The way up is down
“You’ve got to be kidding. I just came from down there, and I’ve spent my whole life trying to get out! Why in the world should I go back?” she exclaimed incredulously.
“Because it’s how you’ll progress,” He said.
“Progress?” she scoffed. “That’s what I did when I got out of there. Going back will be digressing.”
“I know it seems like that,” He said gently. “But you haven’t actually progressed. What you did was escape. That’s different.”
“Of course I escaped!” she cried. “What do you expect? It was hell.”
“I don’t blame you. You did the best you knew how. You didn’t do anything wrong.
“The problem is that you’re still in hell. You only escaped the external circumstance. But the hell still lives in your heart, every moment of every day. I only want to help you release it for good. The further you run away from it, the more it will continue to affect your life.
“You’re like a prisoner who has escaped from prison. But now you’re on the run, and you live in constant fear that you’ll be caught. You see your captors in everything around you, and that is evidenced by your emotional triggers — your defensiveness, reactivity, anger, fear, and addictions you depend on to numb the pain.
“Aren’t you tired of being on the run? Don’t you want to be truly free?”
His words pierced her heart and tears sprang to her eyes.
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Remember what Joseph Campbell said:
‘The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.’
“Your cave is your emotional wounds. The treasure you seek is freedom from the pain you harbor, the defense mechanisms you’ve built that keep you hard and closed, and the false and limiting beliefs you’ve developed as a result.
“The only way to transcend your pain is to descend to the point of origin — the source of the original wound — and face it consciously. You’ve buried it deep in your subconscious mind. You’ve run away from it and done all you can to avoid it. Ironically, this is precisely why the pain continues to fester.
“Feeling the pain is not the same thing as facing the wound. And you’ll continue feeling the pain until you actually face and deal with the wound.
“I’m not asking you to wallow in your pain — that’s what you’ve been doing your whole life. I’m inviting you to heal.
“And this is what I want you to understand. Going down into your heart, your subconscious, the cave of your original wounds, is how you rise above the wounds.
“There is an exponential freeing effect one experiences by facing their wounds and exploring the false and limiting beliefs that developed from them. To put it in concrete terms, if you go low by a factor of one, you raise your consciousness and capacity for joy by a factor of ten or more.
“The depth you’re willing to descend determines the height you’re able to achieve.”
Her heart was opening and she was listening, but she still wasn’t convinced and He could see it in her face.
“Let me give you another analogy,” He continued. “Your original wound was like confronting a dragon. Only you got so hurt and scared by the dragon that you didn’t really look at it deeply and see it clearly.
“And as the poet Rainer Maria Rilke put it,
‘How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses. Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are only princesses waiting for us to act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.’
“You have to face your dragon to see its helplessness and desperate craving for love. Are you ready?”
“Yes,” she said resolutely.
“Do you have any questions?” He asked.
“Yes. How do I do it?”