Seeing a vasana (or core issue) disappear for a time is not the end of the road.
Vasanas can reappear and re-establish themselves if we fall back into living life by following what have become habitual behavior patterns.
Habitual behavior patterns are one form of residue, precipitate, the fallout from our vasanas. They linger even after the vasana is gone.
I still have the habits, patterns, and behavior of a person who has been disappointed so many times he sees things as hopeless.
Add to that a steady perceived diet of criticism and you have someone who feels beaten down.
Like Morley’s chain, we each have our residue and are each responsible for what we do with it. It’s like the software, the program in the computer. We act according to its dictates automatically – yes, the world is a hopeless place; yes, nothing I do works out; yes, it’s all my fault.
If I don’t remain vigilant and instead respond in the old familiar ways, I’ll fall back into the same old grooves or attitudes. I’ll recreate the vasana, without knowing what I’m doing.
So, I repeat: It isn’t enough to get free of the vasana; we also have to get rid of the residue of habitual behavior patterns by rechoosing and reprogramming ourselves. (1)
In past articles, I’ve called this process “reparenting.” I’ve reparented my own wounded child and offered it the guidance, now, that I didn’t have then.
If I don’t do it, who in society will do it for me? A psychotherapist? A workshop leader? A spiritual teacher? We have few courses on parenting, never mind reparenting.
No, I need to see to the residue, reprogram the computer, rid myself of the leftover habitual behavior patterns that result from losing hope.
I consider all of this the “work” in “growth work.” This then is me “doing my work.” This is part of awareness work.
My hope and intention is that, when I do reparent myself, the sudden disappearance of Constant Comment, the constant chorus of carping critics, will continue and become established. (2)
I’ll probably have to journey to the heart of the feeling of hopelessness before it’ll loosen its grip on me. The truth will have set me free.
Or I could see its cost, which might have me change my vote. Either way, I’ll clean up what’s left over from years of responding … no, succumbing … to the vasana of hopelessness.
In service to happiness.
(1) Doing this takes time and patience. Most people may not be up for it.
(2) See “Out of Jail at Last,” August 20, 2020, at https://goldenageofgaia.com/?p=312718