WHY “HEALING” HURTS
Whether we are conscious of it or not, all spiritual souls are on their own unique path to healing. The journey of the spiritual soul begins at the origin of the universe and ends (so far) with complete enlightenment. Souls live one life after another until they have learned all of the lessons that they need in order to stop incarnating completely.
Though the process of healing one’s soul audibly sounds as if it were a gentle and nurturing process, in fact it is often quite the opposite. In the trenches of it, healing can be painful. Why is it so much so?
Before recounting some of the reasons why healing can be painful, we must first acknowledge ego’s role in the process. Ego is, for all intents and purposes, the enemy of spiritual enlightenment. For those who wish to know what ego refers to, let us recognize its origin in the Hindu scripture: the Bhagavad Gita. This ancient text makes reference to the two parts of the human existence; the ego and the self. Whereas the “self” is the part of human existence that maintains direct connection with the Divine Source, the “ego” is the personality, or the aspect of human existence that develops relative to one’s experiences. The “self” is one’s Divine spark and the “ego” is the earthly attribute of human existence. The goal of living with these two unseen forces within us is to have them be at peace with each other. As many of us know this is insurmountably challenging.
The process of ‘healing’ often includes examining our shadow sides. This happens when we are confronted with aspects of ourselves that are out of alignment with our highest good. This confrontation can be painful at best due to the ego’s inability to acknowledge that it is misbehaving. The ego will both put ideas in our heads to create a certain type of unhealthy behaviour as well as challenge us once the “self” aspect of ourselves realizes that it is out of alignment with our highest good. The ego wishes to make us feel like we can do no “wrong”, that we are error free and that we know best. Therefore when we are confronted with our shadow sides, any admittance that we have behaved in an unhealthy manner toward ourselves or another can be highly uncomfortable.
Embracing our shadow sides is often challenging due to its practice of reliving past heartache. Often we reencounter situations and/or feelings that we had thought we’d previously overcome. Yet here they are again, surprisingly staring us in the face. We wonder why we are feeling these ways again after all of the hard work we put into healing them before. But, as with all other personal growth, these heartaches have layers and layers of work. The more highly evolved we become, the higher the angles from which to relive and release the past. The higher the angles we rise to, the greater the perspective. The greater the perspective we have, the more complete the healing process.
As with any type of change, healing can be uncomfortable. When we are wading in the depths of self healing, we will notice that spiritual inertia can feel far easier to live with than any action of rising above. To put it simply: it’s easier to dance with the devil you know than to dance with the devil you don’t. For some, affecting change is one of the most difficult parts of life. Particularly when it involves changing habits to which we have become accustomed. For these people, this aspect of their personality (ego) has been born unto them as their challenger. It has been born unto them so that they learn to balance that aspect of themselves with initiative and positive action.
Too, change can be highly uncomfortable to those who possess a fear of the unknown. They fear that though they perhaps are not on their best track, changing their routines and beliefs could end in further suffering. These people need be reminded that this is a classic fear tactic of ego. Ego will produce fear within us to stop us from evolving at any cost.
Healing often means embarking on a path to forgiveness. Whether our aim is to forgive others who have hurt us, forgive ourselves or a combination of the two, finding the love in any situation can be an uphill battle; with Self-forgiveness being at the top of the mountain. Why is it so hard to forgive ourselves? Many of us who feel that we have wronged another (or ourselves) will find it easier to maintain an element of self-pity or self-woe. Once again, this is the marvelous work of the ego. The ego will attempt to convince us that we are not worth forgiveness. The ego will oppress us into believing that staying angry or hurt is a way of life and that we do not deserve contentment. The truth is that every living being deserves contentment. The universe is an endless pool of unconditional love, available to all those who wish to access. The challenge arises when we seek out to rise above ego’s oppressive nature and come into alignment with the unconditional love that breathes forgiveness into our souls. For every one, rising above and learning to forgive is possible. When we become detached from our sorrow and see it objectively, we are more easily able to access the Self and follow its guidance through the path to self-forgiveness.
The process of healing to every single one of us means letting go. The process of healing means releasing old, stale energies. The process of healing means releasing that which no longer serves our highest good. And often, that is accompanied by sadness. For the most part, releasing stale or harmful relationships can have us feeling melancholic. They can frequently have us arguing with ourselves over the “what if’s” and the “should have’s”. On occasion we can be at war with ourselves over whether or not to remove a person or situation from our lives. The truth is, if these people and situations are facilitating our suffering; if they are repeatedly bringing down our naturally high vibrations, they are not right for us at this time. Though the self aspect of us is aware of this matter, the ego will fight it all of the way. The ego will convince us that the person or circumstance involved will suffer if we let go; that WE will have a gaping hole in our hearts if we let go. The ego’s work often will stem a dramatic war within. However- that is just the ego. We must learn to take a step back when the ego speaks to us. We must acknowledge that it is in fact ego and that we know better than to give into its drama. For that drama attracts more drama, and that drama attracts even more. And so on and so forth until we are far worse than when we set out to let go of the person or situation in the first place.
Yes, releasing is sometimes gloomy. However once we have cleared away those old, stale energies, we have far more room for new and brighter energies. Most importantly we have far more space to get to know ourselves again, free and clear of former anguish.
The healing process will have us thrown into the fire of rapid shifting and fluxing. Repeatedly we will find ourselves unbalanced and bouncing around. A goal of the healing process is to rebalance our energies. This means that when we set out to heal our darkness we will also find a symbiotic shift in our light. This means that while we are aiming to release any negative mood swings we are also releasing the positive. In fact any swinging at all is a sign that healing is necessary. When we are invested in our healing process we will find that in addition to lessening our lows we are lessening our highs. For even when we are at ecstatic heights, we are unhealthy as we are imbalanced. At first this may seem dull and disappointing. We may even feel like we have lost part of our unique dynamic. But- this dynamic is the work of the ego, not the self. The self is always balanced and compassionate; especially to us, individually. When we are kind to ourselves we are in alignment with our Divine spark- the Self.
Healing is a foundational aspect of personal growth. The journey is far easier when we accept that we will undergo moments of trial throughout out paths to healing instead of placing expectations on ourselves, our lives or other beings. When we accept that we are here in these bodies at this time to learn, grow and make peace with ourselves, we become warriors. We become empowered with each challenge we face. The shaking off of old belief systems and lifestyles is almost always uncomfortable. Letting go of old friends and situations can be sad. However once we have succeeded, we are one step closer to a more whole, more complete version of ourselves!