I’ve been watching the series “Once Upon A Time”, with my daughter, and what Rumplestiltskin says is true. So does all healing.
Just think about it. There is not a single pharmaceutical medication that does not come with a side-effect. I see clients with conditions like MS and Parkinson’s, hypertension and diabetes, and in order to manage their symptoms, they all have to trade them for a bunch of new ones. It’s a trade-off. If it’s worth it, they put up with it. If it’s not, they stop and look for alternatives.
Deep emotional work comes with a price too. But it’s worth it. Every thought, emotion, impact and belief that you’ve had, every word ever spoken to you during your lifetime, is listened to by your cells and affects your body, the way that it moves, the way that your organs function, the type of hormones that are released, the way that you think, the beliefs that become embedded in your psyche, the lenses that you view your reality through..
You build whole realities for yourself, based on this information. You build structures to protect yourself. You build an identity to keep you safe and functioning. You can even manifest illness, chaos, sadness or abuse, just to keep your ego’s desire for consistency appeased. Because your ego has only one job. To keep you safe. To keep you alive.
But your ego does not have a very sophisticated understanding of what that should look like. It just looks at what you’ve experienced the most of (your so-called “comfort zone”), and what your attachments and beliefs are, and it contrives to give you more of that. Change is a scary thing to your ego function. Big change can mean death, being expelled from your family of origin.. If it sees you making big changes, it will get scared and do whatever it can to get you back to familiar circumstances.
Your ego is very primitive. It’s running on old programming. It hasn’t really caught up with you, as you have evolved. Like a dog, it doesn’t have a mean bone in its body. It just wants to serve you, but if you let it get bored, it can chew up all of your shoes and your couch! Best to keep it occupied with tasks of your choosing. And then you can re-wire some of those neural responses in the background, and build some familiarity with your new reality.
Kind of like weeding a garden. If you don’t fill it up with what you want to grow, then the weeds will come back in and reclaim the space. You have to repeatedly pull out the things that you don’t want, until all of the seeds are gone. And then you have to feed and tend the plants that you do want. This is the price required to cultivate a meaningful life.
To do deep emotional work is like renovating a house. The amount of effort put in = the beauty, functionality and longevity of the result. A coat of paint and some new door handles can work a treat, to make things look better on the outside. But they won’t stop the termites undermining your foundations, the dry rot or the faulty wiring.
To make a meaningful difference. To create a lasting, liveable asset. You need to make a mess first.
You might have to rip up floorboards, call in an engineer or an electrician. And there is no point knocking down a supporting wall, until you have something else to brace it, or the roof will collapse. So it is with your internal, emotional structures. There’s a very good reason you are how you are. You’ve been building yourself very slowly, over your lifetime.
There are lots of tools to help you renovate your life. We are all pretty much, fixer-uppers. Don’t worry. You are far from the only one. But, some people need to adjust their expectations about the outcome. Like the house reno, It won’t be painless. You might need to spend some time without a working kitchen or bathroom, you might need to step over piles of rubble for a while.. But keep the end in mind, my friend. The end result will be worth it.
And just like a complete home renovation, there is no magic wand to make it all happen instantly. There will be levels of discomfort, as you adjust. If you are bringing things up from the cellar, or ripping up floorboards, it will impact the functionality of your living space for a while (and you can’t exactly move out of your self). Also, there will be some things you can do yourself, and some things you will need help and support with. If you know that you need to re-stump or replace all the wiring, you can plan for that. You can arrange to do things differently while the changes occur, and you can spread them out into manageable chunks, so that you don’t end up getting used to this new flavour of chaos and give in to the overwhelm that makes you believe it will never end. It will. As long as you don’t give up halfway through. Consistent effort makes the transformation happen.
One thing you need to is keep your perspective. As you shift a deeply rooted belief, or some deeply buried pain, you can expect it to have an impact on your body. You may get sick, or feel depressed as you grieve the old parts of you. You may experience physical pain. The emotions may come up to be felt, before they can be healed. All kinds of things can happen. But they are temporary. And at the end of it, you will be free of that particular trauma or belief.
I find that if you know what’s happening, as you move through these shifts, you find it easier to accept them, and move through them more easily. If you make sure that you are well supported, then they will have less impact. The time will pass anyways. Do you want to get to the end of the next five years and still have the same things playing out and causing you pain, keeping you stuck? Or do you want to roll your sleeves up now for a little dirty work, and free up your future for something different?
This time apon our planet is full of upheaval anyway. We have never seen such a period of rapid change. We are being changed and pushed and upgraded from the inside out. It’s happening whether we want it to or not. We are being called to confront our internal world, in order to recreate the external. You can fight it, you can be overwhelmed by it, or you can learn how to ride the wave. The choice is always yours.
*Photo from Pixabay.