WHEN THE HEALING PATH BECOMES ITS OWN STORY
Today I have a message that may be relevant for many of you going through healing work, and internal work: Be cautious and mindful that your healing process doesn't create a new story, one that is seemingly "better" and more convincing than the old one.
This is a big one. And it's a common trap. It can also be confusing so rather than extended explanations, let me give you a practical example.
Person A: gets nudges from the Universe that she is not in the right relationship. The nudges may come in the form of - not feeling like her partner will ever be quite on her level of spiritual growth, or that her partner is often emotionally unavailable. There may be loud nudges such as her partner disrespecting her, or ignoring her needs. There may be an unwillingness on the part of her partner to hold himself fully accountable for his own actions.
Person A "feels" deep down, that there ultimately is a partner who would be a better vibrational match for her at this stage of her life. She begins to talk about this with a close friend. Friend may support this, or may project her own fears and say things like "but he's a great guy, don't leave him."
Person A does some deep healing work. Suddenly her whole life becomes about healing. She becomes trapped in the PROCESS, without making BOLD, CONCRETE, and necessary CHANGES in her actual daily world. The longer she goes without making bold changes, the more convinced she becomes that her healing process IS her path, and that she will just make everything around her work because of her newly healed self.
Until life comes knocking again. And this time, instead of nudging, there is serious illness, depression, financial crises, emotional disturbance, or worse.
You can flip person A into a man, and you can flip "partner" into: job, living situation, relationship with parents and siblings, or all of the above.
The trap is that the healing process itself can and should be an important focus in our lives. But sometimes, and in very subtle ways, the healing process itself becomes the newest tool in the ego's arsenal. Our MAIN PRIORITY in our lives as humans is to walk the spiritually guided divine path, not our own ego path.
Let me say that again. I know I needed to hear it a lot before I quit my entire former life: THE MAIN PRIORITY IN OUR LIVES AS HUMANS IS TO WALK THE SPIRITUALLY GUIDED DIVINE PATH, NOT OUR OWN EGO PATH.
But when the ego hijacks the healing process itself -- the very process we were engaging in to dissolve the egos stranglehold on our lives, we are led way off the path into a deeper, darker hole that will be much more difficult to emerge from. The irony is that often, for many people working on ego issues, the deceptive ego says "hmm she's not buying the old story anymore. Now she's onto this healing thing. Let's tell her a new story. One that will still keep her locked into this (marriage, job, town, body etc...). Let's give her a different perspective so she still DOES THE SAME ACTIONS but just talks about them differently. Let's praise her for her healing work, pat her on the back, make her feel all warm and fuzzy about her progress, then slam her right back into the life she was already living before she started this whole healing thing".
It's tricky. The ego is smarter than most of us realize and please remember, it's job is to keep you where you are. The ego loathes change. I know. When I first had feelings inside that my main path in life wasn't to be a lawyer, I kind of knew it deep down. My ego said - are you crazy? Look at your bank account, your lifestyle, OUR (yes our) SECURITY! Are you nuts?
I knew I wasn't nuts and began to do some DEEP spiritual work. My spiritual mentor/teacher told me "you already know lawyer is not your highest God Given path. It is Liana's path. It's a great path. It's a respectable path. It's a fun path. It's a lucrative path. It's a secure path. IT IS NOT GOD'S PATH FOR YOU."
I let that sink in. And before I knew it, I was creating a new story. One that was so much more "enlightened" than the old one, one that made me feel awesome and it was so damned convincing. The story went like this "Aha!!!!!!! Now that I am on the healing path and working on these issues, I can stay exactly where I am at! No need to leave this place, this job, this marriage, I will just continue to work on myself! I will become more spiritually enlightened right where I am at. I mean, seriously, you can be an enlightened bus driver, janitor, flight attendant, lawyer, doctor, there really is no reason to change anything except my internal self. WOOHOO problem solved!"
I bought that for about 7 months, embarrassingly so. I bough my own bullshit hook line and sinker. Not only that, I am such a good speaker that I even convinced everyone around me. My friends, my family, my spouse, all seemed to breathe a massive sigh of relief. They were ecstatic at the new Liana! You know...the one who was still going to be in the same job, same marriage, same city, but who suddenly felt more enlightened. They were all so happy that they didn't have to see me actually making physical changes, so that they could continue lying to their own selves. They didn't have to deal with me leaving, which meant they could stay where they were. Hell, if Liana found a way for it to work here then we are totally fine too!
There was only one person who didn't buy my BS and quite frankly I wasn't overly thrilled to have conversations with him during this time. My mentor/spiritual advisor never let me get away with one second of my own bullshit. So I would ignore him. THERE YA GO! Problem solved. I decided to read lots of books. Of course! Books on spirituality. Lots of em. Ignoring my mentor, the one person who had the balls to be honest with me. But I ignored him and stuck my head in the books, justifying it on account of the fact that I needed to "expand" my understanding and broaden my spiritual learning. I went to conferences up at Peace Village and the Omega Institute. I felt kinship with other spiritual seekers listening in on these talks and retreat weekends. What a joke. What a lie. All I was doing was seeking out people who like me, weren't doing a thing about the actual changes that needed to happen. It was more intake, more opinions, more research, more learning, more understanding, a whole lotta more, but zero actual BOLDNESS and real world action.
Action is where it is all at. Action is where the magic happens. Action is how we get on the God-given path and OFF the ego path. But action is hard for most people. Action is scary. Action is not secure. Action means having complete and total faith and trust in God. There is no other way. Sure, sometimes people take action and they leave strings attached. They leave doors open, they don't make clean breaks. And then it's so easy for them to get sucked back in.
Ultimately for me the lies of my own ego kept me unfortunately on the wrong path for 7 long months after I knew I needed to make changes. When I was sick of hearing the ego - in particular it's new and even more dangerous story - I went back to the one person I knew 100% would reflect my truth. He said "you already know what to do, why are you asking me now." Yup. He was right. And I did.
And I make clean breaks.
I don't leave strings, maybes, plan B's. No plan B's. Quit career, check. Put attorney license in retirement status so I can't use it as a fallback? check. File for divorce, check. Sell my houses in New York and DC, check. (that last one took a little while because I was emotionally attached to the first home my daughter lived in as my first baby -- challenging story for a future post). Sell all of my attorney clothes, shoes, purses, check. Buy one way ticket to Hawaii, check. BUY house in Hawai'i, check. Panic, fear, uncertainty, nausea, check check check check.
Here I am 14 years post mortem and having helped hundreds of people make radical changes in their lives, I can tell you one thing. I can spot an ego reformulation story a mile away. I see and hear them all the time. So I write this as having been there -- the sooner you look yourself in the real eye -- and tell yourself the real truth -- the sooner you will be living your real life -- your best life -- your God-purposed life -- your most joyful life. Maybe the energy of this eclipse and the New Moon will give you the encouragement you need to go there.