"AM I GOING TO GIVE UPÖAGAIN?"
I received the email printed below from a desperate individual in the midst of THE PRESENCE PROCESS asking me whether they should just give up? Intuitively, I know they do not want to "give up". However, the frequency of their letter is a precursor to what many who enter emotional processing during 2008 may face. In gratitude to this person, I print not only their email, but also my reply. May their frustration become our teaching, and consequently, their point of entry into authentic self-healing.
Is there a point at which a reader should just accept that for whatever reason, the process is too difficult and not worth it? The book mentions things get tough but this is worse than I had ever imagined. My long term financial picture has substantially worsened during the course of using this book. This is giving me fits of rage and making me extremely difficult to be around. I regularly break things around the house, punch out walls and yell at the top of my lungs. I began this book in hopes it would make my life a little smoother, instead Iím in the worst mental shape I have ever been in my life. I was not in great shape before I started, but now things are really ugly. Nothing is going well for me. I'm completely stagnated in my career and have no prospects. My wife is in another state. Iíve got no desire to meet with friends, but do so out of sheer boredom or obligation. I haven't slept well in weeks and I never feel relaxed during the breathing exercises. As a matter of fact, most of the time I feel as if Iím being suffocated or strangled, like my air is being blocked. Furthermore, my skin itches like crazy which makes it almost impossible to sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. I have the utmost disdain for my life and most of the time I long to disappear from existence. I feel chronically depressed. I keep hoping for a turnaround but it gets worse and worse each day and harder and harder to stick with it. I don't feel any benefit or increased sense of well being and I'm in week 6 (of the procedure).
This is not why I started this process. As a matter of fact, itís exactly what I wanted to overcome through this process. Isnít it amazing the Machiavellian nature of the universe that when you really want something, it throws the exact opposite of what you want at you? I've experienced this truth many times throughout my life and at this point its so infuriating that Iíve tried to give up many times.
The problem is every time I really throw in the towel, something sucks me right back in and gets my hopes up again. I don't trust "God" anymore. Frankly, I feel God is out to get me, he/she/it isn't here to help me, but is out to make my life a living hell! Like I said, I want to "give up", but give up what? Where do I go? What do I do with myself? I donít like being around most people, Iím alone most of the time but extremely uncomfortable in my own skin either way.
Thanks for any advice you may have or thoughts on what may result if I were to discontinue the process.
The most infuriating thing about this process is that it is not about feeling better - it is about getting better at feeling - and therein lies the itch upon your skin.
Yes, you can stop now, and instead move in the opposite direction - into behaviors that do not bring awareness to all these feelings you have suppressed - but rather that focus on sedating and controlling your discomfort.
From your email it is clear the process is working very well, and that you have obviously been diligently working at it. However, because of your overall state of discomfort (you must have had a hell of a childhood) - you may well have entered this procedure not only to try and feel good and make your life easier - but also in an attempt to resolve everything at once.
Did you not read in the introduction of THE PRESENCE PROCESS that the words good and easy are to be eliminated from your vocabulary?
This procedure is not about sticking another piece of candy into an angry child's mouth - a child that is obviously very uncomfortable in its skin - it is about removing the candy and instead engaging with it in an unconditional manner. If you do this procedure diligently you must know that the child is going to rebel - to enter a tantrum.
You are now in Session 6 - the point at which - if people do quit - they quit. This is because Session 7, 8, and 9 are about entering the emotional realm heart-on. If you have got this far you can accomplish completion - and, a couple weeks after completing, will experience a perceptual shift bringing increased ease into your life.
However, if you do continue, then this is what you are to expect:
Your attention is going to move closer and closer into the causal point of your imprinted fear, anger, and grief - and as it does so - a reflection of this will manifest with greater and greater clarity within and upon the world around you, as well as within your body. As this does so, you have two choices: To project ... to continue to behave like an indignant child and to throw tantrums - or, to process ... to choose to grow up emotionally.
Growing up emotionally means feeling it to heal it - no matter what!
If you are looking some ethereal philosophy into which you can run and hide from your current emotional condition - this is definitely not it. The Presence Process is not for emotional escapists or people seeking quick fixes. For most of us it is very hard work. Consequently, it is only for those who choose to emotionally grow up by taking full responsibility for the quality of their experiences - who make a conscious choice to process their past imprinting by gradually integrating it through feeling it.
If you intend to do this type of inner work all at once, you will continue to suffer. Ask for Grace - and ask for gentleness - and make sure you have not asked for everything to be dealt with in ten weeks. We receive what we ask for - especially a an accelerated rate now in 2008.
This year is going to be an entry into deepening discomfort and sheer insanity for all humans who hide from the conditions of their heart. I applaud you for entering this procedure in the first place - however, the nature of your intent in doing so is something I am dubious about. I am not sure you are doing this procedure to grow up emotionally? From the sound of your email, you are looking for a quick fix Ė for an escape from what is.
There are plenty of pharmaceuticals on the market - that despite their self-destructive side-effects - will definitely, quickly, and efficiently help you to enter the numbness and mechanical, robotic state you may prefer. There are also many medical professionals more than willing to hook you up with a life supply of these chemicals. However, if you seek to become better at feeling, rather than entertaining the misguided intent of trying to feel better - then continue on into Session 7. When it is possible, it is always beneficial to choose an alchemical experience over a chemical one.
Don't you realize by now that nothing ever works when done as a means to make you feel better? Haven't you figured out yet that entertaining any life activity loaded with such intent is illusionary and sets you up for inevitable disappointment?
This is the magic bullet:
The moment you stop investing all your energy into trying to feel better, and instead consciously commit to surrendering to what you are feeling in any given moment - and allowing that to be - then you will begin to feel better for the first time in your life.
Yes, I know, the paradox is annoying.
I know because I have been through this myself. There is nothing harder in this world than "growing up emotionally". Initially, it is infuriating entering any experience in which the only one capable and qualified to hold your hand is you.
I suggest you read "Gifts" and "Landing Out Of The Mental Plane" on the Articles & Letter page of this website.
I also suggest that despite what your ego is telling you, you continue onward through the procedure and reach completion. Then take three weeks break. Then, against the better judgment of your ego, you again reenter this procedure. For someone in your state of process I recommend doing THE PRESENCE PROCESS three times.
Eventually you will enter a juncture upon this eternal journey where you become vulnerable to the wonderful experience at laughing hysterically at yourself Ė at how it was all nothing - just a memory seeking integration. Then you will qualify for another prized experience: For being deeply grateful to yourself for not having given up on yourself...again. Then, and only in that moment, will you tear up in the knowing God has always been with you, and that all your suffering is due to you trying to get what you want as opposed to allowing yourself to becoming vulnerable to receiving what God is more than willing to give.
Michael Brown ©