Over the course of 30+ years on this path I’ve landed in many places where I questioned whether digging or uplifting would be the better answer. There are proponents of digging deep who also imply you can never stop. There are proponents of positive thinking, doing uplifting practices, etc. who imply the “uplifting” thoughts and actions will shift away the underlying issues with no need to dig. Personally I’ve found we need both. But there’s a fine line between and I find it a great challenge to decide which side suits any given moment.
I started off in some New Age stuff that I eventually realized invited people to do a “spiritual bypass” wherein they stuffed issues even farther down in favor of pretending to be upbeat all the time. The excitement of this new path brought me some good successes for a while and I arrogantly decided I didn’t need more therapy or any other digging through issues. Later I also met lots of people who studied established traditions like Buddhism and Sufism and realized you can do a spiritual bypass on any path if you choose to avoid your issues…
Higher consciousness (mine? the Universe? who knows) pretty quickly slammed me into a wall of my own limiting beliefs and I wound up doing the extensive excavation work required by my late friend Ellen Margron’s version of the Fisher Hoffman Process. Although I moved mountains of material in the nine months my group spent doing the process work and set off kundalini after one particularly huge release, I knew pretty soon after finishing that I wasn’t done.
I’ve used the process many times since and also wound up in several forms of body work that delve into emotional patterns and issues as well as setting off on an exploration of ancestral issues deep in my DNA. All these things have, in my opinion, been necessary to open pathways and channels that blocked my ability to expand into higher consciousness or even a new version of myself.
However, in the last couple of years I’ve been feeling increasingly that it’s time to concentrate more on shifting thought patterns from negative to positive and raising energy to higher vibrational levels. In 2017 I really devoted the year to positive thinking and practices to uplift. The first thing I noticed was how much more impact I felt from these things after having released so much material that had been in the way. My experience in doing guided meditations or saying affirmations or singing chants, etc. became one of feeling energy moving vitally throughout my body in a way I’d never felt in the early days — before releasing.
Once the New Age movement evolved to embrace the idea of exploring issues, an entire industry seemed to grow up with teachers and “schools” and body work therapies all designed to help people retrieve repressed memories and “release the past”. And — what a surprise — many of them believe you never finish this work.
Up to a point, I believe that – you’re unlikely to hit every hidden issue in a short space of time and issues tend to recur. I question, though, that you have to focus your life around discovering issues for the rest of your days. And I worry that the central, usually unconscious, belief at the core of all the digging and searching can be “there’s something wrong with me” and/or “I’m not good enough as I am”.
These are core issues for me, so I began to worry about the constant probing through my psyche for hidden issues perpetuates the core self-doubt and self-worth issues. Adding that worry to my growing belief there’s a point when the digging needs to stop to allow building to begin, I felt I needed to shift my focus from releasing the past to creating a different future.
Opposed to those who think we must excavate for life, there are also spiritual teachers/leaders who believe we don’t need to dig at all. Using a little of “What the Bleep’s” science, when you create a new positive neural net, the old one starts dismantling. Or, looked at another way, when you raise the energy vibration, the lower vibrations begin to shift upward.
I think that happens too, I just think it is stymied if you are full of repressed memories and unresolved issues and your plan is never to look. Even in the “just raise the vibe” theory, whatever is blocking or contradicting tends to rise to the surface. One way or another I do believe you have to confront at least some of your issues. I have also had the sense of unknown things falling away as I’ve progressed, so I don’t think you have to consciously deal with every single issue. But I do believe you have to be willing to look deep within.
For me, there was much transformation resulting from releasing. And there has also been profound change in the last year as I have changed my focus to building instead of dismantling. Some look doubtful when I say I want to stop constantly searching for what’s wrong and needs to be fixed. Some agree there’s a time to shift the focus.
Not only has it been in my thoughts a lot, but lately I’ve had several off and on conversations going about this. And I know lots of you in this blogging community have probably looked at this issue. I’m very interested in your thoughts and experiences.