In the west, we often spend our time in our heads or devoted to distractions like television or games. Some people and cultures are more OK with emotions but may get caught in the drama more instead. It’s not easy being human.
All of us have experienced illness, death, violence, and abuse in one form or another. How we respond to such experiences makes a big difference in the consequences for us. But our response is natural and often automatic. It’s not something we control – however hard we might try.
This is especially true when we’re young and the world is a mystery. Then, we often respond in black and white ways, blaming ourselves or another as if everything was personal.
We also bring some of it forward from prior lifetimes. Some of our past unresolved traumas even drive features of this life. Themes like anger, self-blame, and excess caution can go back a long way.
When the trauma is large, we process what we can at the time. But it can take time to work through it and some is often deferred. If it’s not faced later, it becomes suppressed in the “subconscious”, out of awareness. But that suppression continuously consumes energy and can build like a powder keg. It may also “leak out” in unpleasant or unexpected ways, including illness or irrationality.
Life wants to heal, so circumstances will arise in our life as an opportunity to heal. If we don’t understand that, we often resist and compound the issues instead. If we see the same kinds of experiences repeating – the same problem boss or boy/girlfriend or neighbor – we’re calling them forward to heal but often end up blaming them instead.
How we respond is what leads to healing or suffering.
Don’t blame yourself if you don’t “get” the lesson. It’s often not something our mind can figure out because it rests in shadow. Some are complex with many parts, healed bit by bit. Often, we only recognize in retrospect what has changed.
But if we resolve the charge, those circumstances end. That karma is done so stops showing up. The “monkey mind” gradually winds down.
We often notice our baggage through life experience. We catch how we respond to something. Feel a sensitive point? Overreacting? Irrational response? These show we carry a charge that’s being tickled by circumstance.
All the “lower” emotions (Shame, Guilt, Apathy, Fear, Anger) show something to be healed. Like pain, they are valuable signals. Often, they’ll come up and be processed quickly. But if we try to avoid or repress them, the signal may get stronger. Or it may cycle back into shadow to come around next time. If we have much of a backlog, we’re more likely to avoid.
Often, we’ll make a story about a feeling due to memory associations. The mind doesn’t like to notice feelings without a “reason.” But this can often become an avoidance by moving into the mind and trying to dismiss it or explain it away. Also, we may blame others for our feelings but that gives away our power. These reinforce rather than heal.
Grief is another signal indicating healing. It is our response to processing change such as death or loss. We can even notice grief with a major success, mixed in with other feelings. Change always evokes a need for processing.
Better to take moments here and there to give the charge (feeling) attention and allow it to arise in our experience and be felt. In a few moments, it is resolved.
Often, we have that associated story too. The mind reels out the narrative about it. But if we recognize the story is just a story and allow the story to babble away without investing in it, we can resolve the charge and heal. For the big ones, this can take time. The story can be deeply connected to the emotion. Then it’s a matter of allowing what we can to arise, chipping away at the edges until we’re ready to face the smaller core.
Soon, we learn that our fear of those dark places is like our childhood fear of monsters under the bed. There is no danger there, just an opportunity to put down a load, to let it go.
It might be a little unpleasant, like going to the doctor. But just for a short time.
A skilled energy healer may be very useful in here. They can help peel off some of the charge without going into it. As clarity grows, we become more capable ourselves.
As may be clear, the key here is awareness. We can only resolve what arises in our attention. The best way to develop awareness or presence is with practices that culture samadhi, pure awareness. And the best for that I’ve found is an effortless mantra meditation.
Besides samadhi, deep meditation offers deep rest to help heal on all levels of our being. It also cultures a step back from life so everything isn’t so personal. Being less entangled, it’s easier to let go of the stories and the charge. Without the energy behind them, the false stories wither away and the ‘real’ ones becomes neutral.
As we raise our awareness and notice our internal dynamics, we learn how to respond in ways that lead to easier healing. This makes it much easier when unresolved baggage comes to the surface. And that can considerably improve quality of life.
But it takes time and patience with ourselves to heal. Our ego naturally tries to control and repress. Healing requires a different tack. When we notice reactivity or resistance, we stop and look. Where is that coming from in the body? An intuitive signal? Or more likely something we can heal.
Don’t try to figure out the origin in the past. That’s just taking you back into the mind and the story. That can help perpetuate it. Just allow whatever arises to be there. In being experienced, it is resolved.
As we clean house, we can reach a place where things seem clear. But still there can be hidden shadows to bring light to. Life’s biggest lessons often revolve around healing something very deep.
The deeper we go, the more universal we get. We can come to a place where we’re clearing things in the group we once might have considered horrific. But as we’re deeply rooted in source, it is just another passing experience, another shadow dissolved, another weight lifted, another deeper resolution and peace. But it is not just personal anymore. It is bringing these qualities to the whole.
When memories lose their charge and become neutral, we know that aspect has healed. But neutral doesn’t mean not feel. No feeling or blank means the opposite: flow is blocked and shadow and fog hold sway.
With time, practice, and patience, we will unload great weights, restore energy, increase clarity, improve smoothness, and enjoy happiness for no reason. We also build a great platform for full enlightenment.