My uncle shared this video with me, we were talking about sky diving and other daring feats us humans challenge ourselves with.
I had no idea when I viewed the video I’d have such an emotional reaction. As a person who spends time figuring out how to translate experiences and points of view into words that help others empathize and understand, this free-fall touched me deeply.
What is it? A cool-ass video of a man who decided to sky-dive from space! Click above to watch.
Read below for my interpretation of how this sky-diving video
mirrors the trauma recovery process.
Imagine what this sky-diver feels like on his journey up to space as he’s watching the earth become smaller and smaller.
You know how those thoughts and body sensations that flood through us when facing something daring.
Fight, flight, freeze activated to protect us from pain and harm. Breathing faster, stomach tight, perhaps feeling fear.
That’s what it feels like driving to trauma therapy each week.
Imagine what this sky-diver feels in his body as he salutes and says,
“I’m going home now…”
Then stepping off of the platform, taking that leap, not knowing what will happen or if he’ll make it.
He leans into faith.
Trauma therapy is a courageous leap of faith… taken with the hope of returning home.
In trauma therapy we choose to open the deepest pain we carry and face it straight on. Can be scary AF, a true leap of faith. It requires brave and bold action to say yes week after week.
The one difference, the drive to “free fall” the pain of one’s inner landscape is often not a choice and definitely not for thrills, it’s for survival.
We drive to the session as warriors, reclaiming our lives.
Then, all of a sudden… He’s falling, spinning, out of control.
“What’s happening to him?” … he’s spinning, appearing to have lost control.
His support team listens as he reports the difficulty, sitting helplessly watching the brave feat from the sidelines hoping for the best.
That’s what being in the middle trauma often feels like…
Spinning, falling, feeling not in control… looking for anchors as we open what feels like caverns of darkness filled with threats.
Except it’s not for a thrill, it’s for survival. And, the people around us often don’t realize the magnitude of the process and the fragility we feel as we step back into it with fierce determination session after session.
It’s a complicated journey, trauma is an invisible wound that most people just don’t get. We must explain to others and it’s not easy when we feel like we’re about to “pass out”… or bleed out.
I don’t know how my inner circle of family and friend supporters felt. I do know how grateful I am to have had them all. So grateful.
Then it gets frightening. “I can’t see,” he says, “the visor is foggy”… he repeats the update and describes what he sees sounding stretched beyond his comfort zone.
Yet slow and steady, he continues to describe what he is seeing and feeling.
Then his guide chimes in, “Your in the coldest part, the further you fall the warmer it’s going to get…” says the mission controller at the communication center. Encouraging facts, perspective.
This IS what EMDR trauma therapy feels like with a skilled practitioner.
Except, the skydiver is committed, no turning back.
In trauma therapy we can hop off any time, we CHOOSE to keep going, over and over, free falling into the deepest sector of Pandora’s Box,
We trailblaze a path to the epicenter of pain trusting that through the pain is a doorway.
Sometimes it’s hard to see, sometimes it’s hard to breathe. It can feel dizzying, frightening and so very lonely
Then there is light!
“I’m pulling my parachute!”
“That was REALLY tough,” he says as his sight improves and he feels the safety of the wind slowing his fall.
Damn, do I know that feeling. Spinning, whirling, and feeling lost in the dark and then “boom” a glimmer of light. Presence in the moment feeling safe, feeling grateful, feeling lighter.
Trauma Recovery IS like jumping from space!
Note to self, no need to jump from space… I know what that feels like. Perhaps less all of the glory and celebration that comes when a human tackles an extraordinary physical feat.
He did it! A successful landing…
The victory cheers of his support team after signs he was ok brought tears to my eyes…
This cheering can be hard to see when free-falling in the space of one’s inner landscape…
Yet the cheering in all its forms is like a life-line. If you are cheering on someone in the thick of it please know, that your voice and presence matter. Big time.
As the camera panned over their faces, I thought of my family and close friends watching me in the midst of the most difficult free fall of my life… so grateful to have felt safe and supported on my free fall.
Identifying your support circle and being willing to lean into to the help they provide is critical.
Some may cheer, some may send a gift to make daily living easier, some may give you a big ol hug, some may send check-in texts.
All supporters make a difference in this challenging yet liberating journey
“That was REALLY tough,” He said…
and boy could I feel that while watching. Tough for everyone really in unique ways, the free-faller and the support team.
His trek was over… he made it home!
What the communicator at the mission center says to him as he concludes his jump dropping to his knees in gratitude and celebration is so very beautiful. Check it out – he models such supportive reinforcement and celebration. I love it.
This video is awesome at face value… so cool, what a badass Felix is! It also provides a great description of what trauma recovery felt like for me.
Whew, thank you for sharing Uncle Rich!
May we all step into life bravely, and may we all feel supported during our free falls.
We CAN help each other make our way home.
Together we ARE Stronger. Together we RISE!
Latest posts by Leanne@in2clarity.com (see all)
- Grief, Loss, and Letting Go – It’s Just Not Easy to Navigate - December 15, 2020