Focusing On Joy Does Not Mean Avoid Processing Your Wounds.

Our Deepest Block Is The Fear Of Exploring Our Shadow-side.

To ‘Know Thyself’ is to know ALL that you are.

Today we will go further into the understanding of the core spiritual teaching of Know Thyself through the understanding that this instruction is not just to know what you deem to be the best of you — it is to know All That You Are which includes your shadow-side. This is an evolution of the Law of Attraction teaching (which many people misinterpret to mean you should only focus on the positive) in the way it invites us to integrate ALL the aspects of life that we have created for ourselves to experience.

With love, Story


The state of consciousness we call awakening is not some “top level” to be reached or achieved. It is a state of freedom where you understand that the only limits or opposition you ever experience are of your own creation. Awakening is not therefore to have learnt some incredible skill — it is to stop blinding yourself to the wider understanding of reality that exists beyond the knowing of yourself as a temporarily (mortal) individuated consciousness.

To awaken is to see beyond your mortality.

This is to realize that everything you seek is already within you — just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

Denying the Self through the idea of “Other”

Many people give away their power of self-creation through the idea they are seeking to become something “other” than what they currently are. This is to believe that your current state is in some way inferior — whether that be on a personal level or through an idea that to be human is of “lower vibration” (as expressed by most religions).

This is to deny your choice for this life. You are not less than anything; you are within a cutting-edge reality through which consciousness is choosing to explore itself.

The belief that your current condition is in some way the result of a mistake or “bad thing”, carries with it negative feelings such as fear, lack, dissatisfaction, and self-judgment. The force of these emotions then becomes the force of separation that holds you outside your natural, joyful state of being.

When you do not “Know Thyself”, your denial of self becomes a significant factor in creating your experience. Denial that you are the creator of your reality is an act of reality creation, as it is to create the experience of that denial such that you can explore it as a reality.

Denial is the choice to create a shadow to experience.

If you see the state of your reality as inferior, you are caught in a loop of dissatisfaction because reality is a mirror. It will always reflect your belief of inferiority back to you through experiences that evoke feelings of being “less than”.

To feel joy is a choice that can only be made in the present moment. This means that the potential for joy is always with you for, if it exists in the “Now” moment, there can be nowhere you need to go to discover it — joy is where you are.

Releasing a way in which you deny yourself joy can be painful in the moment of its release (as you will feel the pain that initiated the denial), but it is still a positive step towards experiencing more joy because it is the release of a way in which you were denying joy. This is how always avoiding pain can block you.

The Limits of Pure Positive Thinking.

Because so much of spirituality is about realizing how your innate nature is infinite, there is a trend of coming to see yourself in ever more positive ways through the realization that your natural state is love, joy, abundance, and the sovereign creatorship of your own experience.

For example, many spiritual teachings such as The Law of Attraction (which is one of the most transformative teachings available) encourage us to focus on the positive such that we feel better and therefore radiate a more joyful state of consciousness. This then leads us to attract a better feeling reality.

This teaching is clearly the most appropriate message for anyone who is awakening from their conditioned state of focusing on the negative and feeling worse and worse about it. Until we break out of the rut of our conditioning, the message ‘only allow the positive’ is the best way to awaken from patterns of fear, lack, blame and low self-worth. However, although it is true this is the appropriate message for anyone emerging from all the negative media messages we collectively absorb, to know thyself is to know you are ALL things — not just the positive qualities.

If you follow the path of positive thinking, you will experience great shifts in your life as reality transforms from reflecting the limiting beliefs you once carried to mirroring back the joy and freedom of your spirit. While you are within this powerful state of transformation, there is an opportunity to — more acutely than ever — see how reality is a mirror of your beliefs.

When you truly see your reality as a reflection, you will know you are the potential of ALL things — not just those qualities you have deemed to be positive.

By releasing limiting beliefs that are no longer needed, and by learning how to become conscious of the energy we are radiating, we can all experience a new level of flow in our life. However, as we then reach for our most exciting dream through ideas such as the Law of Attraction, it often seems that many people still fall short and find that no matter how hard they focus on the positive they still experience insurmountable barriers.

Why is this so? What is this limit or barrier we end up pushing against?

Areas of Resistance.

When it comes to facing obstacles, the message is to put down your resistant fear-based beliefs and allow your experience. The true basis of the Law of Attraction is allowance — not focusing on the positive. The difference between allowance and focusing on the positive is caused by people interpreting focus on the positive to also mean avoid the negative. But…

Avoidance is the opposite of allowance.

This is where many people get into difficulty with the law of attraction. Focus on the positive is great advice — just don’t take it to mean you should run away from anything you feel resistance to, as that very resistance is pointing to ways in which you are not allowing your full experience of self.

The law of attraction is not just saying you must generate more and more flow (as this would be to live in relation to an ideal state which is contrary to the experience of freedom).

