Discomfort is part of the journey

It is not possible to embark upon a journey of self-discovery under general anaesthetic. Many try to find an easier way, depending on a guide or a therapist, who as if by magic would solve all their problems and heal all their wounds. But if such a guide is trustworthy, he only helps a person to find a path towards himself, by accompanying him in exploring his shadow selves and internal obstacles.

Discomfort Every journey into healing, even if it is gratifying in the end, is anything but comfortable in the moment. Much love and non-judgement is needed. One cannot reject the dark side of oneself. No amputation is possible, as the shadow does not exist in and of itself. One can therefore neither fight it nor reject it, but only bring to it all the light that it needs. As we all know, it is much easier to find one’s way in the dark if we switch on a light, rather than to try to chase away the darkness.

Our shadow parts ask to be recognized, and first and foremost to be welcomed as injured parts of our being, which as a protection mechanism, have closed themselves off and hidden in the shadows. They also need to be heard and explored – hence the discomfort. They alone hold the key to our healing. To try to push them away or reject them would amount to throwing away the key of the room in which we are locked up. There is no easy path to healing. It should, however, not be mistaken for suffering.

The discomfort does become suffering if we go into resistance. The whole trick is not to hold back and to dare to plunge into this discomfort, without identifying with the shadow parts: I am not angry, but I experience anger. I am not jealous, but I feel jealousy… As I distance myself, I become the observer of my own mechanisms and what they provoke in me. In this observation, no suffering is possible, and there is no judgement either. The wound is that which it is. I am not the wound, but a part of me is affected by it and asks to be nurtured with love.

There is no point in doing yourself violence and self-punishment is a dead end. To deny our shadow self by condemning it can only lead to frustration and illness. When we dislike an aspect of ourselves, we need to start by looking at it directly, by giving it a voice, as it always has a lot to teach us. Nurturing it with love does not mean supporting or justifying it, but opening our heart to it unconditionally. Making our authentic way towards ourselves is not only an act of love, but also a courageous endeavour.

Our hands, an extension of our hearts, are wonderful bandages which only ask to be placed where there is discomfort. No need for mental exercise, analysis, understanding, or even intention to be emitted. A small child who hurts herself instinctively places her hands on her wound, because she has not yet forgotten the good that it does. The love that one gives oneself by touch appeases, comforts and heals all the better that it is unconditional. It allows the light to gradually reach the dark zones so as to dissipate them, similarly to the rising sun as its rays gradually shine on and light up the mountains emerging from the darkness…