One of the major causes of trauma that we are witnessing in our work here at AromaGnosis is what is known as Cognitive Dissonance and we recently realized our work could be described as being midwives of the soul.
Cognitive Dissonance is when beliefs and what is said to be true is inconsistent with behaviors or when actions contradict these beliefs or an underlying reality. There is an awareness of this inconsistency somewhere in the psyche, even though the person may attempt to push this awareness into the unconscious. An example is when a young woman is sexually assaulted by a family member (e.g. an uncle) and tells this to her parents and then the parents tell her ‘That didn’t happen. That uncle would never do that.’ The traumatic event can cause PTSD from this Cognitive Dissonance. If the traumatic event is properly acknowledged, then there’s no Cognitive Dissonance. What is surprising is that when we are told something about a traumatic event that contradicts our experience, maybe by a person we trust or who has some perceived authority, we sometimes accept it as more true than our experience.
One of our clients, who during a session with us ‘saw’ the lie that she had been told and believed throughout her life, described it as being ‘hidden in plain sight’. This particular client is a midwife and runs a center for women’s health. She has done a lot of work on herself and what it means to be a woman and a mother in today’s world, including working with her mother-line lineage, which she believed to be Irish. When we first started working with her, the Irish/catholic symbolism was strong both in her demeanor and the objects she saw as sacred. She didn’t feel attached to the church, but found solace in the imagery.
During a day-long plant medicine session, she contacted her grandmother who had passed years before who told her that they weren’t Irish, they were German. The grandmother had had to hide the fact that she was German after the second world war for fear of being ostracized. It had caused her great pain to hide her identity, her language and her roots. The trauma carried across generations was caused by Cognitive Dissonance, the lies that were passed down. Our client suddenly saw the dissonance in the stories she had been told growing up. She realized that it had been obvious but as she had grown up believing one thing it was impossible to see the truth, even though, as she said, it was hidden in plain view.
Another client, who was ‘abandoned’ by her mother who was an alcoholic and drug addict, was brought up by her father’s family. The father was in prison for murder. Her father’s family always told her that her mother was a bad person for abandoning her and her siblings. When she was thirteen, her grandparents died and she was sent to live with her father’s sister. All her life, she felt the trauma from the feelings of anger, because of the abandonment from her mother. She pulled a Brady Tarot card before the journey, which was the card ‘Justice.’ During a day-long plant medicine session, she had a vision of her mother in a cage outside alone in the rain, while she and her father’s family were altogether in the warm. A lot of emotion came up for her as she felt the feelings from her childhood and the injustice that was put on her mother. Her words were, ‘I wasn’t abandoned, we abandoned her.’ Finally at the age of 33, she was able to undo the dissonance and bring balance back to her story.
In my own life, I was brought up in a mixed race family on my mother’s side. Although it was obvious and I knew my mum and her siblings were born in India, I had always been told I was pure English. When I asked about the different skin colors of my relatives, I was told we had Spanish ancestry. Although the truth was so obvious to everyone else who knew us, I believed what I was told as a child. A huge part of my own healing journey has been tracing my roots and the story of the mixed race people my family are from in India. Healing the dissonance has been a long journey as I reconnect on a cellular level with the truth.
On a collective level Cognitive Dissonance is also a big problem and in our opinion a reason there is so much trauma in the world. On one hand we are taught form an early age that in order to survive we must fit into and operate in a world that revolves around money and the power that money brings. On the other hand we are extremely aware that that very system is keeping us enslaved and destroying the planet and us with it. This makes for an incredibly strong collective Cognitive Dissonance. In order to heal the trauma caused by this, we need to collectively expose the ‘lie’ and move forward in a new harmonious manner, in which the planet is respected as a living being that we rely on and are a part of. In a way, this is being bought up from the collective shadow for us all to see in the form of certain world leaders who are obviously showing us the dissonance, corruption and end of what has become a very unhealthy system. Covid is also exposing the spell we have been under.
One thing to remember is that the individual and collective psyches are always looking for homeostasis. At some point in time, the lies or dissonance will be ready to be exposed, Like a boil that ripens, there comes a moment where a release happens. Our job as practitioners is to hold the space as midwives of the soul so that when the time is right, the soul can pass through the dissonance and into a clearer world and into alignment with the Self. You can find out more about our consultations here.