Fear of facing our inner experiences

This post will examine the challenges faced by many of us regarding what might happen if we journey inwards. From my experience in life and as a psychotherapist, the need to look inwards is often what brings us to therapy but can also be the greatest block or hindrance once we arrive.

When we arrive at a point in our lives, where we question our present day actions, thoughts and emotions and wonder how I came to this point; the immediate response is what led us to this place, what came before that I am now experiencing life in this way? Some events are easy to locate and their impact immediately recognisable; others not so, they may be subtle and hidden to ourselves and this is where the ambivalence regarding uncovering often emerges.

We have many turning points in our lives and our subconscious catalogues them all in a very sophisticated manner, informing our reactions and responses which are outside of our conscious awareness. To many, this is a disconcerting realisation, that for most of our living we operate outside of our awareness. In some ways it leads to the consideration that choice is removed from us and in some ways this is correct. Our subconscious is making an effort continually to resolve that which remains incomplete within us and that is why it may feel like we are at the same point in a different situation again and again.

We are complex machines, our thoughts, emotions and body are continually exchanging information that we often do not give consideration to. This is what’s so important to have an idiosyncratic understanding of how is my machine calibrated?
This quest is not an easy one. It initially requires a consideration of the prospect of embarking on the journey. Let’s explore the period even before beginning.

Acknowledging the different responses we might have to the journey inwards is in essence the work beginning. Not only is it opening us up to many possibilities and conjecture, but it also is beginning to create the space of inward travelling, as in many ways it is about exploration.

In many ways it is about acknowledging what thoughts and feelings are there, without trying to change them or travel down the road of I shouldn’t feel this. This compassion is again part of journey as it creates a supportive and open environment.

The following may be some of the fears we may have:

In effect the purpose of getting to know ourselves is to open up what is consciously unknown to ourselves, this can be frightening prospect-What if I don’t like what I see. There may be parts of me better off staying hidden?

Will I discover things that will leave me flooded, unable to cope. This is a great concern and one that should be considered mindfully and with support. Where can I get support should I need it? In the therapeutic relationship safety is one the key
considerations of the work.

Will I view people I love differently if I start peaking under the lid? Will I view myself differently? The answer to this is probably yes; however a proviso to this is, it may be an opportunity for growth and development of my relationships to myself and others?

If we as humans did not have the urge to discover and explore beyond what we know, it is very likely we would not have evolved. It’s an exciting prospect- that which is happens on a global scale regarding human endeavour, can be as groundbreaking and transformative in an inner landscape. There is always a risk with discovery but without it, we remain static, out of awareness and possibly feeling powerless in our own lives..

The next post will consider the advantages of travelling inwards.

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