I am noticing a strange phenomena that can frustrate many of us on the personal development path.
I can be breezing along feeling like everything is working out, the stars are aligning and then boom, I am back in the trenches of suffering.
As I sit there rubbing my red eyes wallowing in a pit of self loathing and self pity, I now realise that this ‘feeling’ actually has its purpose.
One of the first things my meditation teacher taught me was that I was going to feel worse before I got better.
Well it is true. What happens is that your body hits these new highs which send a signal to the nervous system that it is safe to dump/release some more 'stored' trauma into the body. This then gets distributed throughout the body to be detoxed and released.
(Disclaimer: I need to say I am not an MD/GP, but I have studied the works of Bessel Van Der Kolk and Gabor Mate and this has been my experience and the experience of friends and clients).
The more you do it, the less intense it is and the less time it takes, it is nothing short of brilliant.
The problem is that when this nervous system 'dump' takes place, your brain seems to get thrown offline too. All the tools, wisdom and self-love and empathy seems to vanish into thin air leaving nothing but fear and more fear.
That is because ‘fear’ is what you are releasing. If you are feeling it, you are releasing it.
In our lives we have had plenty to be fearful of. There is either LOVE or there is FEAR.
The skill we need to develop is patience. We also need to learn how to speak to ourselves in supportive and loving voices which will allow us to sit with the discomfort and just be present to it.
The fact is we all go through this cycle. Many of us can be healing generations of trauma, and it can feel relentless.
My top tip, don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Everyone has their own experience of this.
Some will immediately numb the pain, which reduces the effectiveness of the detox. If the numbing is too intense the detox will stop altogether.
Others will lash out at everyone, blaming the World for the way they feel, re-traumatising themselves and others in the process.
A short recap:
1. Mindful 'dumping' is kind 'dumping' to you and everyone else, you are rewarded with huge highs, and less overwhelm the next time.
2. Numbing the pain dilutes the detox experience or arrests it altogether. Two steps forward , one step back
3. Lashing out causes more distress, more files to delete, and short lived highs.
The choice is yours.
The suffering trench has never looked so appealing.