The Five Levels of Healing

When working with my students in healing their inner conflict and self-negativity, I have observed a progression of five levels in the healing process. I’d like to describe them here so you can get a sense for what the healing journey looks like.

Level One, Insight

The first level of healing is Insight.

When a person realizes that they have a deep inner conflict in their lives — from a wound of self-negativity, how they got that wound, and how it has already been driving their big life decisions all throughout their lives — the insight of all these realizations, even on its own, is already powerfully healing and can often feel like a huge relief.

“I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before!” and “I finally understand why I feel the way I feel!” are things we often hear during this first remarkable level of the healing journey.

This is the momentum that drives us forward into the other levels, but even if the student stops here, it is already wonderful because they have already been able to get a tremendous measure of insight and relief from their long-term suffering and frustration.

Level Two, Changes

With the insight of things like shielding and soothing, and how self-negativity gets inflicted by others, we then move to the second level of healing, Changes.

At this level, a person is starting to use their new-found insight to brainstorm and implement a flurry of “quick-hit” changes to how they shield, soothe and generally think about defending themselves from the self-negative attacks of both their own inner voice, and external people alike.

This is a tremendously empowering phase for the student. They feel like they are finally “learning the rules” of a powerful game, where they can finally do more to defend themselves from abuse, absolve themselves from falsely-assigned guilt and shame, and live their lives more happily and with more confidence — all immediately, and with no delay. They are limited only by their imaginations in how best to apply these insights to their own unique situations.

The Changes level is an extraordinary phase of the healing process, and even if the student stops here, their lives have been permanently changed for the better — they are already calmer, happier and stronger in the face of their inner conflict and self-negativity.

Level Three, Healing

The third level of the journey is itself called Healing.

At this level, we begin to move deeper — beyond the level of improving our shielding and soothing mechanisms — to the profound task of healing the underlying wound itself.

Remember — the original cause of the inner conflict within you was the cutting off and estrangement of a fully valid part of your core inner self. This exiled part of you — with its justified anger — is now the primary driver of the self-negative, self-punishing voice that is deeply in conflict with you.

Fighting, suppressing and numbing the inner voice will obviously not work — you can’t actually “kill” it and just “get on with your life”, because it is you. So then the only other way to stop the conflict is to find the deepest source of the exiled, wounded voice, and to attempt heal it directly — by hearing its message, without suppressing it or running away, and ultimately finding a way to recruit it back to your side.

This is easier said than done of course — but it is also the key to your life.

And if you can manage the courage to try (and not run away), you’ll be amazed at how doors will open which you didn’t even realize were there, while ever-deeper flashes of insight work to propel you to your ultimate goal.

All this will happen to you, if you are willing to try, because there is a deep secret to the healing process, and it is this:

The cut off, estranged part of your core did not go into exile willingly — it was pushed out — and in reality, it desperately wants to come back home.

So if you commit to the challenge of healing your inner wound, and restoring your inner self back to wholeness, then the exiled part of you — so powerful in its own right — will move heaven and earth to clear a path for you to find it.

Then you will be healed — your whole inner self will become restored.

Level Four, Integration

Once you have healed and restored yourself to wholeness, you will typically find that you have a lot of catching up to do!

Your whole, healed self will be literally bigger, more powerful, and more bountiful than your previous wounded self — and the many aspects of your life will begin to automatically realign to this new center.

Your very language will change — the way you speak to yourself internally will be completely different and non-negative — and the people around you will adjust and align to this as well.

You will work differently, you will love differently. You will parent VERY differently. Even your posture will change. External conflicts will also diminish, as aggressors steer clear to look for weaker targets.

Above all, you will no longer need to shield and soothe as you did before, because your underlying wound will be healed.

Money will be just money again. Food will be just food. Drugs, alcohol and meaningless relationships will fall away from the path of your life.

You will love yourself, as you are, with no changes required, other than for your pleasure — and never out of fear or self-loathing.

Level four then, is Integration — the integration of your healed, whole self back into the world, and the process of aligning all the aspects of your regular life, to flow in harmony with your new and self-luminous center.

Level Five, Bliss

Once you are finally healed, then — whole and integrated fully into life, with shielding and soothing having fallen away, and your once-negative voice now actually nurturing and advising you in your life — a wonderful question will begin to develop next:

Now that you are free and at peace, what will you do with all that extra time and energy?

At Preside, we strongly believe that every person has within them a collection of “lines of bliss”, which are innate and naturally-occurring, like the lines of grain in wood.

To follow the flow of these lines of bliss is to find, eventually, the true purpose and meaning of your life — which you will also discover to be deeply entwined with the well-being of the life of the world around you.

And the most common barrier to bliss in most people, had precisely been this wound of self-negativity and inner conflict that you will have just lovingly healed in levels 1–4.

And now… your inner barriers have been removed, and your lines of bliss are unblocked. And now these lines will start to flow powerfully through you, and then continue on to extend out into the life of the world around you. You will enter into a deep and fruitful period of aligning all aspects of your life to be in concert with the naturally-occurring lines of your bliss.

Your whole, healed self will not just sit there — it will powerfully move to its naturally-occurring, innate purpose.

Your personal firsthand experience of it will be one of “bliss”, life meaning, and deep fulfillment — but larger impact of the resulting work — whatever it turns out to be — will be deeply for the benefit of not just yourself, but for the benefit of the life of the entire world all around you.

This then is the fifth (and lifelong) level of the healing process: Bliss.


Thank you for reading this far. This is the extraordinary progression I have witnessed in my students, and I hope this description has been helpful for you.

If you resonate with the healing path I’ve described — and you feel it may be an appropriate fit for your life right now — I welcome you to email me directly to share your thoughts about where you currently are on your path, and where you would like to be.

You can reach me at artie@presidemeditation.com, and I can also send you some starting tools to help you clarify your “healing profile”, so you can figure out your best next steps.

Thank you so much, and I look forward to connecting with you.


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