Most of us begin the Spiritual Search in order to find happiness, enlightenment, and more joy in our lives. Our lives aren’t working the way we would like, we want more from Life, and so the healing journey begins. In many spiritual circles right now, there is much focus on the positive, on what is working, on ease and grace, on flow of good energy and on being in right relationship with all things, and mostly on being a successful, happy, spiritually good person. And, those goals usually do come for the true seeker.
However, what is not acknowledged is that the path toward healing can be very painful, uncomfortable, confusing, and down right difficult. When these difficulties arise, we can become disillusioned and concerned that we are doing something wrong, when in fact we are right on track. We can worry about our thoughts not being positive when much of the time they are obsessive, negative, and even mean. We can worry that our emotional state is not of one of happiness and relaxation when in fact it may also be at the same time anxious, fearful, angry, and even hateful.
We have been taught by the popular spiritual manifestation gurus that having pleasant thoughts and feeling good are essential to creating the life we want. This is true, but it is also true that in order to heal, we must bring up and out all the old thoughts and emotions, patterns and imprints that have prevented us from creating what we wanted in the first place. If we believe that we must be positive and happy to create the lives we want, we can end up repressing even more those internal places that need witnessing and healing. As long as those places within us are repressed, unacknowledged, and unwanted, they hold power over our lives. These places become hidden from us, unavailable to us. As long as we are defining them as negative, we are keeping ourselves from considerable resources both emotionally and energetically.
I have much respect for the clients who work with me because they are committed to jumping into the morass of their hidden selves. They have had glimpses of the hidden because it is reflecting back to them unwanted experiences. They learn how they are creating their part in the dramas of their life. Bringing this energy to consciousness is very painful, alarming, and in some cases humiliating. But, it is part of the process. These imprints within us literally create our reality. By becoming conscious of how they create our external circumstances, we can change them internally and create the external circumstances that we would like instead.
Some of us aren’t that wounded, and so just learning that our thoughts and emotions are creative sets us on our way with being conservative and focused with our thoughts, words, and emotions, and we begin manifesting what we want. But for the rest of us who have suffered deep woundings, those patterns themselves have power, and they contribute to creating our external circumstances for us. Changing those patterns can be a very confusing process, because they literally do create our external reality through projection.
I am working with a brave, beautifully creative but blocked client right now. She has suffered tremendous abuse within her original family, mostly from her mother. This pattern is so ingrained within her that her vibration attracts to her on the outside women, mostly neighbors, who verbally abuse her and her children, but then these women expect her to stand there and take the abuse. Eventually she has enough of it and she and her family move to a new neighborhood where the pattern repeats itself.
Until my client heals the pattern inside of herself, it will literally repeat its creation in the external world. That is how much power my client has that is not within her conscious control. Bringing it into her conscious control is an amazingly confusing process. First, she has to understand intellectually what the pattern is. Luckily for my client she saw herself as the common denominator in every move to a new neighborhood and understood there had to be something about herself that was creating the situation.
This allowed her to look carefully at the pattern she had with her mother, and to see how she was repeating the mother pattern in the rest of her life. In the original incident with her mother, she took horrible abuse both physically and emotionally for years, tried to please by doing what was expected of her, and then finally became angry enough to cut her mother off. For my client she began to see that it was her own vibration of passive victim that was pulled out of her neighbors unreasonable bullies. The passivity she learned from her original family made her stand there and take the abuse instead of walk away from it. The pattern played itself out by my client having enough abuse, concluding her neighbors were crazy people, and then her running away by moving.
Once my client understood the pattern, she began to shift it with changes in behavior, and with the energywork, (illuminations, extractions, soul retrieval, and deathwork) to remove the heavy energy from her system. She became lighter and lighter, more conscious of what was going on around her, and more detached and observant of herself and the behavior of others. The pattern was still there, but she had it under control.
She got to the point where she was feeling free, ready to go out into the world and create, and she was amazed at her level of energy and how good she was feeling. It is right at this point where it is very common for progress to seem to go backward instead of forward. One reason this happens is that we are each part of a system within our family, our jobs, and our community of friends, and the system can resist the changes in the individuals. In her case, her son, who was used to having his mother hovering around him, began engaging in dangerous behavior to get her attention back from her own creative endeavors.
It wasn’t that her son was trying to thwart her, it was that he was uncomfortable with the change in his mother’s energy. All of us like the status quo to some extent; changing it can be a scary transition. I encouraged her to believe in her son’s strength and give him more responsibility to help her around the house to help him change his own role within the family from a young boy needing to be over protected to a young boy ready to engage his world responsibly.
As the pattern that is up to be healed begins to pass through our system, our system digests it on the physical, emotional, mythic, and energetic bodies. So, as we heal we have the new system in place while the old system is leaving, which usually makes the average person who doesn’t know the healing process feel like he or she is going insane. In my client’s case, her imprint popped back up to the point that she felt compelled to act it out again.
We had just had a session in which I reiterated that there was no point in moving again until she healed the internal imprint around her mother, or else she would just take it along to the new neighborhood. She saw that this was true, but the urge to move was very very strong. She also had the pattern of trusting women and then having them abuse her and her trust. I was now put in the position where the trust we had built between us was under attack from the imprint. Now she didn’t feel like she could trust me and wanted to cut me out of her life. To my client’s credit, she paid for three sessions in advance to make sure she didn’t do so.
And she road out the intense feelings. She knew intellectually that I was holding space for her and was there as healer. She allowed herself to feel her deep distrust toward me. All her internal patterns came up in the form of some pretty startling projections. She was convinced that I was a fundamentalist Christian ready to persecute her and her children. Of course, this was so far off the mark (I am a shaman after all) that it was easy for her to own the projection.
As she owned it and stuck with it, she broke out in a rash. Her physical body was trying to let go of the deep patterning in this way. All the emotions were at the surface—her emotional body was also letting go of the deep woundings. I encouraged her to put all of these emotions into a sandpainting which allows the imprint to process on the mythic plane, which gives the emotional and physical bodies a break from the deep work. And I also did a huge clearing of her chakras, a death rites process, to clear out the imprint that was up in her system.
Then the symptoms subsided, and she was back to moving forward again to the next layer of the imprint: how her husband was affected. In fact she had been moving forward the whole time, but had been in a precarious position of believing the reality the imprint had created and of acting on it right as she was about to burn it off. I have deep respect for clients who stick through this process and come out the other side. They then know that they can do this again with the next imprint, or even with another layer of the same imprint. They become willing to deal with their imprints as they come up, and while this is still a challenging process, they are on their way toward mastery and freedom.
While my client still has considerable work ahead of her to mulch those imprints into the dirt and reclaim her power, she has moved something huge for herself, and already many many blessings have entered her life because she made room for them. My teachers at the Four Winds call this relishing death—allowing what needs to die to die so that the new can come in. My client is well on her way to creating a new life for herself and her family.
Mastery doesn’t necessarily mean we feel good, happy, and enthusiastic all the time. What it means in the healing work is that we can hold our big, expansive selves at the same time we allow our little selves their existence, too, trusting the process to heal those deep imprints. Oddly enough, when we are willing to hold it all, it becomes easier to create the lives want.