Ben Oofana


Most of us value honesty in others. We want to know that the people we interact with are telling us the truth. It shows us that a person is trustworthy and that we can rely upon them. And then thereís another dimension of honesty that most people have never considered.

I encounter some people who are initially very excited about the healing work. Maybe they have some kind of romantic notions about Native American healing practices. They show so much enthusiasm in the beginning, but then something changes. Issues and emotions begin to surface, the person decides they donít want to go there and a wall goes up. This demonstrates how honest a person can be with themselves. And thatís when some people run.

Many people say they want to heal and grow. You see people who are constantly doing therapy, going to seminars and workshops. Some are devotees, yoga instructors, ministers, therapists or healers. And in some ways they have grown, but it only goes so far. And in many respects they may be very feeling person, but are also selective about what they allow themselves to feel. And some individuals donít allow themselves to feel much at all. But our lives can become very convoluted when we disconnect from feelings. And that shows up in many of the screwed up relationship dynamics or other dysfunctions that play out in our lives.

Avoidance is a form of dishonesty. Itís an unwillingness to acknowledge some of the basic realities of our selves and the lives weíre living. Avoidance is grossly irresponsible as it creates a very negative and destructive force within us. We then pass our baggage onto our children and future generations. And then our negativity feeds into the collective forces of destruction that perpetuate much of the violence, suffering and other forms of negativity so prevalent in our world.

Some of us were subjected to abuses and traumas in childhood and had to shut down feelings in childhood in order to survive. But now weíre adults and we are capable of dealing with the issues that arise in our lives.

Iíve worked with numerous individuals who initially were very fragile. Some of them had histories of abuse or severe trauma. It took a lot of care, but together we were able to walk through the abyss, and they came out the other side much stronger. They made the choice to face what ever came up had the courage to really go into the feeling. That makes the person receptive so that healing can happen.

Some of us have lived through some very horrible experiences and so many of the feelings and emotions that we experienced are still inside of us. Most of us have done or are doing things that we are not very proud of. We may block out feeling and chose not to look at or deal with certain issues. Avoidance causes us to disconnect from parts of ourselves and the realities we create in the world. That shuts down part of our mind and after some time we no longer have the facilities that allow us to be aware of certain aspects of our behavior or experience.

Many of the emotions and feelings we hold inside have been buried within us for so long. And they can feel absolutely horrible. The feelings will gradually dissipate as you breathe into them.

True healing requires patience. It involves being accountable for our day to day actions. And it will take time and will involve consistent effort on your part. Stick with the process and you will come out the other side and when you do, you will feel much better. This is where you transform from the caterpillar to the butterfly.

Many people are not willing to take personal responsibility and just want someone to fix the problems or make them feel better. They begin to heal and when uncomfortable feelings surface theyíre thinking "...this is not what I thought it would be ÖI just wanted to feel good." So they run away or shut down and go back on auto pilot instead of dealing with whatís surfacing. Rather than just numbing out, this is an opportunity to really process through tons of crap and really clean up you life. It takes real courage and honesty to face these things.

A friend of mine compared it to vomiting. You absolutely hate to do it, and you resist it as much as possible, but you feel so much better after you get it out of your system.

Sometimes you will feel bad and as hard as it is, thatís the time you most need to pay attention. Some people think maybe this is not the right thing because I donít want to feel this way. We have been taught to fear and avoid the things we push down inside of us, and we experience a lot of resistance to them. However, itís a perfectly natural part of healing to feel uncomfortable as these feelings and issues emerge. Itís like opening an infected wound and we feel this way as the toxins begin to release. It can feel awful when we open some of the wounded parts of us. Being with the feelings seems like the last thing you would ever want to do, but thatís exactly what has to happen if healing is ever to take place.

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