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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean


When we are hurting, scared, and experiencing emotional pain, there is a deep longing wired within us to be companioned, for a safe, soothed nervous system with which to resonate and co-regulate.

So much of our wounding – our grief, rage, trauma, heartbreak – is relational and is also embodied. That which we have been unable to integrate will drop into our bodies and remain held in an open, sensitive, limbic system … where it cycles and recycles until conditions are ripe for re-emergence and resolution.

While understanding by way of left-brain processing can be helpful and supportive, it is right-brain immersion in safety which fosters reorganization. The body will reorganize when it feels safe.

Tender attention from another teaches us over time to tenderly attend to ourselves, bringing those corrective emotional experiences, or reparative neural experiences, that catalyze the alchemy of sacred soothing. Shamed emotions, resisted sensations, and repressed impulses are able to be held both within a shared field of resource, and within our own inner awareness.

It is as if the little one, left behind at the moment of dramatic impact, is peeking their sweet little heart and head out into the interactive field and wondering, “Is it safe yet?” “Can I return home?” “Can I play again?”

Like little toddlers do, these long-ago traumas come surging into the relational field for reunion, to receive what was needed but unavailable in the past. The life force seeking expression and manifestation will never give up and is relentless in that way.

While we are wired to co-regulate with a primary other, let us be open to the nature of this “other,” understanding that mothers, others, spouses and friends are representatives, or stand-ins for that constant consciousness, the eternal presence, the field of Love, which may be nearer than we have come to imagine – alive in the natural world, and alive in each of us, always and already.

As we experience the alchemy of attentive witnessing and intentional contact, as the body rests and finds safety, we may discover that the purpose of these bodies, the purpose of this existence-process is intelligent, (bitter)sweet, achy, majestic and more creative than we ever expected.

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