[Written around 2005.]
The emotional healing process, if it goes well, risks much. At basic it risks is a person’s false self, which is all most people have. It’s how they’ve been defining themselves for their entire conscious lives – ever since they created it to fit into their childhood families. Healing attempts to help a person rid himself of this false self and to help him manifest his true self that lies underneath, dormant or partially dormant for years.
If this process succeeds, the consequences will be great, and often seemingly negative. Becoming honest is a betrayal of all false relationships – be they with friends, parents, partners, family members, colleagues, or with society as a whole. It throws old dynamics into turmoil, which can be especially painful if there is much interdependency – and history.
And then there are risks that are entirely internal. Before healing many people live in such denial of their true feelings that they don’t even feel pain. They live in a numb bubble, which, although deadly, often feels pleasant. Opening up ancient wounds forces the eruption of buried feelings, which tend to be ugly, stinking, painful, and pressured. This is a great shock to a system which has long become accustomed to feeling little or nothing – just as eating healthy food can initially feel sickening and even deadly for a junk food addict or a starving person. Few enjoy the grieving process, few enjoy crying, few enjoy the prolonged miseries and anxieties and radical self-doubts and sleepless nights and even physical illnesses associated with deep emotional growth, but such is change. It has its costs, but for the few willing and able to undertake its true journey, the benefits, in the long-run, are wonderful.
I’ve just experienced my “awakening”, but now I feel lonelier than ever….because I can now feel. Thank you for your reflections, its less lonesome knowing that others have a similar interpretation of their experiences.
I agree, it is the long term benefits that count.
You either choose to feel numb in the short term, to spare yourself pain. Or you experience that pain, but in the long run gain a lot more emotional freedom.
Thank you for a great article, Daniel.