Healing through Awareness
BY : T. Franklin Murphy | April 2015
We cannot change without awareness of what needs to be changed. Little deceptions creep in and hide pertinent information.
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 uncovering unrecognized motivations that push destructive behaviors. Learnings from the past create urgings to act contrary to hopes and desires. By reacting with power to insignificant triggers, we destroy our lives; but instead of gain wisdom, we then excuse the behavior with faulty justifications. These are the relics of the past that destroy the present. Uncovering histories is fraught with dangers. We must proceed intelligently and carefully.
Fruitless searches into the past, seeking causes to blame for failures but fail to produce life changes are worthless and possibly detrimental. The endless searching busies our mind, distracting attention from the present where actions impact the future. Discovering nexuses between the past and present does, however, benefit the seeker, when the knowledge is integrated into healthier adaptations. With insight, we may suppress the destructive impulses hampering our lives and interfering with relationships. When irritants from the past interrupt the present, we can catch their invasive meddling and choose a more constructive action.
The courageous journey of self-enlightenment does more than search histories to identify a scapegoat; but an intent to initiate personal change.
Bringing trauma into the vulnerable present has an emotional impact; pasts are buried when they carry the distasteful memories we unconsciously pushed out of our mind. The implicit memories burrowed beneath the surface occasionally leap to action, triggering feelings and reinforcing automatic responses; but exposing the faults, due to reactive behavior, challenges self-confidence, inviting fear of powerlessness to succeed in love or life. The pain associated with the flaws perhaps is why they were originally buried, protecting the ego by avoiding awareness. We utilize many tricks to soothe the soul. Personal insights, although frightening and ferocious, clarify reality, allowing for better behaviors.
“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” ~Lao Tzu
We build many protective barriers. We hide from truths that challenge and hurt. Our fragile self-confidence is bolstered with psychological mirrors and smoke. The face we show the world doesn’t accurately represent the broken heart beating underneath. We integrate the critical and harsh judgments of parents and society. The constant running commentary on our social media accounts remind that individuality is a farce, and we must conform to avoid reality. We put on a false face and soon begin to believe the false face to be ours. We must break these rejecting patterns, giving compassion and acceptance to our fearful selves. We can be without hate.
We use thought mechanisms to distort the truth, protecting against uncomfortable emotions. The essential skills that unveil the complex workings of our mind require practice. We must continually bring compassionate acceptance back into the equation, giving ourselves the patience and love necessary to properly attune to the emotions. Once we observe, accept and understand underlying emotions, we can better distinguish between healthy and destructive action, taking ownership for failings, and persevering through necessary changes.
Skilled self-exploration reveals 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 also unearths nasty justifications such as: it’s her fault, it’s his fault, and I don’t have a choice. Skilled self-exploration exposes magical thinking such as: a new relationship will solve everything, I will only have one drink, and my problems will work themselves out. When enlightened, we can make new connections between pasts, emotions, and repeated failures, giving life to bothersome disappointments; with awareness the process of healing begins. Small changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviors begin to take hold, bolstering strength and renewing resolve.
We can’t give healing light to our hurts if the monsters from the past continue to haunt, judging and criticizing the blemishes, and demanding immediate change. The efforts for self-discovery will be thwarted, discoveries driven back into the shadows, and impassible walls erected.
We must be kind to ourselves, compassionately accepting the imperfections, and embracing the frightened child within.
Success awaits those who travel down this road of discovery, rewarding the heroes and heroines with improved skills to engage life. With our heads held up, we can face weakness, accept hurts and courageous confront harmful behaviors. From the frozen ground of the past, springs a new richness to life; joy returns and life flourishes. We grow without the nasty irritations of self-hate.