On the Importance of Process
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” –Lao Tzu
It seems like everything in our world is about speed, quick fixes, and running around. You see it in all areas of modern life, including health care (unfortunately even in alternative health care more and more). In our effort to move through everything so quickly, we lose something sacred, something that is and has always been an integral part of healing: the process.
What do I mean by process? Process is the understanding that healing is not linear. When we begin to heal on a deep level, there will be times when we feel like we are moving backwards, times when we will plateau, and times when it feels like nothing is happening at all. There is a sacredness and importance in all of these directions, even if they do not match our expectations of how things “should” be progressing. Real change requires us to confront and heal long-standing beliefs about ourselves, about the world, about our bodies, about our health. As we become aware of these beliefs (and associated behaviours), it’s likely that we will revisit some of their origins and that may give way to sadness, fear, anger, resentment and other emotions that maybe you don’t want to deal with (again… and again… and again…). Learn to become patient and allow yourself to simply be where ever you find yourself. What does it feel like to be there? When you feel that you have come to a plateau, try to enjoy it. We need time to rest and reflect. Take it all in. Take a moment to just be. Is there anything that comes up in the pause?
Process is about knowing that sometimes we will have to take several months (maybe even a year or more) with a particular layer of our healing. We may even have to leave it and return to it later after some other aspect of ourselves has been explored. The roots of some of our issues are so much deeper than we may realize. They could go back several generations within our own ancestry. Try to let go of expectations and timelines as much as possible because they will not serve you on your journey through deep healing.
Process is about understanding that healing is not always predictable. In the West we love to talk about prognosis and outcomes. I understand the temptation because we all want to feel like we are in control, but healing is something that happens at its own pace, in its own time. It is organic, and dynamic in nature. The same way that you can’t rush the growth of a tree, you can’t rush the healing of your body, mind or soul. There is beauty in a seed, in a sapling, and in a fully mature tree. There is also beauty in all of the stages of your own healing. Become an observer and you will see it.
We all want to get better as soon as possible and that’s only natural, but my advice to you is to be patient and allow the teaching of the journey to unfold. The process is where we find the wisdom, the strength and the power that the illness was there to show us all along.