With a cut or scratch on my skin, I know with proper care healing will take place. The deeper the wound, the more time needed for the healing to happen. Even then there often is a scar and the size of it depends a good amount on the care I take of the wound.
Healing emotional wounds is similar. How much care I give the abrasion in my psyche affects the mending process. Just like a visible injury healed on the outer body, recovery of the heart and mind usually leaves behind a scar but inside, unseen. The inability to see it lends difficulty to knowing when healing has fully taken place.
Ever noticed how when we get hurt physically and someone asks if we are OK, the first response is often “I’m fine”. My response has been like that when I was in searing pain and ultimately had to get medical attention. I suppose admitting being hurt suggests some sort of weakness. Why this is my nature I really have no specific idea, but have been doing it recently by saying I am OK when I really am not.
I am wrestling with an issue with roots back in childhood and tentacles all over my adult. My belief was I had moved past the issue to where it would not bother me again. That thinking was a mistake. Just as scar tissue is never as strong as original skin, when recovered emotionally from a childhood wound there remains a tender and easily re-injured scar.
The Buddha said desire was the cause of suffering. Addiction is compulsive desire run rampant. From my early adult life I was a relationship addict and had to be involved with a woman to feel complete (if not more than one at the same time). Like any addiction, desire was never sated for long and over time it took more and more to satisfy the desire if only for a short while.
A part of my healing was to live with loneliness until being with someone was not driven by compulsion. Will I ever achieve that one hundred percent? Not likely, but getting the upper hand over that desire is something I am glad happened for me. However, I have discovered a part of my self-control came from cultivating aversion which actually is not about being healed. It is rather about building another form of compulsion: one away from what is desired.
It is healthy to make the discovery I have. Doing the real work on one’s self to find more contentment in life brings a constant series of doors being opened where an entry point was previously unknown. This journey of self-discovery is exciting and rewarding while at the same time difficult and worrisome. Healing and recovery is not a process that moves at a constant speed. Rather it is a combination of progressive jerks forward and developmental back stepping.
My present challenge brought another little piece of clarity. It is something I know but was not practicing particularly well: worry churns the same thought over and over in my head building it to a size beyond its real meaning. Worrying is just aversion or more accurately, fear. Slaying this dragon or at least making it my friend means moving past my fear. I have to walk right into the mouth of what I am afraid of and stride through it in order to move forward.
What you have read today is simply me thinking in written form while sorting out why an old way of being and thinking is affecting me so much. Sharing publicly here is my way of overcoming contempt and aversion prior to deeper investigation. Such has been my way with many things. Building disapproval and even hatred for ways of being in my past is not healthful. Just admitting that truth will help me overcome my aversion so I can heal better.
In Zen, there is a path called the “Great Doubt” or the “Don’t Know Mind”. Simply it is only when I accept the answer is not known that it may be found. As soon as I settle on a quick solution blindness will come over me for other considerations. As soon as I have it “figured out” that is when I stop learning.
I am grateful to realize the wisdom of every answer I arrive at must be provisional, based on the information I have at that moment and my own ability to see it clearly. With my current quandary I am uncomfortable, yet am learning greater penetration into wisdom by bearing the questioning. It is challenge, difficulty and pain that are the most prolific teachers.
Today I will not fear change and new ways of seeing or being. I will not hold discomfort at arm’s length. Without fear of the learning’s impact on my life I will let insights openly come so the lesson being taught can find me I am grateful for the new perceptions that will help me to do just that.
Growth means change and change involves risk,
stepping from the known to the unknown.