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The potential for freedom

In doing emotional repression work, we directly see that it is not the emotion that’s the problem. Rather it is the resistance, the protection, that binds us. We stay stuck in a continual loop going back and forth between protective programs (thoughts) fueled by repressed emotions in the body. Like a computer with a stuck program eating up resources, you may wonder why is the computer overheating? But in actuality nothing is wrong with it except a program that’s stuck in the background.

How can you look more clearly and see what’s actually happening within you? That’s the purpose of shadow work, learning how to do inquiry and going beneath the surface to see directly the source of your thinking and feeling. It’s surprisingly easy to do this if we are curious and willing. Is there a part of you that wants to be free? That yearns for more from life, that knows there has to be the possibility of deeper connection and intimacy with those you care about and more fulfillment with life in general. That this sense of “stuck” and needing to always be distracted and busy is quite dissatisfying no matter how nice the new iPhones get. But it is difficult to jump ship and go against the programming telling you to keep going, don’t stop, just be better and try harder.

This constant seeking in the future for something better than this. How’s that going? Ask yourself this honestly and feel into your body.

That right there is the recognition of suffering and is the fuel for starting to look deeper within. At some point in your life, you may even feel that you have no choice but to start going inward. But there’s no rush to do so if you’re not ready. There’s no pressure. It’s not something that can be forced on you. But if there is even just a hint of willingness to explore, a sense of adventurousness or just sheer desperation to feel better, then great. Come and learn this interesting approach to self exploration. It does not take intellect, talent, or anything of the sort. Just the willingness to explore and connect with what's underneath the surface, the parts of you that you're unaware of.

This is truly about resolving the main factors for our primary suffering: repressed emotion and protective programming that feels very much like you. These are actually layers of identity that are like lenses through which we see the world. Our whole reality as we experience it is filtered and distorted by these lenses, and this leads to an incredible amount of suffering. This is why we feel so separate, alienated, and disconnected from everything. Because we’re constantly looking through a filter, like being at a concert and watching it through your phone.

So that’s the bad news. But the good news is that there’s the potential for freedom from that suffering just by being willing to connect with and ultimately dissolve these lenses of perception that bind us in suffering. It does take some work, and it’s not always fun. But the journey is worth taking, and the truth is, what else are you going to do anyway?

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