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The Inner Work of Therapy

Under the pressure of events, our lives become hard-packed like soil that has not been tilled for many years. One experience is added to another so rapidly that we have neither time nor opportunity to consider their implications, nor the possibilities they open. We do not have time to savor their pleasantness, to feel their pain deeply, not to establish an inner relationship to them. They pile up and are pressed tightly together inside of us, leaving no room in between for the fresh air of consciousness to enter, nor for something new to grow.

In therapy, however, we gradually break into this hardness. The soil of our lives is loosened and softened. The solid clumps of past experience are broken up so that air and sunlight can enter. New awareness comes in and have a fertilizing effect. Soon the soil becomes soft enough for new shoots to grow in. As we do this, it gradually becomes possible for us to move about more freely within ourselves, opening up to experience, letting our feelings move fluidly, and giving ourselves access to corners of our life to which we previously had no avenues of contact.

Ultimately, all the contents of our lives then become accessible to us. Our whole existence becomes like good soft soil through which we can run our fingers, enjoying the touch of it. We find that we are free to explore our inner world without judgment, beyond personal praise or blame, and without fear.

In time, we find that no matter how difficult the circumstances that our personal destiny has brought to us, we become strong enough and capable of handling them without being thrown off our course. This quality of sensitivity and openness to the inner unfoldment of our lives becomes a major source of life confidence, enabling us to overcome the anxieties and trials of our existence.

--by Ira Progoff




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