Although the seeking of “more flow” is certainly a positive step in clearing stuck, wounded emotions within you (because being in the flow of allowance brings wounds to the surface), what I want to point you towards is learning to use the feeling of flow to highlight and identify the wounds you are still carrying (such that you can transform them by exploring them through the idea of better knowing yourself).

This is to understand that as powerful as the flow of life (the allowance of All That We Are) can be at washing away discordant energies, we are equally powerful in our ability to create stagnation, limitation, and lack. What I am pointing at here is our deepest wounds — the ones that partially define us. These are not the kind of wounds that emerge from our fear and resistance, but the kinds of wounds we chose to create from the level of our spirit in order to profoundly shape our experience of being human.

To fully awaken to the wider state of existence we birthed from is to see how you chose — with great wisdom — to take on deep wounds in this life because they would trigger you to engage with life through the intensity of the emotions which they evoke.

To awaken is to see that to choose to be human is to choose to walk within the contrast of light and shade, joy and pain, ups and downs.
To awaken is to recognize your shadow-side as a powerful choice to explore, and through which you learn about yourself. It is not a mistake to eradicated.

The most profound obstacles you will experience in your life all come from your birth-choice to experience wounding. You could imagine these as being self-chosen wounds included in your blueprint for this life. Such wounds appear as areas of resistance that present themselves as blocks, denials, obsessions, judgments, physical limitations, addictions, etc.

An area of resistance has the power to compartmentalize itself from the flow of your life and represents an area of unconsciousness — an area where you do not know thyself. It is, however, only the contents of the compartmentalized area that are not known — the hard “outer” edges of the block are felt and mirrored in external reality where they are experienced as an obstacle.

Being in the flow of allowance long enough will eventually lead any area of resistance to open, be explored and released. However, an overt focus on “only focus on the positive” can act as a brake, as you will avoid the negative sensations that naturally arise when the flow of allowance brings your wounds forward for healing / transformation.

It is not that the teaching of focusing on positive is wrong, it is that it is often experienced on a purely mental, logical level and is therefore misunderstood. Focus on the positive is an instruction to be in joy, to attract joy, to radiate joy, and to embrace joy.

“Focus on the positive” means focus on joy. It does not mean “avoid the negative” because that can only be achieved by focusing on the negative and the act of avoidance.

Focus on the positive is like saying, love peace rather than hate war. To seek to avoid something is always to give it a part of your energy — a part of your power to be.

A part of embracing the flow of allowance is allowing anything that is in resistance to the flow to be released. This is to stop obsessing over it, or feeding it through the fear that it is going to happen again; instead, it is to allow its release by understanding that as any wound is healed, the emotions contained within it will pass through your awareness and be felt.

This is the moment when the barrier of resistance that has kept the feeling compartmentalized comes down, and the painful feeling it has been protecting is exposed — thereby resulting in its healing and release.

Until this process is understood, it can feel like you are going backwards as you will find yourself experiencing old negative emotions — the disconcerting feeling that things from your past, which you thought you were done with, are back in your present.

This feeling then acts as its own resistance and holds the wound in your present awareness while you fret over it.

To come to know the process of releasing wounds is to welcome the feeling of their release — including the feeling of the pain that was held within them. This is to call forward the wounds within you to be healed such that you may effortlessly fly in the joyful and abundant flow of allowance you innately are.

Do Not Fear The Negative Emotions Within You.

Do not fear looking at the painful emotions which form your shadow-side. Looking towards the light is looking towards your natural state of being. But know thyself means seeing yourself clearly in the present moment, and that includes seeing that the shadows within you are cast by the unresolved wounds you still carry.

As long as you are afraid to look at the darkness within you, you are not willing to truly see yourself. To see yourself without fear of what you will find is to know thyself, and that is to free yourself.

Once you allow yourself to know joy in the present, you will find the strength to release the pain of your past.

You are not free as long as you fear looking at the shadows within you. You are not flowing freely as long as that flow is seeking to avoid something.

  • There is nothing within you that you need to fear.
  • There is no place to which you cannot bring the flow of your allowance.
  • There is no secret that must be kept.
  • There is no wound that cannot be healed.
  • There is no grief that will last forever.
  • There is no scar that cannot be loved.

To step into the shadows within you is to step into the emptiness within you, and allow yourself to know it as a part of you. It is to reveal the loneliness, the disconnection, the sorrow, the grief, and the fear. This opens you to experience incredible life-changing experiences of transformation.

To face your demons is to be free of your demons.

To know thyself is the unleashing of All That You Are. It is to unleash and live your dream.

Embrace the love. 
Embrace the shadows. 
Embrace everything.


Let me inspire you! I release regular new articles through my medium publication — The Gnostic Writer. Read along with my email digest sent every 5–7 articles with a highlight from each plus link to read online. Find this and more at StoryWaters.org. Namaste.

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