- Leah Van Someren
Sometimes, It Feels Like Nothing Works
Sometimes, it feels like nothing works. Sometimes, you’re doing all the things, praying all the prayers, taking all the authority, moving all junk out of the way as fast as you can and you still feel hypervigilant, numb, angry, lonely, uncontrollably sad, overwhelmed and chaotic - mentally and emotionally.
Or maybe you feel something else. Different but just as invasive and oppressive. Just as opposite of Kingdom.
The point is, sometimes, you put in the work and you still feel consumed with darkness and can’t find your way out of the cave.
Then what do you do? What do you do when you feel trapped in your mind but your mind feels like the most dangerous place to be? What do you do when Jesus feels more like a sick joke than a Savior? What do you do when you have cleared the way as much as you know how and Love still doesn’t come in?
The truth is…I didn’t know how to answer those questions in my own life for a VERY long time. In some ways, I was convinced my mind was the problem. Like I wasn’t doing the steps quite right or working hard enough with Jesus to make the changes I so desperately wanted. The changes I was sure we both knew I desperately needed.
But here is the thing, I was (unintentionally and unknowingly) ignoring a huge part of the picture and a gift from God…my body.
It wasn’t the kind of ignoring I perpetrated in my eating disorder - that kind was hateful and on purpose. This kind of ignoring grew from ignorance but the pain hurt the same. Maybe even worse since there was also the twinge of fear from not knowing its source.
God created our bodies to communicate since the moment they are conceived. Through our nervous system, they alert us - physiologically - when we are both safe and in danger. When we can cuddle up or when we need to cut out. Our autonomic nervous system (meaning our neurological reaction without conscious decision or choice) gives us the go ahead to connect to God, others and ourselves when it’s safe. It also directs us to overthink, shutdown, isolate, flare up in anger or act out any other defense mechanism to escape danger.
But here is the kicker…sometimes our nervous system misidentifies what type of situation is at hand based on past experiences starting when you were in the womb!
That is WILD. Your nervous system has been taking notes and being programmed on how to react to situations before you breathed your first breath! And it’s using all that recorded data - specifically from times where it perceived your life was threatened - in order to react to and keep you safe from future situations.
Why do I say all this? Because there is a way to communicate to your nervous system and let it know it’s okay…that it can rest and relax because you are indeed safe and don’t need to be on guard. Why is this important? Because we can spend all of our time focusing on the mental and emotional symptoms but until our physical body comes under the alignment of Christ’s security and guaranteed refuge, we will stay stuck in a fear response based on neurological wiring from past experiences. And when you’re stuck in fight/flight/freeze (sympathetic and dorsal states), you aren’t biologically ready to receive Love, let alone give it away.
So what do we do? How do we shift our body - our nervous system - from danger into safety? Surely we need to address ourselves from a spiritual, mental and emotional perspective. Yes, we must rely on Jesus, pray, build ourselves up in faith, seek counsel, be vulnerable with God, ourselves and others about our feelings, take authority and use it to clear the way of past traumas and agreements and wield every other tool in our tool box.
But I also believe we are whole beings who need to be treated holistically and that includes physically. I recently got a job with a company called Integrated Listening Systems (owned by Unyte). Using Dr. Porges’ Polyvagal Theory, they offer a family of tools (including the Safe and Sound Protocol) that help your nervous system shift out of a state of danger (fight/flight/freeze) into a state of safety, making you more available for social interaction, other therapies, breakthrough and transformation.
The Polyvagal theory in short: You have a nerve called the Vagus nerve. It's through this nerve, you receive cues of safety and danger. The most radical part: 80% of the communication comes from bottom up meaning, 80% of the cues are received from your body and given to your brain, rather than the other way around (which is the by far the more common understanding/thought process). The Polyvagal theory hinges on the concept that if you can stimulate this nerve, you can send signals of safety to a system stuck in perceived danger. The SSP, along with iLs' other tools, help engage this nerve through a variety of stimuli including music, movement and cognitive activities. This, in turn, organizes your brain and your body, allowing you to exist in harmony and safety.
What does this mean in Clear The Way terms? Even better, what does this mean in Kingdom terms?
Glad you asked.
God’s designed our bodies to react to danger in order to keep us safe. But those experiences (traumatic or otherwise) can create blockages that keep us from receiving and giving Love from a neurological level. Our bodies can convince us we're in danger when it's not true simply based on past experiences. In daily life, this can look like hypervigilance, irritability, isolation, auditory sensitivities, outbursts, shutting down, challenges in social settings, mood swings, etc. Keep in mind, the symptoms don't need to be "big" in order to exist. I am convinced, if you're human, you experience blockages to Love (physically, mentally, emotionally spiritually) whether you're conscious of them or not. In order to clear the way ALL the way, we must look at ourselves holistically which includes addressing our blockages from a physiological level.
And that's what God's purposed me to help you do.
If you’re interested in learning more, I’d love to explore your options together. I recently got certified in the Safe and Sound Protocol and would be honored to talk through how it may positively impact your life. You can book a session here.
You were created to receive and give love unlimitedly. Together, partnered with Christ and from a holistic perspective, we can clear the way to make what’s already the Truth, a reality in your life.