recognizing discouragement's encouraging signs (6:50)
Updated: Nov 13, 2021
As we become more intimate with our unresolved traumas and fears, we often encounter difficulties - physical pain, troubling thoughts & images, destructuve impulses, flurries of deluded notions, to name a few. When they come on strong, it can be discouraging, and it may start to feel like we're moving backward instead of forward. We may be tempted to give up, numb the pain - anything but experience more of that.
In this video I invite a reframing. Our trauma & fear wouldn't be putting up such spirited resistance if we weren't getting somewhere. In other words - the intensity of our inner struggle reflects the intimacy of our inner engagement. The intense pushback is a sign we're making progress, we're nearing the core of our stored pain.
If we just flirted at the edges, without moving toward the core of our inner pain, then the inner pain wouldn't exert itself so mightily to fight us off - we'd encounter a mild, half-hearted resistance, reflective of our mild and half-hearted inner engagement. It would lightly swat us back.
The fact that we're encountering a hostile, perhaps even furious resistance tells us we're close to paydirt.
We always want to be wise in our approach. It's not healthy (trust me) to drive relentlessly into that pain, without regard for our well-being, energy, emotional balance, and self-esteem. There is such a thing (I believe) of driving too deep, too hard, too relentlessly. I encourage striking a healthy balance. Find the pain. Recognize the degree of resistance as an indicator of your progress. Honor the discouragement as encouraging. And, as we do, periodically do reality checks on our emotional, physical, and psychological well-being, to make sure we're not pressing too hard. After all, over-pressing is a sign we're approaching the situation with a scarcity mindset, believing we need to rush, barrage, overwhelm, etc. If instead we adopt a sustainable approach rooted in abundance and a spirit of friendship, we can reap the benefits of deep inner engagement without putting ourselves at risk of burnout & imbalance.
Like physical exercise - there is too much (and too little) of a good thing. Through trial and error, we find a balance that respects our desires, limitations, and uncertainties. My message here is, when you feel the dragon's breath getting hotter and hotter, know you're approaching the gold, and remember not to burn yourself to a crisp.