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Trauma lives in the nervous system and deeply stores itself into every area of the brain it can reach, especially the hippocampus which processes memory storage. If you were once terribly frightened by a dog in your childhood, you will experience elements of fear every time you are near a dog as an adult, until you resolve and heal that trauma. Your nervous system will react and send signals to the amygdala, the part of your brain which regulates fear. Though you may know that most dogs won’t hurt you or that you’re going to be okay, the trauma stored in your brain and body still gets ready to fight, run away, and protect you at whatever cost.

Coping with a fear of dogs is not usually life inhibiting. When someone close to you, like a family member, a parent, a friend, or even a partner has caused you some kind of trauma, coping is more difficult. Forgiveness is a major part of recovery and an essential process for the resolution of trauma. It is important to understand that forgiving is never condoning and forgiving is never forgetting. However, maintaining a state of forgiveness can be challenging for someone in recovery from trauma because their brain, as well as their body, do not forget. Having all the physical and mental symptoms of trauma come up every time you are near someone, hear someone’s name, or even think about the role someone has played in your life, can make it hard to forgive.

Nothing says that forgiveness has to be a permanent or even static spiritual process in your life. Like all things in life, forgiveness can come in waves- ebbing and flowing with time. Some days are more forgiving than others. Some days are full of painful memories, lively physical trauma, and a harsh reminder of what has been. Thankfully, with trauma treatment and recovery, it is possible to find peace, which is the ultimate form of forgiveness.

“It is often the hardest to accept that no one can truly hurt us;” writes Dr. Danielle Dowling for Mind Body Green, “just as with forgiveness, our reactions (anger, sadness, revenge) are always ours to choose.” We have the ability to choose our response to trauma, even though it doesn’t feel that way at times. Too often we talk about the opposite of forgiveness being resentment. As someone living with trauma, you may want to forgive, but feel that the mechanisms of trauma don’t allow you to. Finding peace with your experiences as they come to you is the way to smoothly navigate the ever changing waters of trauma recovery. Accept that some days forgiveness is easy and other days forgiveness is hard. Some days you will be angry and some days you will feel resolved. You should forgive someone who has traumatized you, if you choose to do so. Forgiveness is recommended as part of a spiritual journey to healing from trauma. Your choices take you on that journey.

Everyone has a story of trauma before they come treatment. Everyone leaves with a story of recovery when they leave treatment. The Guest House Ocala is a private treatment center specializing in the treatment of trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Your program of care is customized according to your specific experiences and needs. Our luxury amenities provide the highest level of quality care and comfort so you feel safe, supported, and serene. Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800