentlessly in order to share your truth. Truth is risky, courageous and in the moment. It is your true values, passions, and spiritual self.

Jennifer Welwood, Omega 1997 – Human life is a sacred situation. It gives us an opportunity to see where we are, whether we are in our conditioned self or our authentic self, (essential divine awake nature) , and then to make a choice about aligning to that evolutionary possibility or stay in our limitations

Intimate relationship is particularly powerful because it doesn’t stop with simply revealing to us where we are on this continuum, it evokes it. Anywhere in our conditioning where we are stuck or asleep an intimate partner will evoke that like nothing else in our lives We often feel, this really must be you because nowhere else in my life, and with no one else in my life do I experience so much rage, insecurity and deficiency, aggression, pettiness and jealousy, so it must really be you because I don’t experience this anywhere else in my life. The bad news is the ego hates this that our partner can puncture the cherished image of who we think we are, the good new is at the level of our commitment to truth and awakening we need that information to see where we are stuck as much as we need the opportunity for freedom

From the point of the view of our ego we like the good feelings relationship brings to us, but not the bad feelings. From the point of our view soul we need both, and both are important to fuel our journey to awakening. And that is what it means to bring the relationship into a sacred context. To include both the good feelings and the bad feelings is what makes relationship more workable so that we can hold the painful and ecstatic, allowing both types of experience to be of service in that most profound and sacred possibility of transformation. To make this conscious path real we have to want two things, 1. We have to want a deeply rewarding soulful relationship and 2. We also have to want our own awakening, our own deeper nature. The fire of our yearning to be awake needs to be the biggest fire and desire, than all the other desires can be welcomed.

Our own desire is essential for the awakening to take root.

Before we are on the path we are at 100% at the effect of the conditioned self. We don’t even see our patterns and how asleep we are, we are just acting it out without knowing it. After, when we are completely realized we are 100% free from our conditioning. Not only have we realized our deeper being but we have the capacity to live from it in every moment and our conditioning can never hook us. Few beings have reached this state of enlightenment. Being on the path we continual see how asleep we are with our unconscious patterns. We can see the patterns without knowing how to change the pattern and we need to learn as part of the process to tolerate just seeing how unconscious and limited we are, how our unconsciousness has kept us from being fully here and feeling the grief of that. This is what is spoken of as “unconscious suffering” being at the affect of our conditioning, versus “conscious suffering” which is being open up to the truth of seeing and observing our conditioning. Conscious suffering is a very powerful ally because it allows us to feel the pain of the loss of our true self.

We have to grieve the loss of our deeper nature until that grief becomes our longing. The fire of that longing will magnify that which we long for That is the secret of true prayer. Just opening to the prayer draws our beloved to us. As we continue to work on the path we increase our capacity to see when we are awake or asleep, which creates the opportunity to make a choice.

We need to practice daily to stay on this path. Practices to open to our deeper being are:

  1. Prayer
  2. Service
  3. Meditation
  4. Creativity
  5. Self-inquiry

“We need to have both to be on the path. We need a way to continue to grow and investigate into our conditioning and a way to access our unconditioned being.” – Bernard Philips (an unpublished work)

Reality happens in this very moment. So this very moment is reality. Everything else is either a memory or an expectation. Reality can never be known in advance and creative living is not a matter of applying know how in order to achieve ends which have been figured out in advance. Indeed, if we might say if you know what to do in a situation, it is the wrong thing. Living truth has to be created in the act of living and even the means have to be created in the act of giving ourselves to a task, (the means are found in the struggle of the confusion and you will find your way through it in the living, without techniques or how to). If you know what to say, it’s a lie. If you know how teach you are a propagandist. If you know how to compose a verse you are no poet. If you know how to get along with your husband and wife you are not really married. You are simply applying psychology. Reality is not gained by know how, reality is always freshly born each moment. Whenever a relationship or an action is real it is being created and re-created from moment to moment. You have to give your whole being without any strategies and then something new and real will reveal itself. Every being with whom we seek relatedness is a koan. That is to say an impossibility.

There is no possible way of getting along with a human being. No technique will achieve relatedness. I am impossible to get along with, our friends are impossible to get along with, our family is impossible to get along. How then shall we get along with them

One way is to circumvent the problems they present by applying psychology, how to strategies. This may remove the immediate difficulties, but it will not forge a relationship.

In this context we do well to be mindful of the possibility of gaining the whole world through technique and loosing our soul, our relatedness to reality. If you are seeking a real encounter, then you must encounter the koan representative by the other person.

The koan is an invitation to enter into reality and the past has no solution as far as the mind of man can tell. No ordinary resourcefulness, no ordinary ideas, no ordinary systems, no gospels, no how to’s, will effect the entry into reality, nothing but complete giving of yourself. In this giving is the great death, that annihilates our ego, and allows us to experience the reality of the sacred moment with yourself and another and destroys the conditioned and reactive self. Without the great death there is no resurrection, no great awakening, no great life.

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