Denial is a key defense we use to avoid trouble, but it leads to nothing but more trouble. It acts by stagnating our energy so that feelings cannot move. As a result, one of the best ways to surface what’s lurking in our unconscious is to look around and see what’s bothering us. Where are we stuck?
For just as we need to rotate our internal mirrors to catch the reflections of our Higher Self, we need to become accustomed to looking for other less desirable hidden parts of ourselves. For example, we each harbor misconceptions about life that we are not even aware of. Our main misconception is ‘what we don’t know doesn’t exist and therefore won’t hurt us.’
If there is any disharmony in our life that is causing an “emotional reaction” in us, that is our key that there is something in us that needs to be addressed. Emotional reactions are responses we have to people or life events that are bigger than the situation would seem to warrant. In short, we’re triggered. We need to learn to bring reason to our emotions and discover the real root cause of our reactions.
Unlike a normal emotional response, these don’t move through with a natural peak and release. Emotional reactions get stuck in us, because we have actually bumped up against a stuck, or frozen, place within ourselves. Whatever it is, we can’t let it go—it seems to have a hold on us.
Our first immature reaction is to blame something or someone outside ourselves for having caused our reaction. This gives the other person all our power. We then feel we have no boundaries because we are powerless; this is how we make ourselves a victim.
What we don’t want to look at is the way in which this troubling thing lives inside of us. That, in fact, is the last thing we want to consider. We believe that if the offending person or situation would stop or go away, we would be OK.
But that’s not the way life and our unconscious works. In fact, it’s just the opposite. This thing has actually shown up in our life because it has been magnetically attracted to us due to the very reality that somehow, in some way, it lives in us. This is where the work begins.
“This path demands from an individual that which most people are least willing to give: truthfulness with the self, exposure of what exists now, elimination of masks and pretenses, and the experience of one’s naked vulnerability.”
This distortion inside us, hidden in our unconscious, is a twisted stream of energy and consciousness that has gotten frozen in our bodies and in our beings. What was once a positive force has somehow gotten blocked and distorted into a negative force. If we can’t see this negativity in ourselves, our focus will go onto something outside ourselves, and we will see it there. Hence the saying, ‘You spot it, you got it.’
If we choose to turn away from looking at it, what we will find is that much to our dismay, unpleasant situations will turn up again and again and again. It may look slightly different each time, but eventually we can begin to realize there is a pattern.
To gain more clarity and insight into the root of the problem, the Pathwork Guide encourages us to spend a few minutes at the end of each day doing a Daily Review. We simply jot down a few words about where we felt disharmony during the day, and what our primary feelings or reactions were. Over time, these patterns will begin to reveal themselves to us.
It is true that wherever we go, there we are—complete with these inner distortions that keep attracting people and circumstances designed to help surface the inner distortion for deep growth and healing. This is the loving plan of God’s laws, that all negativity will bring about results which will motivate us eventually to turn and look at the real origin of the distortion—inside ourselves.
We need to find the courage to see our hidden places. And usually we can’t see them without someone holding a mirror up to us. Such a person is not really our enemy; they are a teacher helping us see our own selves.
Disconnection is painful. In fact, nothing is more frightening and tormenting than feeling the effect of a cause we ourselves have set in motion but do not understand. It is through our commitment to working with whatever arises in life that we come to see how cause and effect are linked, and in this way we begin to take on a new level of self-responsibility. Gradually, that’s what turns the tide.
In the end, truth is love and love is truth. So in areas of our life that are working well, we have already resolved inner misunderstandings and our Higher Self is shining brightly—we are in truth and love is able to flow. Such positive benign circles will continue forever because that is where we are already in truth.
Where our light is blocked, that is the place to turn our attention, without losing sight of the fact that this dark area is not all of us. But this is where we are still separated from God and our own Higher Self qualities; this is where we are not yet in truth.
Ignoring these areas will not help them heal, nor will they just go away. In fact, the longer such areas are ignored or pushed aside, the greater the likelihood that a major crisis or chaos will erupt in our life. This is not the result of an uncaring universe or a punishing God. Rather, it is a natural effect of a cause we have set in motion by continually turning away from what calls for our attention, and which needs to be healed inside us.
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