In doing inner work, things often get worse before getting better.
This is a point that bears repeating as many people think that feeling uncomfortable in any way is a sign that they’re doing something wrong. At certain times, feeling worse is normal and a sign that you’re doing things right in your spiritual inner work.
When things feel bad, we assume that they ARE bad. Certainly if you step on a thorn, that IS bad. If you get caught continually thinking depressive, angry, or anxious thoughts, that’s unhealthy too.
But in the context of processing old pain that has gotten stuck inside you, that pain speaks to us in pain. Pain is its language. So when it comes up, we feel the pain. Learning to surrender without fueling the pain or resisting it is how we release it.
The Desire for Comfort
The human desire for comfort is a powerful one. It often overrides our conscious understanding of a situation. For instance, exercise is kind of uncomfortable. It requires a certain amount of discipline to do to overcome the comfort of lounging on your couch eating chips. One is clearly more healthy than the other, yet our desire for comfort often wins out.
This desire is a major problem for doing inner work because it will look for ways to avoid the pain that needs to be expressed.
Avoiding Deeper Work
Another problem is shallow inner work. Many people don’t fully release issues. They like to work at only the mind level, and others may only go so far as the heart level. But the body and energy levels have to be cleared too. If they aren’t healed, the issue grows back.
Additionally, releasing from the body is powerfully uncomfortable at times. Many people run away when the body-energy starts to express an old pain or wound. This avoidance keeps them trapped in pain.
In a simple metaphor, consider what happens if you clip the top part of the weed, but leave the stem and the root. It grows back.
Getting Used to Feeling Bad
Getting used to feeling bad isn’t giving up. When we surrender correctly, we actually are empowered. We are now in a position to resolve an old pain rather than running from it, seeking comfort to mask it, fighting it, fixing it, and doing a whole host of things to make it go away. No. We sit with it. We relax into it, and we feel terrible.
The Crescendo and the Release
As the pain rises it, it tends to reach a crescendo. That’s the point when it feels the worst, and our ego thinks it can’t take it anymore.
Take a breath.
Because you’re on the cusp.
One more breath and relaxing and surrendering again for the hundredth time, then something lets go. Something releases.
And you’ve become free of that layer of pain.
Honoring the Timing and Inconvenience of Healing
Finally, these things release on their own time-table, not yours. Learning to honor the inconvenience of healing and its individual timing are parts of releasing an issue and finding freedom from it.
Here are some more resources to help you appreciate how healing works and how to be with these “more worse” times so that you not only heal but become more resilient and strong.