Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Tenth Commandment on PTSD

The Tenth Commandment on PTSD
Chaplain Kathie

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

How does this apply to PTSD? Because when your spirit has been invaded after trauma, part of the denial process is wondering why other people seem able to walk away untouched by what all of you went through. You may become jealous of them, think better of them than yourself, want to be like them, but the truth is, you were not created to be like them. You were created to be like you are because God's wisdom created all different types of people for all different types of purposes.

Professionals and many experts have yet to understand the basics about PTSD. While they will acknowledge the need to heal the total person, mind, body and soul, they refuse to look at the soul itself. It never penetrates their brains that researchers have found the part of the brain where emotions are kept and have seen the changes there in people with PTSD. That is where the soul must live within all of us. For all the years I've talked to veterans and others with PTSD, there are common links between them and the first one is that they were for the vast majority, compassionate people. It is your compassion, the gift of being able to feel deeply, that has set you aside from the others appearing able to just walk away.

Caring is not a flaw but a gift you have been given but you can no longer see the beauty within that gift. Being able to feel more deeply begins to seem more like a curse than a blessing only because you do not understand it. What allows you to feel the pain more also allows you to feel love more deeply, compassion more strongly and feel simple pleasures as if they were gold. Others can look at a sunrise and never feel the beauty right in front of their eyes. You can or could until PTSD got in the way. It's all there inside of you but trapped behind the wall your mind built to protect itself from more harm. You can find it within you if you look for it.

Papa Roy, one of the Chaplains in my group has taken it upon himself to send out daily reminders of support for all of us. You have read many of the things he's had to share on this blog. Today's message reminded me of something that I have not shared for a while and it's a good time to remind you of God's love.

Good morning, Friends! I appreciate you.

Set a watch over our eyes

And what is the main sense that we have that gets our mind stimulated? Our eyes. So those things that we view really do shape our thoughts, our desires. They give us ideas, examples, and set our imaginations aflame. And the world and the Prince of this world, Satan, knows this and is only too happy to use this medium of television to capture you, brainwash you, and shape your mind to long after things in opposition to the Lord. And that's why God gave us verses such as these to warn us to diligently guard our eyes:

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

Diligently guard our eyes

We must keep our eye upon our Master, and be careful to approve ourselves to him; keep our eye upon our rule, and conform to that; keep our eye upon our mark, the prize of the high calling, and direct all towards that.

Papa Roy

In God we trust: I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101;3)

Guard Your Eyes Against the World's Many Temptations

It is not so much your eye but how you see things. What you choose to focus on. If you focus on only what is bad, that is what you see and then everything begins to look bad. Your compassion is being attacked by it until you look at what was good among what was bad. The good was there inside of you at the moment of what you saw as evil.

When you saw your friend struck down, did you spirit scream out "God help him!" in an instant after it happened? Did you forget about your own safety and rush to his side? Did your heart feel as if it was breaking? This reaction was based on the goodness within you. Goodness was present at the moment of trauma and chaos.

The blessing of compassion enables God to hear your prayers for the sake of someone else because you have heard His voice within you and the commandment to love others as if they belonged to you, as if they were part of your own family.

"Guard Your Eyes Against the World's Many Temptations"
We are all tempted to look at the bad, ignoring the good because it seems everyone else is able to. They may appear to be stronger than we are if our emotions are under attack. Yet it is not strength that pushes them on but a weakness of their compassion allowing them to remain untouched in the depth of their soul. We do not see they are also unable to feel the goodness as deeply as we do in the process. We see what we want to see in them avoiding what we should be looking at within ourselves.

Misunderstanding gifts from God feels as if they are curses instead, we forget about the wonders we have felt before if we focus only on the pain we carry now.

Compassion requires the courage to be able to set your "own" aside for the sake of someone else. This was within you, calling you to join the military to act as defense for others. As the military trained you to fight, God trained you to feel. The others you serve with gain from that compassion within you and it prevents them from becoming unfeeling with you as an testament of love. The core of your spirit is stronger than any evil that can ever touch you and you will find that strength if you look for it. If you do not know it is there, you will not look for it, depend on it and embrace it instead of turning away. You will want to be like the others you see as "stronger" because you see yourself as weaker. Turn your eyes to what is within you and remember the blessing God provided for you and use it for the good others need in moments of need.

Heal your spirit by seeing what you have been blessed with and know that God's wisdom put you where you are or were in life for the sake of others, not as a punishment against you but as a blessing for them. He has provided you with all you need to heal and help others heal. You can find it if you look for it and understand what was there all along. "Seek and ye shall find" Christ said, but if we look for answers in the wrong places with the wrong focus, we will get the wrong answers. Change your own focus of what is within you and find the right way to heal.

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