Healing through Awareness
Recognizing the Soul
BY : Troy Murphy | April 2015
“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” ~Lao Tzu
Exploring the dark corners of the soul is a journey not suited for the light of heart, searching through the discarded piles from the past, we find painful junk buried beneath the ego. I’m not getting Freudian here, well, not completely. Perhaps, we bury memories; but the concern isn’t forgotten memories as much as unrecognized motivations, pushing destructive behaviors, reacting to slight triggers, and then excusing the behaviors with faulty justifications. These are the relics of the past that destroy the present. When we search the past events to blame and the discoveries fail to provide a nexus to change, the discoveries are worthless.
The courageous journey of heroes and heroines, digs beyond the past, unearths connections to the present, and holds the trauma in the vulnerable present; no blame, no hate. The implicit memories burrowed in the emotional system leap to action triggering feelings and reinforcing automatic responses; but exposing personal faults, due to reactive behavior, challenges self-confidence, inviting vulnerabilities. The pain of this process is perhaps the original motivating reason for the deceptive justifications of the protective ego, avoiding awareness to soothe the soul. Personal insights, although frightening and ferocious, clarify reality, allowing for better behaviors in the future directed to achieving our intentions.
We build walls. We hide from truths for protection. Our fragile sense of self-confidence is constructed with psychological mirrors and smoke. The face we show the world doesn’t accurately represent the broken heart underneath. Vulnerability is discomforting.
The infant is completely vulnerable—her survival depends on the protecting and nourishing hand of others. Dependence is the soil from where we sprout. We don’t go through a magical metamorphosis in adulthood to perfect independence. We still need others—it’s our heritage. Our emotional and physical well-being relies on healthy relationships. Our vulnerability to others accentuates emotions in important relationships. We create personal stories to avoid conscious recognition of vulnerability. We desperately avoid expression of fears by projecting unflappable self-confidence. We enthusiastically share a personal experience, "Look how great I am!" but underneath we are saying, "Please accept me."
We use thought mechanisms to protect from uncomfortable emotions. The essential skills to unveil the complex workings of our mind don’t magically develop from reading a few lines in a book, or scheduling a few sessions with a professional, while both assist, the mind must be observed then understood. Once we observe, accept and understand underlying emotions, we can distinguish between healthy and destructive motivations, taking ownership for failings, and persevering through change.
Skilled self-exploration unearths false beliefs such as: I can't trust, I can't love, I can't feel, I can't be happy, I can't succeed, or I can't grow. Skilled self-exploration unearths growth preventing justifications such as: it’s her fault, it’s his fault, I don’t have a choice. Skilled self-exploration unearths magical thinking such as: a new relationship will solve everything, next month I will be okay financially, I will only have one drink this time. When we discover these unhealthy thoughts, we can see the association between behaviors and the continued disappointments—the process of healing begins. Small changes bolster strength and renew resolve. Awareness heals.
Success rewards the heroes and heroines engaged in this frightening journey. With their heads held up, they face weakness, accept hurts and courageous confront harmful behaviors—past wounds begin to heal. From the frozen ground of the past, springs a new richness to life; joy is returned to the present business of living.
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