Love’s sacred power to overcome trauma
Lingering effects of traumatic experiences can feel overwhelming. But recognizing that our God-given purity can never be lost opens the door to lasting healing and peace of mind.
As a Christian Science practitioner, I regularly take calls from those looking for healing, through prayer, of any one of a number of maladies. Early in my practice, I got a string of calls from people struggling with past trauma. In each case, the patient and I turned wholeheartedly to prayer, affirming their spiritual and pure identity as a child of God and their inseparable relation to God.
We prayed together until we found that the negative impact of the past and of hopelessness no longer had a hold on them. They each gained, in different degrees, a broader mastery over their lives, grounded in a newfound understanding of the reality of their spiritual purity, based on their spiritual heritage as a child of God.
And through this, I observed something eye-opening that became a cornerstone in my healing practice: Each person has a persistent and active spiritual sense that moves them to protest harm and seek out healing.
Christian Science teaches that each of us has an innate spiritual sense, or capacity to know God, the source of our spirituality. This spiritual sense empowers us to discern that injustice has no legitimacy, because God, Love, is wholly just.
I’ve heard it said that trauma involves a loss of all that is sacred. But can that which is divine, inviolable, and holy be so fragile? In conquering sin, disease, and death, Christ Jesus showed that all that is sacred in us can never be altered.
Jesus knew that evil did not have the power to overwhelm a person’s resilience or spiritual nature. He addressed evil directly – he didn’t ignore it or leave it hidden. He explicitly called out darkness, bringing light to it. This light of Christ deprived fear and mental and physical illness of their seeming power, reversed the negative influence of their past, and revealed the original goodness of those who came to him for healing to be intact, unaffected, and undisturbed.
The notion that there is no way out of trauma because it has a history can make it feel like a lasting reality. Exhaustion from repeated unchecked evil may lead us to feel that we have no choice but to adapt to trauma, or that progress is impossible. But recognizing that each individual, as the spiritual image of divine Love, is not defined or confined by any form of evil – as Jesus’ teachings and example proved – slices through despondency and fear. Our original innocence stands strong and clear; our God-given dignity, intelligence, and joy are a permanent part of our selfhood.
Our sacred, God-given purity is a powerful counterfact to trauma’s claims. The Christian Science textbook, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, explains: “The greatest wrong is but a supposititious opposite of the highest right. The confidence inspired by Science lies in the fact that Truth is real and error is unreal” (p. 368).
Recognizing our spiritual heritage helps us to grow out of a limited, material sense of self to a restored, spiritual one. Science and Health asserts: “The enslavement of man is not legitimate. It will cease when man enters into his heritage of freedom, his God-given dominion over the material senses” (p. 228).
Spiritual purity and all that is sacred come from God, and are real and substantial. “The testimony of the corporeal senses cannot inform us what is real and what is delusive, but the revelations of Christian Science unlock the treasures of Truth” (Science and Health, p. 70). Evil has no part of God and His children, who are entirely spiritual and good, and therefore no power to hold us captive.
Step by step, we can find joy and gain mastery over trauma of any type or history through the recognition of God, good, as the only power. Every step in this direction weakens the influence of trauma until it disappears. With growing confidence in the supremacy of God as the source of invariable, dominant good and in our unbreakable relation to God, we can accept our spiritual origin and celebrate our inherent resilience and ability to overcome all that is evil. We can rest in the knowledge of our oneness with God, assuring us that we have never lost and will never lose that which is sacred, holy, and real.