The prevailing psychological wisdom of our time tells you that your current dysfunctions are probably a result of your past experiences, e.g., your painful childhood, your stupid parents, your abusive first love, and the wars, famines, and hurricanes you were forced by fate to go through. If you're metaphysically inclined, you may even believe that your present pain has its roots in a past life, a past past life, a past past past life. (By the way, after talking to many who claim to have recovered memories from past lives, I can assure you that nobody on earth has ever had a great life in the past. Since there's nothing new under the Sun, it's safe to assume that a great life will not exist in the future, either. So you can stop looking now.)
You were told that healing from past pains would get you happiness. But if you're reading this, you probably have been on the "healing path" for a long time, under the assumption that once you heal your past, you'd finally find fulfillment and freedom. That was how I looked at my life, for a long time. I went from one healing modality to another, on a quest for the Holy Grail that would bestow bliss to eternity.
Such a quest is useful, until it is not. After years of professional counseling, shamanic sessions, cleansing retreats, and chocolate cake fixes, I realized that the healing journey simply would not end on its own. If you look for them, you can always find traumas in yourself, old and new, to be healed and cleansed. A completely healed human is a mythological construct. And the quest for healing can be a rat race that is easy to get on, but hard to step off.
You could never be fully healed because healing is a concept that only exits in a world of duality where experiences are dichotomized into good and bad, right and wrong, happy and sad. Light cannot be known without darkness. Similarly, you won't be able to define healing in yourself without also identifying trauma in yourself. As long as you live in a narrative of personal history, of how you came to be the way you are and how you're being fixed and improved from a state of brokenness, the story of your healing journey will continue just like time extends to infinity.
This story is totally valid from the human perspective. Entire industries are built on such stories. Research institutes and Ph.D. programs are set up to refine this story, to tell it with ever increasing precision and nuance. This story has helped most of us, at various stages of life, to make sense of our past, overcome difficulties, and stay hopeful about the future. But at some point, the story stops being helpful, and instead becomes a hindrance to your ultimate freedom.
So what is one to do? The answer: Just give up.
I know what you're thinking -- you just wasted five minutes of your life reading this useless article. Am I really telling you to give up on healing? Yes, I am.
I want to remind you that no matter how real they seem, trauma, depression and heartbreak are ideas conceived by men. Imagine you are an alien being who has no clue about how humans behave. And suppose you come to the earth for the first time and see a person crying her heart out all day. Would you automatically conclude that she needs to be "fixed" somehow? No, you wouldn't. Because nothing makes you label tears as negative and smiles positive. Even if you're able to empathize with humans and feel sadness and joy, you'd simply experience those emotions as different physical sensations, without interpreting them in our usual, human way.
You can have a similar experience without being an alien, if you allow yourself to drop deep within, into the primal state of being before concepts and stories are created. In this "origin state," nothing is broken and therefore nothing needs to be healed. Trauma stops being trauma. And you don't have any problem to solve. Any agenda to improve or progress disappears, because no state is "better" than another. Whatever sensations and feelings you experience are just that -- they simply exist.
Since nothing is perceived as negative or positive in this state, there is no need to chase some feelings and run away from others. And when all feelings and thoughts are allowed to be present as what they are, the energetic imprints of your past experiences that have been trapped under deep layers of you could finally surface. Because without the usual human interpretations, you would no longer feel destabilized or threatened by them. And those imprints that no longer serve you are now free to leave without prompt, as they are not aligned with your natural state of wholeness and health.
Note that the passage of time isn't required in this process. Once you drop into the origin state, "healing" becomes instantaneous.
Now you're thinking, "Easy for you to say. How am I supposed to get rid of my concepts and stories exactly?" If you feel frustrated, confused or incompetent about this, good. Now see if you could hold the frustration, confusion, and feeling of inadequacy in you with loving acceptance. Too difficult? Then simply try embracing the fact that you're not able to embrace your frustration, confusion and incompetency.
Because although no words can describe the path to the origin state, it is acceptance and not resistance that gets you closer. When you're committed to embracing the thoughts and emotions that do show up in you at every moment, one day you would find that what shows up... is pure magic.
Natasha Che is a personal growth teacher and writer living in Washington DC. She writes about relationship, career, spirituality and creative process on natashache.com, where you can sign up to receive monthly inspirations. Natasha is working on a memoir titled Wizardry: One Woman's Quest for Meaning, Mission, and Magic.