I heard this phrase from Byron Katie* on one of her you tube videos and it stuck with me. It kept reminding me of the time, not long ago, when I was suffering/healing from a burn-out. During one year I practiced intense healing and with every healing step I took I got much better and then after a few days I would relapse. I know all about healing moving in a spiral** and this knowledge gave me relief because I knew I would feel better again, every time a bit better than the time before and then I would feel worse again, every time a bit less worse than the time before. But despite the relief, I would still feel hopeless with every relapse, filled with desperation, overwhelmed by the “why again-s” and the “why me-s”, sucked by the groundhog day experience, all ready to admit defeat and give up. In retrospect I realise that I would eventually come out of this moving sand of negative emotion and take another healing step and there I was again with my head out of the mud of pain breathing fresh air.
“What is coming back is what is left”! Let’s say you suffer chronically from stomach aches. Let us now make the working assumption that this stomach ache is here to tell you something about yourself and your life***. With this conviction at heart you embark on a quest to free yourself from the suffering of your stomach aches: for example you ask for help from a therapist, healer, homeopath, acupuncturist etc, or you pick up a self-healing practice such as meditation or chanting. After only a few sessions you have connected the dots, and you now know that you have disempowered yourself by investing all your energy into other people’s wants and needs.**** Your stomach starts to give you a break and you get a glimpse of what it means to feel healthy. You even start to take action on your awareness and start dedicating more time to you and less time trying to cover other people’s needs.
Nevertheless, and all of a sudden, after a while, you relapse! “What is coming back is what is left”! But what is it that is left? The answer is almost certainly: more awareness. So, in you dive again, to see what more is there into this: you go back to your therapist, healer, homeopath, acupuncturist etc, or you return with even more determination at your self-healing practice such as meditation or chanting, looking for answers. You come into the awareness that the reason behind your investment in other people’s wants and needs is related to your need to control other people’s feelings and behaviour’s as a way for you to feel safe in the world. As a result you start repeating the affirmation “ My business is my business, their business is their business" every time you feel the urge to control how others feel or behave. Your stomach aches disappear! You are filled with a “problem solved” type of excitement, which does not last long because after a few days/weeks/months the pain comes back (though it might already be less intense).
“What is coming back is what is left”! But what is it that is left? How can there be anything left? Did you not go to the core of this? There is always something left! This might actually be an infinite universe and it might actually have infinite potential for expansion, in which case: so do you!
“What is coming back is what is left”! You need to go back to your practice and find out what is left. In our working example, maybe you need to work with your fear of rejection and/or fear of abandonment, the lack of trust in yourself and life, the pain of being shamed in the past (which makes the possibility of being shamed in the future terrifying). Maybe you will keep coming back to these issues and every time you will discover a different layer into them. In the process you will learn more about yourself. As result you will feel more connected to yourself, to others and you will improve your life. As a result your stomach aches will eventually disappear. But what is left will still be coming back! It will be coming back in the form of physical pain or sadness or some other kind of emotional pain or mental discomfort (such as obsessions or fears), and you will keep working on yourself until you will purify the message, until all that is coming back is pure desire and inspiration. Because what is left is coming back to heal you..
*Byron Katie is an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as "The Work of Byron Katie" or simply as "The Work” (source: Wikipedia)
** The process of change is not linear. Change moves is circles that move forward. It therefore resembles a spiral moving outwards and forward and in every circle it returns inwards and backwards, before it extends outwards and forward again. Healing is essentially a process of change.
*** This assumption is at the base of most energy/spiritual healing systems. It is also a core value if you are looking to achieve conscious living. It is perfectly combined with all medical or other treatments you wish to combine it with!
**** This is a working hypothesis. While the issue described here might well be the reason behind your stomach ache, it is not necessarily the reason behind all stomach aches. Also although the situation described here might be relevant to your life, the physical discomfort that it gives you might be completely different. This is because 1) no two life-stories are alike, and 2) the particular details of who you are and what your life is, are very important.
Text by Birds WG
Photo by Shea Rouda on Unsplash