“The body keeps the score,” she said, quoting the title of one of the world’s leading books on trauma. She is Debbie Millman, and she’s talking to Tim Ferriss about his (and her) childhood sexual abuse.
When I started meditating last year, one of the first things I learned was that your brain is fuller than you could ever imagine. Trillions of microscopic impressions have been imposed on it for decades, and every single one of them was recorded. The mind buries — but it never truly forgets.
That’s why meditation is one of the simplest yet most challenging habits to master: Sooner or later, it will send everything you’ve ever experienced back up into your consciousness, and there’s a lot there you don’t really want to see — which is exactly why you must.
You can’t be whole if you don’t truly allow life to transpire. You can’t be content if you don’t make room to process what happens to you. Good or bad, happy or sad, traumatic or ecstatic, there’s a time and place for everything, and everything that’s conceivable is fair game to experience.
That’s the big takeaway from Debbie and Tim’s conversation: There’s no shame in being human. All humans face trauma, and even though, thankfully, not everyone suffers sexual abuse, we must make space to talk about that and every other kind of trauma under the sun.
Thank you, Debbie. Thank you, Tim. We can’t outrun our psyche, but we can understand that, done properly, allowing it to catch up is a healthy thing.