When looking at healing modalities there’s an important distinction to be made between practices that help you become conscious of unresolved emotions and those that take you into them.
Becoming conscious of them helps you see them and if you’re OK, allow and resolve them. They can wash over you in a brief wave and be done. It may trigger sensations of physical release too. This ends the burden or at least whacks off a big chunk. I’ve talked before how I facilitated that by culturing gratitude but there are many ways to open to how you feel, now.
Practices that take you directly into the unresolved experiences themselves however can be quite a bit rougher and may have the unfortunate side-effect of making them more real, more solidified. This can make us feel more justified to be as we are and may actually amplify it rather than resolve it.
It’s sometimes a pretty thin line. When you become aware of the emotional charge it can naturally trigger the associated memories. Or the memory may lead you to the charge. But the trick is not reinvesting in the past even if the memories come up. Just notice them. The object is to resolve the charge. That means favouring and allowing the feeling rather than the history or content. Not pushing the history out but not favouring it either.
This means staying with the more subtle feelings. Noticing whatever arises but staying with it. Not forcing, just using attention innocently. And this can of course take a bit of practice and does require a degree of neutral awareness.
Staying out of the history also helps stay out of the story of it. If we’re going over the story of why and how, it means we’re in the mind. No emotional release there but it is a favourite way to avoid the feelings.
Notice the key aspect is becoming conscious rather than identified or going into it. This is the same with practices like mindfulness. For neutral awareness, you need to culture consciousness through samadhi, typically gained by meditation. Then you can more easily simply be conscious or mindful. On the other hand, if you don’t have that capacity yet, then both practices are simply mind games. Mind noticing itself, usually with commentary and judgement. This is being in mind not being mindful. (a somewhat unfortunate term) Being conscious is observing the mind and emotions, not being them.
When an old memory or past life arises and is recognized, it may be cathartic to see how the past has contributed to our life now. It can sometimes bring sense to our circumstances and why we are the way we are. But if we don’t resolve the feelings that come up, then that energy will cycle back around again in repeating circumstances (attracting the same kind of boss, relationship, money problems, etc) for another round. This is the wheel of karma, looking for a way to resolve and balance the energy.
It becomes strengthened if instead of resolving the energy, we reinforce it with reactivity and stronger feelings and new beliefs. If we find ourselves grasping at the history, the mind is looking for a story to justify itself. I’ve known people who got obsessed with their past, seeking ways to bring an unrequited old desire into the present. Not a way to acceptance or resolution.
Now, keep in mind (hmm) that mind will naturally make stories about our experiences. This is normal. We don’t want to get into a drama about that either. The key again is just being conscious. Noticing what is arising. Let mind make it’s stories. We don’t have to believe them. We can let the ones that don’t serve us go too.
Mediumship would be another example. It offers a potential opportunity to come to peace with a dead relative or relationship. But are we resolving it or developing new beliefs about the past and dwelling there instead? Is it another avoidance of what is here now?
It depends on how you come to it. How we are with it is the difference between healing and unintentionally reinforcing our pain.
I’ve explored a few energy healing modalities over time. Family Constellations is used for making conscious and healing the difficult past. I’ve seen it used very potently. And I’ve seen it where, rather than resolving the past, it gave people greater justification for their unresolved feelings. Sort of more conscious but making it a bigger part of you is not the same as finding a place of OK that allows you to let it go.
Another way to frame this – are we coming to it as an open observer or from a Protector that’s in judgement? Judgement is inherently a form of resistance and mind that is self-amplifying. Until we can get to OK, there is no resolution.
Of course, what I’m talking about is being OK with the charge of the feelings to resolve them. This does not mean we have to be OK with past events. This is about removing the charge that burdens us, not covering up history. In fact, it’s about seeing it more clearly from a place of greater clarity.
Releasing the charge is what allows us to put the past behind us and open to the life that is here.
If we go a little finer than our emotions and desires into beliefs, then we’re shifting into mind. But the principles are much the same. When we’re open to what is here, we can see the beliefs that have been influencing our lives and resolve them if they don’t support us any more. Simply by seeing them clearly, we stop believing it. Still finer and we get fine feelings we might associate with the higher emotions, intuition, and discrimination. This arena is typically pretty clear, only masked by the resistance in the mind and emotions. Even finer and we get into simple qualities. I wrote about The Gunas and Emotions here.
We could speak of how the soul drives ego, ego drives feelings, drives thoughts, drives desires/ emotions, drives action. But if we carry a load of unresolved stuff in the mind and emotions, this makes the process more reactive. Our charges can drive our life more than we do. We act from what is unresolved rather than our soul. We are trapped in the wheel of karma, going round and round. What arises gets added to the pile rather than completing. Life is a burden, suffering.
As may be apparent, unresolved emotions, blocked energy, stress, and what people often call “karma” are essentially the same thing, just distinct subjectively. Eckhart Tolle calls this the Pain Body but we might also call it the pain we carry in the desire body. It doesn’t have to be pain-filled. In fact it is designed to be our creative, manifesting body. But most of us have some house cleaning to do.
Through samadhi (transcendence, presence) and experiences of letting go or allowing, we’ll find the process gradually shifts from the challenge of old traumas we’re really not very comfortable being with into a more impersonal energy mode. We still experience it as having an emotional quality but release becomes a more natural process and habit. We get less and less caught by drama. Then we’re also much less likely to create new unresolved experiences because we become more skilled at completion.
After awakening, this becomes even easier as it becomes increasingly less personal. We’re not so attached to the drama. It’s also one of the reasons why someone established in consciousness stops creating new karmas. They resolve whatever new arises. We see and release. We gradually resolve the shadow and integrate the shift.
As we go deeper into further stages, there is further adaptation, clearing and integration required. Even true avatars like Rama and Krishna didn’t get there in one go.
It’s also important to note that not everyone brings the same level of unresolved charge into their lives. Some come in with good energetic examples and skills and a fairly small karmic load. For some the lesson may even be how to handle an excess of blessings, like wealth.
Others will arrive to repeated nasty experiences and a massive and difficult load to work through. This can be profoundly evolutionary. So we shouldn’t judge another for their burdens. We’ve all been there. It’s very brave of them to take on so much.
We’re in an important time to learn to heal. The world is growing up and we’re being pushed to see our shadow. Those who refuse to engage in this process are likely to have a much bumpier time as it gets increasingly in their face. But it does remain their choice, always.
This is not something to nag someone over – that’s just energetic coercion. We can point to the options but let them choose. Are you ready to choose? 😉