Life force, emotions and vitality

Life force, emotions and vitality

At the beginning of life our life force is free and not inhibited, the feeling of being in contact with our natural vitality makes us feel connected, with ourselves and with others. There are many ways in which the life force can be distorted or interfered, and to regain our spontaneity we must return to feeling the state of energy flow and coherence.

Life force, emotions and vitality

Our greatest desire is to feel alive. Depression, despair, sadness, lack of existential meaning, and many other similar symptoms are only reflections of disconnection from the core of our vitality. The moment we feel authentically alive, we also feel connected, and when we feel the connection, we feel life in us.

While it brings clarity to our thoughts and lives, vitality is not exclusively, or primarily, a state of mind. It is easier to describe as a state of energy flow and coherence that involves all systems of the body, and which includes the individual brain and mind.

Humans respond to shock and trauma through dissociation and disconnection. This type of processes inevitably leads to a decrease in the vital force that causes the person to move away from life. In the NARM (NeuroAffectiveRelationalModel) approach as well as in Will Davis ‘ Functional Analysis , working with the blocks and impediments that hinder us reuniting with our vitality is one of the fundamental organizational principles.

The purpose of working with emotions is to increase the vitality of the person, but in this sense, working with emotions does not represent an end in itself, but is subordinated to the possibility of returning the vital pulse to its natural rhythm. Our life force is diminished and distorted in reaction to the adaptations the child makes as a result of the failures of the environment.

In the NARM model this type of process is recognized and the distinction between shock trauma and developmental trauma is emphasized, considering the similarities and differences. What we have called life force distortion impacts the autonomic nervous system, body and emotions, affects the functions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and affects our psychology as well as our physiology.

In Functional Analysis we use a concept introduced by Will Davis , and we also speak of plasma contraction , a type of primary response to shock, which occurs at a very early stage of life, in which the organism, the nervous system, and the skeletal-muscular one, are not yet fully developed.

This concept expresses the idea according to which in the absence of a sufficiently evolved structure to be able to contract, a contraction at the level of the plasma, i.e. of the liquid component of the organism, the extra and intra cellular matrix, is used as a protective strategy, contained mainly in the connective tissues.

Distortion of Life Force

At the level of the primary expression of life and the organization of living systems, we have what we may call an undifferentiated energy core, or life force . It is what in French is called the élan vita l, which other cultures have called by other names and which Wilhelm Reich called orgone .

At the second level, as we ascend along the evolutionary path, we can see a healthy differentiation of the life force, the various and multiple expressions of basic needs and healthy vitality. Life force is the fuel that provides energy for healthy aggression , body strength, sexuality and self-expression.

When primary life force expressions are not sustained by the environment, when the response is inadequate, confused, or when expression is impeded and blocked, the undischarged activation of the sympathetic nervous system increases.

If the basic needs are not satisfied , then we move significantly towards a permanent distortion of the life force, pushed by a response of the sympathetic (fight-flight). At the beginning there may be a form of protest in the child , moved by a need that the parent does not want or cannot satisfy, then we move on to a first type of anger, which is still the expression of a vital healthy movement, aimed at influencing an environment that is not supportive.

When in the presence of a mother attuned to her needs for love, contact, nurturing and connection, the child’s aggression stops there and a healthy response remains. If the child’s need is not properly met , an escalation of protests begins which eventually explodes into fury. In situations of abuse or neglect, when the lack of adequate responses is chronic, anger and aggression cannot be solved.

Experiencing feelings of chronic anger towards caregivers is perceived by the child as a threat to survival itself, as it is a danger to the attachment relationship. 

At this point, the symptoms of a sympathetic activation not discharged arise, the child first, and then the adult, remains in a state of high activation (arousal), anxiety, irritability, worry, up to the attack of panic. All adaptive survival styles (NARMs) or character traits (Bioenergetics) develop as attempts to protect the attachment relationship by excluding core expression, anger, aggression, and ultimately spontaneity. 

When aggression, anger, and other forms of protest prove ineffective, impossible, or too dangerous, then the child undergoes a self-plastic modification: not being able to modify the external environment he modifies his own internal environment, he changes himself, he adapts.

It comes to the point where the lack of tuned responses from adults exceeds a certain threshold, and then the chronic activation response of the sympathetic system overloads the nervous system: the child adapts with resignation , suffocates the angry response along with the needs themselves. , and moves to the parasympathetic side, through a freezing response .

The child stops feeling, is numb, dulls his own sensations in order not to feel the need and the emotions. Unmet needs and feelings bind in the body and nervous system in the form of tensions in the connective tissues and unloaded activation, and are held, encysted, in the form of physical tensions and states of collapse or freezing..

In many cases the work that leads the individual to the recovery of health and vitality, through the restoration of the functioning of the vital force in the body and in existence, begins with a thaw operation. In the helping relationship we provide warmth, both metaphorical and literal, introducing softness and fluidity between the folds of a cold and contracted structure.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours