Recently I’ve been explaining how persistent problems can fast-track us towards becoming the person we most want to be. Today I’m sharing the true story of Lisa (not her real name) who realized this in powerful way recently.
Lisa came to me three weeks ago seeking relief from a terrible skin condition. Widespread acne had steadily worsened for months despite medical treatment, healthy eating, stress reduction and good self-care. (See photo, left, of how Lisa’s skin appeared 3 weeks ago.)
Lisa was willing to entertain the possibility that her skin condition could be a catalyst for powerful personal growth. (A suggestion I outlined in this article here.)
So I asked Lisa, “What does this persistent problem require you to explore that you would never choose to explore otherwise?”
She replied, “I can’t look at myself and I’m horrified by the thought of other people looking at me. I feel ugly and a victim of my body. I feel powerless, like there’s nothing I can do to stop this. I feel like all my flaws are out there for everyone to see and judge.”
Lisa acknowledged that such feelings were not brand new but had existed, below the surface, for years. The appearance of her skin was bringing them to the surface (literally) in a way she couldn’t help but face. (The body can be ‘smack-upside-the-head’ literal that way.)
I explained that every uncomfortable and painful feeling just wants to be felt. And once a feeling has been thoroughly felt, none of it will be left to feel.
I’ll say that again.
Once we’ve let a feeling surface and thoroughly felt through it until no trace of it remains, we will no longer feel that terrible feeling.
Instead, we will feel at peace. Calm. Neutral. Unconcerned. Perfectly ok. Even if nothing about the situation that evoked the feeling has changed.
Feeling our feelings thoroughly is how our emotional systems are designed to be used. With surprisingly little practice, all of us can learn feel any uncomfortable feeling back to the nothingness out of which our consciousness created it in the first place.
Fully feeling a painful feeling is how our bodies heal the bruises that life creates in our emotional systems.
Consciously doing this every single time we feel emotional discomfort leads to persistent emotional health and physical well-being. (True story, and the foundation for all the quantum healing work I’ve taught over the past 12 or so years.)
But let’s take this back to Lisa…
Over the course of our 3 sessions, Lisa thoroughly felt through a series of intense feelings evoked by this situation. Today she feels at peace and as a bonus, her skin has improved significantly! (See photo, left).
As thrilled as Lisa is about the visible change in her skin, what remains unseen – yet even more powerful – is the inner transformation she deliberately took from this experience. In Lisa’s own thoughtful words,
“Three sessions and some massive breakthroughs later I now take away three themes from this experience.
1) I need to love myself wholly and unconditionally.
It had been a forever theme of mine to not love myself as I am. I needed to drop that self-hate and take on a new story about my body. As soon as I took on self acceptance, my body started to physically change and now I see it as absolutely perfect. Looking at my face in the mirror now I see about 98% glowing, healthy and radiating skin. And although my skin hasn’t completely healed, I know that my desired outcome is fast approaching.
2) I needed to feel empowered
I was raped at the age of sixteen. Thinking back, that very different scenario carried the same feeling of being helpless as this one. Wendy shared with me that “when a situation has served us and we’ve taken full advantage of what it offers, it has no reason to stick around.” I now realize that I needed this experience to kick the idea of being powerless once and for all. And by that I was also able to reclaim my innocence.
3) I needed to experience this
I had been stuck feeling so angry and frustrated. And I have come to realize that I needed to experience this because things from my past needed to be worked through. As a yoga instructor I have the opportunity to work with other people and I now have a better understanding of what many of them are going through. I believe I experienced this to benefit, on the ‘morphic field level’, all women who feel critical of their bodies.”
I’m grateful to Lisa for sharing her story and photos here. May her courage to feel, learn and share inspire you to find the transformative power hidden within a persistent problem that has not gone away. (Yet!)
(And of course if you want my help, I’m here for you in these many ways…)
See you back here on Tuesday, August 6 with something utterly brand new. (So new, even I don’t know what it is yet!)