There is a myth that says it is possible to come back from war and be unchanged. It’s perpetuated by how we’ve pigeon-holed whether or not you are affected by combat by measuring whether or not you have PTSD. It’s an easy-out for our culture and an almost certain condemnation to isolation and suffering for those who have gone to war and come back sensing that they are not the same anymore.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: you do not have to have PTSD to be affected by your war experience. What you do need to know is that war, by its very nature, should affect you. As the embodiment of the Life Force itself, we are not designed to go unaffected when death and killing is our experience. It doesn’t matter if you were trained for it. It doesn’t matter how “just” the cause was. I’m not debating the purpose of war here. That’s another issue and at this point, it’s beside the point, as you’ve already been impacted by war.

What frustrates me is that we’ve delegated the effects of war to the limited realm of mental health when what we need is a holistic approach. An approach that sees you as a whole person and offers healing to the mind (thoughts/beliefs), body (energy/physical) and spirit (soul & heart). Mental health therapy often tends to deal with thoughts and beliefs as you try to examine and re-frame your thoughts about your experience.

And this is necessary.

But what is so often missed and so sorely needed are the other two key components: your energy system and your soul.

We don’t talk much about our energy system – in fact, most of us have only heard of it in the terms of “phantom limb pain”  – when those who have lost an arm or leg still register the presence of that limb as if it were actually there. Some chalk this up to shock. But there is enough evidence out there to support the concept that, as beings of energy and living cells that operate on the transfer of energy, we are energy. It’s why we talk in terms of “the energy in the room” or why we can “sense” the presence of another even if we can’t see them. Bear with me now, but some believe that we actually have a “double” body – our physical one and our energy one. (I’ve read that during development the brain may be coded with this energy pattern of the body’s full form, and if a part of the body goes missing, the energy pattern remains and accounts for phantom limb pain and continued sensation.)

I’m not writing this to sound mystical or far-out. No. Science has proven that we are essentially energy. Everything that exists is energy.

Why does this matter to combat vets?

Trauma and memories and emotions are encoded in our energy systems. Our cells and muscles are known to store memory. If you consider that in addition to the emotional/psychological trauma of war, you have harsh living conditions, sustained tension, lack of safety, sleep, good nutrition, and loving sexual relations — you can start to empathize with what your physical body and energy system has endured.

But what typically happens? You come home, take a few days to a few weeks to “recover” and “reintegrate” and expect that your body will adapt just as quickly. On the surface, it may appear to (as the body is amazingly resilient and adaptive), but if you look at a deeper level — in your energy field and your muscles — you will find that much of what you went through lingers there. For some, PTSD symptoms emerge, for others it’s more subtle. But you can sense it.

Your energy system needs to be addressed.

In addition to your energy and body, you have your soul. At its most fundamental level, war trauma is soul trauma. I’m not talking about religion, but the core essence of being human, the soul as the “human spirit.” Some call pain in this realm “moral injury” – and while that addresses part of it, it doesn’t address the deepest levels. You can be morally right in actions and still be devastated and haunted by your experience. It’s the realm of the soul where we experience guilt, grief, rage, hauntedness, lack of safety, fear, and all the deep-seated emotions that spiral and get locked within.

Your soul needs to be addressed.

Without a holistic approach, the full impact of war cannot be expressed, released, and honored as part of a new sense of wholeness.

War is energy. It is a collective human energy of fear, power, devastation, struggle, victory, and the willingness to culturally condone killing one another to solve problems. By its nature, it counteracts what the human spirit embodies: Life, Love, Beauty, Joy, Freedom. We go to war to preserve and defend freedom, but to a large degree we lose it inside in the process. And that’s as it should be. Who would we be, if war didn’t cost us? Who would we be, if we didn’t come back changed?

Accepting that you are changed is the first step toward healing.
Addressing mind, body and spirit is the next.

If you’d like to explore this issue more, reach out to me here or connect via Facebook.

2 thoughts on “The Role Your Energy and Soul Play in Healing

  1. *@$!#&%¿~§@!
    Having said that, I can’t help but agree.
    Why the ‘cussing’?– I’m very ill with a # of infections in addition to having Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy (a.k.a., “Gulf War Syndrome”)… And, rt now, I am also dealing with feelings, emotions, sensory-motor, thoughts, etc. of and around my having been in combat.

    For Years, I’ve kept secrets, believing it my duty to do so. The where, when, who, what, in precise terms, well that was my literally Ordered Duty to keep silent about as was the rest. But, guess what? Keeping it in has been killing me. It could be argued that this is a physical fact…

    Putting no one in jeopardy, neither Country nor person, I now see it as my duty to try to heal. Having So much physical distress lately, I never cease to see the connection between my body’s problems and my conflicted Soul/my life energy.

