"Man's freedom is final and immediate, if he so wills;
it depends not on outer but inner victories."
The process of self-improvement can be an emotionally jarring experience. Pockets of energy that have been left to stagnate for years, decades, or centuries are suddenly stirred up and activated. It is like two dormant chemicals in the same container that co-exist uneventfully, then when a third property is added, this third chemical acts as a catalyst for creating a reaction when shaken or stirred. The potentiality of their combustibility becomes evident and dramatic reactions can occur.
So it goes with self-improvement. Once you open the lid to the dormant negative energies you harbor inside, a wide variety of emotions and thoughts will surface that you will need to confront. Some issues run so deep that you may not be able to clear them up immediately. You may find yourself continuing to process the effects of those events for days or weeks. During these times, you may feel out of sorts, awkward and weird. This is as it should be. It means you are making progress. Confusion will bring to light higher awareness and greater happiness. Discharging emotions will leave peace and calmness in its wake.
Clearing Up the Emotional Toxic Dump
Think of it as the clearing up of a toxic dump. Perhaps toxic chemicals sat idle on that land for decades, doing nothing, hurting no one. Everyone in the neighborhood knew that the piece of land smelled bad, but they were wise enough to stay away. It was not until 30 years later when abnormally high incidence of cancer began showing up in neighborhood residents that some visiting environmental expert noticed this rancid smell. (The residents had long "gotten used" to it.) The environmentalist ran tests that determined the dump was transmitting low levels of poisonous gas which was attacking the residents' immune systems and slowly mutating genes.
Upon further review of the waste dump, it was discovered that through the years, the toxic waste had eroded the top levels of soil and was now permeating the underground water supply that helped explain the higher-than-normal levels of leukemia that people living up to 30 miles away were suffering. It also explained the deteriorating crop production in nearby farms.
As the toxic clean-up began, the entire area smelled horrible for months - so much so that residents who refused to leave (or couldn't) had to wear special masks and install charcoal air filters in their homes. Living conditions seemed to be getting worse instead of better. Finally, six months later the horrible smell was gone and new plant life began to spring up in this once-barren area. Within two years, crop production in local farms returned to normal. A decade later, incidence of cancer dropped 80 percent to a statistically normal range (not that any cancer is normal).
Getting the Poison Out of Your System & Your Environment
This is what can happen when you open up those closed-off regions of your mind that have been barricaded to keep the emotional pain, fear, and anger out. They once again emerge. You may find yourself processing these events anew. That is a good sign, and this is why it is important from the start to make a commitment to stay the course, no matter what. Better to get the stench out now than to poison your system and those around you forever!
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
Strangely, you sometimes drag up situations that seem to have nothing to do with the issue you are working on. Sometimes, the induction and words used to create relaxation in therapy may approximate those of the traumatic events which trigger other emotions, disgust, and betrayal. The unconscious mind works in strange ways because it doesn't have the ability to differentiate and analyze similarities.
Soon, the internal negativity you had been experiencing will vanish. The power of the unconscious mind is enormous and one event can compound to create a huge transformation throughout many unrelated areas of your life.
The Key: Embracing the Uncertainty
When you begin the process of facing and dealing with your past, you may be surprised at where the process leads you. Embrace the uncertainty that presents itself, don't be afraid to veer left, then right, or do a flip flop. It is progress toward rediscovering yourself and discovering the free spirit you are. If you temporarily avoid an issue because it may be inaccessible or too painful, that's okay. It will re-present itself when you are ready, so there is no need to force yourself through the process.
Your spirit will evolve in whatever fashion is right for you. Don't be surprised when or how it occurs. Revelations can occur during active therapy sessions or when you're mowing the lawn. Once you accept life as an ever-changing existence, that enables you - and all those around you - to evolve to higher levels of awareness and joy.
Let it flow and just allow yourself to be - and all you have become will slowly emerge. This will to allow you to remove the toxicity, the pretense, the fear, and the resistance. Soon, you will feel what it's like to just be yourself, in touch with your unique nature, and prepared to plant and harvest your new garden.
©1999 by Brian Sheen.
When Life Becomes Overwhelming: How It Happened, Why It Continues and What You Can Do to Overcome It
by Brian Sheen.
When Life Becomes Overwhelming is the story of how the nightmarish floodgates opened one day, drowning a successful entrepreneur and family man in an ocean of financial insolvency, career destruction, divorce, drug abuse and depression. Simply sharing this story would allow readers to recognize the cause of this collapse to better protect themselves-but this book doesn't stop there. This story details the self-discovery techniques I used to bring others and myself back to solid ground and rebuild our lives, without the same destructive behavior that caused the failure.
About The Author
Brian Sheen is the Executive Director of the Self Discovery and Meditation Center in Delray Beach, Florida and author of numerous books and various audio and videotape series. Brian has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, in USA Today and on hundreds of radio, TV and media outlets throughout the United States. He is a minister in the Universal Brotherhood Movement, an Interfaith Ministry. He is a Reiki Master and is also available for private sessions, individualized meditation lessons, spiritual counseling and on site corporate training programs. For more information, check out his website at: http://www.briansheen.com/
Video with Brian Sheen:
Mastering Your Emotional Wellness - Turning Stress Into Empowerment