By Matt Licata
Contemporary research in the fields of neuroscience and trauma have revealed that suffering and chronic states of struggle are not ‘caused’ by what happened to us in the past. What is most important is our perception of what happened, and how in the present we organize the experience in our minds, brains, and sensitive nervous systems. From this perspective, there is no past. There is only the erupting aliveness of the here and now.
While it can be difficult to allow in the implications of this discovery – and while doing so can trigger all sorts of feelings, emotions, and sensations in the body and in the heart – it is a radical message of hope. It is profound good news for we cannot change the past. Healing is not dependent upon changing the past. But we can come to reorganize our experience, with the guiding hand of love.
Thanks to the wild realities of neuroplasticity, we can transform the context in which we hold, organize, and make meaning of what has happened to us. Even if our early environment was mired in disruptive attachment, chronic empathic failure, and overwhelming dysregulation, it is possible to create new neural pathways, and to give birth to more cohesive, flexible, and integrated narratives.
This creation… this rewiring… this birth… the activity of wild, reorganizing love as it emerges out of the unseen and into this world through you.
While this work is not easy – and requires just about everything that we have – there is hope. I know I do not speak all that often about hope, as I am a great fan of hopelessness, as a wrathful and transformative companion on the path. But this is not some disembodied, theoretical, philosophical hope. It is embodied, untamed, creative, and utterly alive.
I have been honored to witness this unfolding, illumination, and transformation in many over the years, who have been kind enough to allow me to accompany them into realms of dark and of light. Into the rich emotional and somatic landscape, where there is no map, no guidebook, and no clear assurance that it will all turn out according to our plans, wishes, and dreams.
While the raging activity of love will never conform to our preferences – for it is far too creative for that – it comes offering aliveness and wholeness, which may be what you have been longing for all along.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot allow love to reorganize your life. It’s simply not true. Don’t ever give up. Love will never, ever give up on you.