I’ve returned from a three and a half day PTSD Healing Retreat sponsored by Soldier’s Heart and ably assisted by the Milwaukee Chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Veterans Art Project. It was an exhausting, weeping, session of truth telling where men and women suffering from the PTSD-Identity and soul wounds were able to heal and reclaim their own souls and identities.
I was fortunate to continue my own PTSD recovery and assist others. It was exhausting physically and spiritually. But it was worthwhile. I am more authentically myself, and my behavior is less controlled by the PTSD-Identity. I will have some range of PTSD symptoms all of my life until the resurrection. But for now, they damage my soul less than they used.
Healing spiritualities ranged from Native American, Judaism, non-traditional, and my own Roman Catholic Christianity. They honored me with the request to offer a biblical interpretation of PTSD and how to heal our souls from its damage. I was able to offer scriptural and sacramental venues for continued PTSD soul healing.
The retreat was also physically damaging to me. As some of you know, I am disabled. I did more with my body than I should have. At the same time, it was necessary and it assisted others in their own healing journeys. For a change, the pain had a purpose, the suffering helped others, and it has meaning.
I plan to soon return to a schedule of two to four PTSD Spirituality blog entries a week. Many of my students were in prayer for this weekend and others who knew about us were as well. Their prayers helped to sustain us and bring us closer back to God. I am grateful.
Semper Pax, Dr. Z