• Ian Matthews

We All Been Crying. How To Deal With It.

Updated: Aug 20

There are many differing models of traumatic change. 'Stages of Traumatic Change' being just one of them:

Rightly, the best proponents of this model realise and admit that the model is merely a guide to what to expect or how to deal with trauma. Its not a linear set-in-stone process by any means. Elements within it are experienced by some in their stages of grief, but not by others. Thats fine. It is intended as a support system, a way to make sense out of the senseless. A way for us to deal with the crying. Personally, I feel it necessary to add elements to the model to process what I am going through (ie, the shock loss of someone dear to me), by trusting my own experience, insights and intuition. Call me stubborn (I prefer the word stoic) - but here´s why I have adapted the model and have imposed TUMU on it. Allow me to further explain:


I believe that when we still our minds, we can tap into an incredible universal wellbeing intelligence that is just waiting for us to call on it. Its our universal mind that will provide us the healing process that we need for any traumatic life event, if only we are able to find the mindful mental space to trust ourselves and tune in to it.


An example: Recently, something appeared in my mind whereby it would seem useful and helpful to treat my trauma almost in terms of a ´parallel universe´. There´s nothing woo-woo about this insight, it seems to be simply a message of assistance from something deeper than my rational mind.


I have since developed it into a 3-step thought experiment that I am currently practising: 1. I treat things as if I am in a Trauma Universe (TU) or a Miracle Universe (MU).


2. When they pop up, as they still regularly do during the day, I treat the sensations linked to my traumatic event, as if they and I are, in that moment, in a ´Traumatic Universe´, a separate universe to my ´Miracle Universe´. When they arise, often when least expected, the trauma sensations obviously want to express themselves throughout my mind and body. So now I fully accept and engage with them all and the anger or sadness they want to bring me in that TU (past) moment. Most of the phenomena are not so pleasant, some of them can be pleasant. But I allow these sensations, images, feelings and thoughts (SIFT) to completely have their say, their due, and their desired affects on me, in that moment. 3, Similarly, I treat my parallel ´miracle universe´ with the full focus that it deserves and I absolutely commit to MU when my attention returns, or swings back to it. I gratefully and gently allow my attention to return and be fully engaged in the MU (present) moment, with a sense of being blessed to have been part of the life of the departed soul so dear to me, and a commitment to create each new moment for me (and those around me), as a grateful, pleasant and life-fulfilling one.


Here is my adapted model:



It seems to be working. I am giving space to be able to authentically feel what I am feeling, not resisting the sadness when it crops up, and allowing the swing to the experience of how incredibly lucky I am to even be here living such a joyful life with such beautiful memories and future opportunities. The point is, it can swing both ways, many times a day. Thats fine. So in a nutshell,



...my ´parallel TUMU universe´ practice means that I can fully accept daily moments of sadness when they arise, and wait or allow them to then shift to joy, without recourse, too much self-pity, or efforts to control the uncontrollable. Both of these sad/joy experiences at any time deserve my full awareness and attention when they choose to pop up. Neither of them are inherently good or bad. They just are, and I try not to interfere with either of them anymore. I kinda just notice them and watch them both, with gentle compassion. Maybe a trauma model is not necessary at all? Maybe we can look inside, tap into our own evolutionary wellbeing intelligence, and trust that it knows exactly what its doing to help heal us? Not sure. I prefer the middle ground - in that for me, proven models are useful, but I feel that they are most helpful when we adapt them to our unique experience. Adding the TUMU practice has made a difference to me, and it may help others too. Or you can add your own elements unique to you and as you see fit! I´m thinking of adding FU to it (Future Universe) for full release and creativity. But TUMUFU is beginning to sound a bit too much, no? :)


Believe in yourself and the intelligence and healing power of your universal mind.


This is my experience with my thought experiments so far. So far so good!


Good Wishes, Ian Matthews Zenbok Founder Online Mental Wellness Coach Advocate - Mentor- Speaker - Author www.zenbok.org Ian is the founder of Zenbok, a Mental Wellbeing Coaching Company. His passion and motivation is to assist you to free your mind from stress. For more info he can be contacted at hellozenbok@gmail.com

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