I’m often asked “how is it that you’re not locked up in a white padded room after all you’ve been through?” I suppose those who know me figure that it’s a miracle that I’ve survived up until this point.
Rather than list my multitude of traumas and elaborate on my severe PTSD in this particular post, let’s just say I consider my survival a miracle now too.
And I attribute much of my survival to my therapist and angel, Letty who always made me feel heard and seen. She created a safe environment, while holding the space for me to release my feelings without judgment.
My healing was not limited to just my therapist. I had many spiritual teachers who offered me a new lens in which I could view the world. Although it is very possible that I did not feel victimized by hearing, “Your thoughts create your reality,” because of Letty’s support grounding me, I found many spiritual teachings to be highly effective in my own trauma recovery.
The line between “toxic and harmful” spirituality and “helpful” spirituality is thin but it is often related to what the specific individual who stands behind the practice is saying and doing than it is related to spirituality itself.
Rather than bashing all spiritual practices and deciding that they are detrimental to trauma survivors as a whole, focus on the specific spiritual teacher, how they deliver their information and the specific survivor’s interpretation of what they’re saying.
It’s OK for a spiritual healer to share their experience and discuss metaphysics, vibration, law of attraction, old self, and how our story shapes our reality if these are their beliefs. In fact, these beliefs gave me a fresh new perspective on how I show up in the world.
What is not OK is for spiritual leaders to believe that their way is the only way to heal, while brainwashing vulnerable trauma survivors into thinking that their trauma is their fault.
Spirituality doesn’t manipulate, gaslight or coerce vulnerable people- It’s the mentors behind spiritual practices that can be truly harmful.