“Spiritual progress is like a detoxification. Things have to come up in order to be released. Once we have asked to be healed, then our unhealed places are forced to the surface.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Healing isn’t a pleasant process—at least it hasn’t been for me.
But I keep having this feeling that I need to tell people…
“It’s worth it.”
Because I know when you break and hit the wall and get sick and it all goes to hell, well, it sucks.
It really does.
Well, it did for me.
But if we’ve asked for healing, if we’ve stated out loud and in our hearts that we’re committed to healing, that we’re done with the baggage of trauma and we’re ready and willing for the next stage of our life to begin, then we have to also know that everything that arises—the good, the bad and the ugly—is in the name of this intention.
I know it doesn’t feel like this, though. It feels like our hearts are breaking and we’re in the abyss and will never come out. But we don’t need to believe in this.
Instead, we need to remember that when we set an intent for love, health and well-being and then lose our job, our marriage breaks down or we get depressed, this is all part of the transition.
These are actually signs that we’ve set a powerful intent and the wheels of motion are in swift movement. It means we’re doing a good job.
Because everything is fuel. Necessary fuel for our healing journey. The path isn’t smooth, but once we’ve set the intention for healing, we’re on the path and there’s no getting off, so we might as well ride the bumps and grow taller with each one.
Thich Nhat Hanh put it this way:
Our practice is based on the insight of non-duality. Both our negative feelings and positive feelings are organic and belong to the same reality. So there is no need to fight; we only need to embrace and take care. Therefore, in the Buddhist tradition, meditation does not mean you transform yourself into a battlefield, with the good fighting the evil. This is very important. You may think you have to combat evil and chase it out of your heart and mind. But this is wrong. The practice is to transform yourself. If you don’t have garbage, you have nothing to use in order to make compost. And if you have no compost, you have nothing to nourish the flower in you. You need the suffering, the afflictions in you. Since they are organic, you know that you can transform them and make good use of them.
So here are three steps for setting a powerful intent that will put transformation in motion. It might be easy or it might be hard. It doesn’t matter. It’s your journey and whatever happens, it will be great.
1. Think about what you want. What you really want. Not in a compromising way, but in a real, straight to the heart nucleus of our dreams kind of a way. Connect with this want in words, a vision or a feeling. It doesn’t matter, as long as you connect with it.
2. Make sure the intention of what you want is in the positive and not in the negative. And make sure not to use the word “want” in your intention or you’ll get more wanting. Consider “I am pain-free” versus “I want to be pain-free.” You probably already want to be pain-free, so that wouldn’t really be a transformation, would it?
3. Let go of outcome. This is the hardest part. We just want to feel relaxed and comfortable with our intention. If resistance or fear arises, we know it’s an opportunity to work through feelings and memories in the subconscious that are blocking the intention. Actually, everything that arises after setting the intention is an opportunity to come closer to our goals. Maybe the opposite of what we want is offered to us. This is an opportunity to say “no” and put our energy toward what we really want.
Setting intention is a process. We start with small things like parking spots and favorite jeans and work our way up to health and love.
But don’t take negativity and pain as a sign that intention isn’t working. They’re just compost that will eventually grow flowers. The exact flowers each of us wants.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Evan Yerburgh