    I have been losing my psychological armor. Facts and feelings are emerging that I sense now I’ve so ably denied for more than just a profoundly felt duty to The USA:eraen I had so much blocked from conscious awareness, I could avoid the great discomforts to intense, perhaps nearly lethal amounts of pain, some of which I believe to be manifesting via the Mito. Disease I was born with.

    Here I am, just starting to open up about my feelings about having been used as a tool of death, overwhelmed and terrified, though often more not to speak than to keep quite now, there are still extremely strong forces at play, in the energies of the soul and the body [Re: Soul, big “s” or small, I’ll use the term interchangeably].
    The forces of which I speak have, it would seem, have developed a pattern and path of least resistance which most directly leads to silencing me. It’s a habitual way, debatably an addictive pattern of thought, feeling and action.

    After months with a terribly inept Therapist (Psych-), being pushed by her to remain silent, to keep tears to myself lest she become too uncomfortable; and, I leaving, feeling like I needed suicide prevention helplines every other night of the weeks I saw her, that and ongoing searches for inpatient treatment for PTSD, none of which my Ins. would/will pay for… I finally found the courage of self-care and got away from her!

    However, that has seemed like a Good “reason” to “take a break” from all of this trying to find a suitable person to share my feelings with. And, as I’ve taken steps to work with another person from a 12 Step Program I’m in, I’ve become exceedingly ill with infections of Ear (It’s hard to hear many things); Throat (It’s hard to say many things out loud), Chest (center of heart, and the breath of Life, meant to be taken in, embraced, changed, charged, and expressed for recirculation and recycling in the process of making this world a healthier one to live in).

    Over a week ago I was put on anti-bacterials for these infections, and an anti-inflammatory (inflammation a big part if the Disease that’s disabled me for more years than I care to mention here, is a term oft used in relation to anger and upset. It’s also associated with a burning sensation, not out of line with the truly dis-abling pain I have been plagued with since I began to live away from life endangering violence for the first time in my life. We could call them the “post-combat era”).

    Coincidence? No one can say that it is, definitively, more or less such either way.
    It doesn’t matter except that I choose to see that the correlations are so far beyond slight as to warrant and allow me to use my physical difficulties to help me address the deep pain I carry on the levels of energy mentioned above.

    I have NOT wanted to recall killing in the name of Justice, Freedom, National Security even when I was called to do so whether I understood/sensed a reason for a mission of destruction, or Did Not.

    Kill or be killed. Before reaching what I’ll call my “breaking point,” I honestly felt that I could get through my entire combat experience without killing anyone; that nothing could ever push me to or beyond a point at which I would sacrifice my commitment to taking prisoners, injuring rather than killing, to protect myself and others. I never spoke of these ideals. But, excelling in marksmanship as I had, it was not that hard to show others, higher “Brass” included, that I was making the right decisions on the field.

    But, I did have a breaking point. And, I destroyed people with fire; with bullets, and much more. This was intolerable in my mind. And, so, the DoD’s past strategy to “make them forget” seemed effective for years.

    A life-threatening disease; still surviving that; then, too, surviving a many-times potentially lethal nursing-hell stay of years; now out in civilian land again, determined it appears to live, I have to get this out or die.

    No State secrets will be told. Only feelings, thoughts, personal perceptions of my own which have affected my life with a greater enormity than I realized at the onset of the multifaceted disabling disease that has been a constant reminder of past pains, threats, terrors, and the desire to eradicate memories and unhealthy beliefs about my identity based on past traumas, witnessed and committed, held in soul, body, mind.

    As I continue to seek healing, reconciliation with my past, looking honestly at my parts in it, I shant be surprised if physical healing results. There is no reason for me to fear gov. retribution now. Were I to have an untimely death, as Very Nearly happened So Many Times After combat, as in that ‘nursing’ place where I was put to die, it might just make my need to express my emotions, thoughts, and related problems stemming mainly from keeping them in, regarding what I so vaguely call “the combat era,” more substantive than otherwise might be to any would be skeptics.

    I’ve stopped taking my antibacterial, as I’ve only been worse on it. Good call? Bad call? Hearts call? The latter speaks, “Yes” to me, for now. Against astronomical odds I keep surviving a truly inordinate number of life threatening situations, incl., for the record, my own attemped suicides. I am meant to live. My Soul is Meant to Heal. I am destined for a life better than any I can, or could possibly have dreampt up myself.

    I believe this, yet have feared it, for a life without terror behind my love is not one I as yet recall. It seems to me, destined to be born through this life form, as I release the past, and the death which I have clung to claiming it as my own. The death of my own body in this lifetime will likely occur, I pray in the distant future, after I have been freed to live a life of just homage, filled and fueled by love & joy, to others who at least in the bodies we knew, have long gone…

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