“If a culture treats a particular illness with compassion and enlightened understanding, then sickness can be seen as a challenge, as a healing crisis and opportunity. Being sick is then not a condemnation or a moral judgment, but a movement in a larger process of healing and restoration. When sickness is viewed positively and in supportive terms, then illness has a much better chance to heal, with the concomitant result that the entire person may grown and be enriched in the process.” ~ Ken Wilber
One of my New Year’s resolutions is to have more faith and trust that, even in the face of things seemingly going wrong, ultimately my greatest good is being looked after.
This, like all good resolutions that push us to grow beyond our limitations, is easier said than done.
As anyone who practices intention setting will tell you, when we ask for opportunities to work on something – whether it be our concerns with money, relationships, tolerance, body image, etc. – what the Universe gives us are challenges which bring up all the false beliefs and fears we have around the issue.
It’s a little bit like being a snow globe… there’s all your “stuff” – which you knew was there, lying on the bottom of your consciousness, mucking up the works – and now it’s flying through the air like so many flakes in a snow storm. You can’t pretend it’s not there anymore – and remember, you don’t want to – you just have to deal with it.
In healing work, we often talk about a “healing crisis”. It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. If you’ve been sitting on your foot for the last hour, and it’s gone numb because the blood flow has been restricted, the process of getting your circulation back before your foot falls off is going to include all the “pins and needles” tingling, pain, and cramping that go along with feeling and flow returning. Your foot wasn’t troubling you before you stood up; it feels measurably worse now as it returns to health, but, as painful as it can be, we know that it’s necessary.
We’ve been through the process before; we know how it turns out. So we breathe, and groan, and hop up and done until the icky sensations subside, and then we go on with our lives without fear of gangrene and amputation.
It’s the same process in psychological healing. Unfortunately, there’s no set time line or regulated mile markers that we can take note of as we pass that tell us how much longer we’re going to be in the pins and needles portion of this journey. It can be terribly difficult when we’re awash in the sea of emotions, fears, and bad beliefs, to hold the bigger picture – that you wouldn’t be feeling so deeply if the work wasn’t working.
Breathing, journaling, connecting with trusted loved ones, sharing with outside observers who can offer their objective observations on the process… these things aren’t luxuries but necessities.
They are lighthouses and rescue crews, helping to navigate the rocky waters of our becoming.
Me… I’m going to practice faith in the absence of knowledge, trusting that by walking this road, by constructively confronting the roadblocks that come up, I will reach a point where my surrender will be rewarded, which will, in turn, make the journey easier next time.
“Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.” ~Victor Hugo