The Healing Process: Getting Worse Before it Gets Better

Getting Worse Before it Gets Better, the Healing Process

by Sarah Petruno, Shamana

Several years ago, I underwent a tonsillectomy, as an adult.

After years of constant mystery illness and year-long colds and sore throats, I finally dragged myself to a traditional Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, a Western Doctor, as this was well before my Spiritual Journey, and had him take a look. 

He decided that the only solution to my problem was: 

Surgery, a few days before Christmas.

The healing process for that surgery, was nothing short of horrific for me. The pain and inability to eat, lasted upwards of 2 months. For 2 months, I existed primarily on Jello, Gatorade, and Mrs. Grass’s Chicken Soup.

My goal was to heal my throat and sinus cavity, and to no longer come down with persistent illness. And here I was, sicker than I had ever been before. 

So, what gives? Why did I feel worse?

The answer is clear, and anyone who’s ever had a major medical procedure knows this.

It gets worse before it gets better.

I just had a major surgery. My throat was cut open and things were extracted, I had huge wounds that needed time to heal. And as a physical being that did need to communicate, to eat, and to drink, I couldn’t exactly remain in an inert state for months, allowing healing to occur completely uninterrupted.

In any healing, this is the case.

Major processes and areas of your body have been disrupted from usual functioning, in the name and goal of healing, and things need time to adjust, to reach their new state of healed balanced. My body needed time to heal, and adjust to a new life with clear sinuses and no tonsils. It couldn’t happen overnight. In fact, for a period of 2 months I was worse before I was better.

When seeking to heal, you are seeking a renovation.

Getting Worse Before it Gets Better, the Healing Process

A change from your current state to a new, ideally, better state. 

When you have a surgery or a procedure done on your physical body, the only reason any one ever undergoes this change, is because they desire to be a better, healthier version of themselves - physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

Imagine that you decide to renovate your house. 

You decide that it’s time to completely redo your kitchen and your bathroom. You don’t like the way it is now, and you’d like to change it to your ideal version of what a kitchen and bathroom looks like to you.

Alright, great! 

You decide on a contracting company, you call them into your home, discuss your ideas, and renovations get underway. Pretty soon, things are looking a little messy. You don’t have a functional kitchen, there’s dust and wood particles everywhere, unfinished walls and floors are giving you and your children splinters, there are large plastic tarps, blowing into your face as you pass the room, paint cans littering the floor, loud noises at times that are inconvenient, and in general, you might be wishing the renovation would just get over with so that you could get back to regular life. A small part of you, might even be wishing you never had this idea at all, and that maybe, a renovation was a bad idea.

You could say, that your kitchen and bathroom, have gotten worse, from when the renovation began.

But wait! The end goal is better, right?!

The end goal is your dream kitchen and bathroom. That’s what’s being created here. From old kitchen and bathroom to new, there’s a transitional period. There is time that it takes to achieve the new, ideal state. In a house renovation, this could take weeks. Even in the change of an old room of a house, to a new room, there’s a period of time in which it gets worse before it gets better.

With even a smaller change, for example, cleaning out your closet of clothes that no longer fit, to make way for new clothes that do fit, there’s a period of time in which the scene appears to be worse than it is better. As you clean out your closet, and you throw shirts, pants, and undergarments on the floor of your room, tossing aside each old items, you’re in essence, making a mess of your room, with the end goal of creating a brand new closet. Once you finish cleaning it out, you step out, and look around your room - clothes are strewn everywhere. You have huge piles that you need to sort through, on some level, and put into storage or garbage bags, to be cleared out of your room. It’s not until you complete this last step, and begin to fill your closet with new clothes, that you have turned the corner from getting worse, to getting better.

And, if your perception is focused on the new, clean closet that is coming out of this change, it is actually, getting better already, as soon as you begin cleaning. 

In all transitions, there is the process and perception of things getting worse before it gets better.

In the human physical body, we often feel pain, soreness, and malaise, after we’ve had a medical procedure, small or large, before we start to feel better.

And in energetic and spiritual healing, there is also this process.

As human beings on this earth, we are, more than just our physical bodies. We are made up of two additional, and a largely unseen, bodies, the energetic and the spiritual body.

Our physical body, is our shell, our arms, our legs, our skin, our internal organs, and all systems external and internal combine to create our existence in the physical world.

But beneath the surface, the combined essence of you, is so much more than your physical parts. You have thoughts, emotions, collective experiences, perspectives, ideas, interactions, life views, and, a soul.

These other aspects of you, combine to form your spiritual being, that which transcends lifetimes and travels with you, as you pass into spirit, and your energetic being, also transcendent of lifetimes, and ever changing in relation to the energetic state of your physical and spiritual bodies, past and present. (Read more about that, here).

Your spiritual, energetic and physical world bodies combine to form the entire being of who you are on this physical Earth at this time.

They are inextricably linked, with a change in one, rippling to cause a change in the other. It is often said, that a healthy mind equals a healthy body. This phrase, holds truth within it. Health in one area of your life, often results in health in another area.

The connection between your physical, spiritual, and energetic body, is the reason, that many individuals choose to seek and alternative healer who focuses on healing more than just the symptoms within the physical body. Something below the surface, they felt, was causing the problem at hand.

When you decide to seek an energetic or spiritual healer, or to work on your own self healing, you have a desire to change for the better,  examining all areas of your soul, Spirit and physical life.

You desire to seek healing at all levels, cohesively.

The change for the better is a transitional process, that contains all elements of the transition. The before, the phase shift, and the after.

Shamanism, is a combination of spiritual and energetic healing, a healing of your spiritual and energetic bodies. Depending on the degree and aspect of the change that you seek, the procedure may minor or major, but even if you are having a mole removed on your skin versus having a tumor removed from your abdomen, there is a period of healing that follows each. A period in which you feel a little bit worse, before you feel better.

Shamanism is a surgery, a procedure, that takes place in within your Spiritual and Energetic Body. A removal of old clothes from your closet, with the intention of filling your closet with new, clothes that provide a much better fit with who you are now.

Getting Worse Before it Gets Better, the Healing Process

In the process, there’s a shake-up.

A pile, a cloud of dust, unfinished walls, splinters, loud noises, and anything at all, associated with the change that you seek. Once the dust begins to settle, and the walls become finished, you will see that goal that you sought, begin to materialize. The new, ideal you, starts to take shape. Soon, the dream kitchen island, is brought in, tile is laid down, and the last can of paint is removed, and only then, can you fully marvel in the dream that you have achieved. All the dust and debris becomes a memory, as you begin to prepare meals and entertain in your new kitchen, and take baths in your new tub.

Two months after my surgery, I was eating sushi again without a sore throat. And it was wonderful. 

I remember and look back to this time of transition and in the grand scheme of things, I’d rather trade years of constant illness, for 2 months eating Jello.

As you stand in your pile of clothes, before your empty closet, remember the goal. Remember why you started throwing all your clothes on the floor in the first place. Realize that soon, you’ll be sorting through the pile, packing things into bags, and taking out the trash, making way, for your sparkling new clothes to put in your clean and organized new closet.

With love on your journey,


LAST UPDATED: March 17, 2014

Disclaimer: By law, we are required to state that we are not a medical doctors, the information presented here is for education purposes only, and our advice is not meant to be replaced for medical diagnosis and/or treatment by your doctor. This website is run by a shaman and an herbalist. The statements made on this blog and website represent our view of the world given our unique set of life experiences. These are truths as we see and understand the world at the time the words were written. Statements here have not been evaluated by the FDA. Your health is your responsibility. Please view our full terms & conditions and site disclaimers, located in the webpage footer.

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