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Resistance To Healing? Resistance To Feeling!
There is this idea amongst healing professionals across the board of holistic and allopathic modalities, body workers, psychologists, therapists and holy healers alike that certain people are "resistant to healing" - that somehow, they don't want to heal, don't want to get better.
I have come to the conclusion that this is an incorrect assessment. People do want to heal. They are not resistant to healing, but only resistant to feeling - feeling pain, to be precise.
When we are doing any kind of healing, and interestingly it matters not if this is of a physical injury, like a big hole in the skin that has become infected or a big hole in the aura, or a big emotional pain, the first thing we must do is to PRESENT THE WOUND TO THE HEALER.
In order to do that, we have to first of all allow ourselves to become aware of the location of the wound, be it in the body or the energy system or both, and to do that, we need to "tune into" the existence of the wound.
The minute we do that, we become aware of the pain of the wound.
Now, many of us have spent years, sometimes a life time, trying to ignore that pain, to move our minds AWAY from where the pain resides, so that we can function, keep on living, keep on doing one day after the next.
That is completely automatic and not the choice of an individual; we NATURALLY, AUTOMATICALLY AND REFLEXIVELY back away from things that cause us pain.
This is even correct; you could say that God made us that way, to have this device called pain that makes us flinch away from something that would hurt us.
However, when it comes to healing, and the healer says, "Show me the wound so I may heal it!" some people find it simply impossible to *go there*.
I don't want to look.
I don't want to think about it.
I can't stand the thought.
The pain is unbearable.
I can't experience that pain (which was experienced at time of receiving the injury) again, I would die.
I am terrified of thinking in that direction.
To the outside, it then looks as though the person "doesn't want to be healed" but nothing could be further from the truth.
They are just afraid of pain, and they don't want to suffer anymore.
It really is as simple as that.
People have made all sorts of ideas and excuses, even to themselves, because they didn't understand this simple dynamic of "not wanting to go to where it hurts".
They might have thought ...
I don't deserve to heal
I don't want to heal and there must be a reason, I must hate myself
God doesn't want me to heal
I deserve to suffer forever
... and all of that is just a misunderstanding.
Likewise, the healer's ideas of ...
This person doesn't want to heal
They get advantages from their sickness and play on that
They just want the attention
They like to hold on to their pain because they're masochists
... and so forth is simply incorrect.
Remember: People don't want to avoid healing, they are trying to avoid feeling.
So what can we do in order to get people to a place where they can even think towards their wounds that are in need of healing?
The first thing we need to deal with is simply THE FEAR OF THE PAIN.
It is the fear of the pain to come which stands in the way of healing. Anything.
This fear, much like the fear of a monster under the bed that may or may not be there at all, is particularly strong because we don't really know yet what it is that we are afraid of.
If we knew what was going to happen, we would be less afraid than we are when we don't, because there, all our worst fears and imaginations come to life and enter into a feedback loop with pain memories already experienced, making imaginary pain into a particularly scary proposition.
So we need to treat the fear of healing before we start.
With many healers, this happens automatically as they calm down the healee, extend a circle of safety around them, gain their trust, and gently and with much encouragement move them towards that place where the injury becomes revealed and then can be dealt with.
With some people however, the fear is so strong that they cannot relax into it; and often the wounds are so painful, and the memories of how they were sustained so distressing, that it is of the essence to work with this fear as an injury in its own right, as that which needs to be healed first to clear a path INTO the deep wound.
In Events Psychology, this is called clearing the path into the problem, and the metaphor used is that of clearing a road into a town where i the problem originates.
We start at the place where the road is blocked, that place where the so called "resistance to healing" manifest itself for the first time, and there we start to take away one log after the other, one stone after the other, in a very simple, straightforward way that never stresses the client too much.
This is done by asking the client to relate the story of the problem. Interestingly again, it is the same for a physical injury or illness, as it is for a psychological illness or an energy system injury - there is always the story of how this happened, how this came to be.
What we do when we build the road into the problem, we ask, "Tell me what happened."
The person begins to tell the story, starts to walk towards the problem, but unlike in the olden days, where they are expected to go straight to their worst moments and memories *somehow*, we stop them as soon as any sign of stress becomes apparent.
So the person may say, "Well it all started five years ago when I was working in this office ..." and already right there, we can SEE, and HEAR, and FEEL that they are getting distressed, upset, frightened, disturbed, whichever way you want to call this increase in stress that expresses itself in gestures, how they breathe, how their voice sounds, how their face contorts, their shoulders hunch, their fingers become nervous.
"Let us stop right there ..." we say, and that is where the road cleaning begins.
Now, we ask the person to take a deep breath. We might apply energy psychology techniques to release their stress right here and now, for example EMO or EFT, or we might simply ask them to breathe deeply, relax, and know that all of that isn't here any longer, we are dealing with a memory now, and that is data, energy, so we can remain calm.
Now we can go a little bit further on the road towards the problem, towards the injury.
"You were working in this office, and what happened next?"
Step by step, and AS SLOWLY and as CAREFULLY as this one person needs it, we proceed, keeping the client calm, keeping them confident, and most of all, keeping them PAIN FREE as we move in towards the actual event, where the problem came into being that is now presented for healing.
Along the way of the road into the problem we are building together with the client, we might find many things, and some of those are what caused the old beliefs of "this person being resistant to healing".
At some point the person may have thought that they deserved what happened to them, or that it was their fault; but that is only stress thinking and as soon as the person calms down and takes a deep breath, these kinds of thoughts too will simply disappear, and we can move on, one step at a time, on the road towards the problem.
And so we arrive finally at the problem itself.
The last bandage is removed, and we can see the wound now, we can see what is there, and the client feels what is there too; but this is a clean pain, a real pain, that is not confused and contorted through stress and upheaval any longer.
Often, what needs to be done now to start the real healing process is blatantly obvious - there is a process that if we follow it, the wound has a chance to finally heal.
So here is what I would like you to take away from this article.
1. Don't believe that people are resistant to healing - they are not. They are ONLY resistant to feeling pain.
2. People are not just resistant to feeling pain, they are TERRIFIED of what is going to happen and how they're going to feel.
3. By alleviating that terror and fear, we are alleviating the resistance to healing in direct cause-and-effect.
4. By carefully "building the road into the problem" a step at a time, never distressing the client or allowing a person to become distressed, we can eventually arrive at THE most painful of problems in safety, clarity, and confidence.
5. With the person not being distressed and terrified, the experience of "facing the problem" becomes doable, often much easier than was previously feared.
6. The problem becomes open to healing, and a healing process or an evolution towards healing can begin.
So whether you are a healer who was getting frustrated with people who seemed to be resistant to healing, or a person who thinks there must be something seriously wrong with them that they don't "want to heal", take heart.
Follow the simple steps outlined here and trust in the fact that people are not afraid of healing - only afraid of feeling pain.
And that is natural and right, and our job to make it so that they don't have to experience any more pain or distress at any time than is strictly necessary.