Why Psychedelic Trips Are Not Always Rainbows and Unicorns

rainbow and unicorn

We hear it all the time… “I had my first psychedelic experience the other day, and it was nothing like what I expected. I went in thinking I was going to have the most uplifting, enlightening experience, only to sit in a dark vortex of (insert negative emotion here) the whole time. Now I am debating on ever trying psychedelics again, because I’m afraid it’s just going to be more of the same thing.”

As much as there has been wide-spread fear surrounding psychedelics since the ‘60’s, there has also been a glorification of them. Many people believe that if they take a large dose of psilocybin mushrooms or drop three tabs of LSD that they will meet God, solve the mysteries of life, and become an enlightened Being. While these things are entirely possible, perpetuating romanticized ideas about psychedelics can be just as dangerous as fear-mongering. It leads people to believe that if their experiences aren’t profoundly positive, that there is either something wrong with them, something wrong with the psychedelics, or that psychedelics simply don’t work for them.

We are at a crucial point in human history. What happens over the next few years will determine whether our species survives or whether we perish in fear. We can change the entire course of humanity when we go inside and change ourselves, and psychedelics have been sent here to help us initiate that change.

In order to develop a true understanding of how psychedelics help us grow and evolve, we first have to understand the process of growth itself.

Picture a caterpillar going through metamorphosis. As the newly formed butterfly begins to emerge, it uses all of its strength to break free from its cocoon. If an outside force interferes with this process in attempt to alleviate the butterfly of its struggle, it will not build enough strength to fly, and it will die.

Psychedelics help initiate our metamorphosis by highlighting our blockages and boundaries. They temporarily remove our ego so that we can become aware of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs we have ignored or suppressed. During a psychedelic journey, there is nowhere to run from our reality and no means with which to distract ourselves. We are forced to confront the issues of our lives. This can produce feelings which are uncomfortable at best and downright terrifying at worst. But it is this crucial aspect of the growth process that serves as the catalyst for positive change. For how are we to grow if we do not acknowledge our issues? Acknowledgment is the first step on the path of healing.

Psychedelics force us to ‘sit in our shit.’ They also help guide us back towards homeostasis through gentle, Intuitive messages. The more we summon courage and strength to face our fears, be one with our pain, and listen to our darkest thoughts, the more we understand that they are all necessary parts of life. Once we accept the darker sides of our nature and reality itself, the less we fear them and the more we come to appreciate the elegant dance between light and darkness which we call life.

The length of time you have ignored your Intuition, denied your feelings, and attempted to escape reality is a strong indicator of how much emotional purging you will have to undergo before your psychedelic journeys begin to lighten up. However, if you continue to brave the darkness and follow your Intuitive guidance, your trips will almost certainly become smoother, gentler, and more uplifting over time.

I have come face to face with many dark demons in past psychedelic journeys. I have sat in the source of pain and suffering and have surrendered to infinite emptiness. These days, the majority of my trips are overwhelmingly beautiful and positive. However I am human, which means that every once in a while I need to release a little pressure. When I feel any sort of discomfort in a psychedelic space, be it physical, mental, or emotional, I understand that the medicine is simply working its way through my Being and freeing up blocked energies. As those energies rise to the surface, I allow them to wash over me. Then, using intention and the movement of my breath, I release them back into The Universe.

The next time you find yourself in a challenging psychedelic journey, remember that in order to heal, you must allow yourself to feel everything that comes up. Sit in the pain, be one with it, but know that the pain is not you. Emotions are just visitors, and it is our job to send them on their way. Use the power of your breath and intention to release negative energy back into the Earth, and consciously welcome a higher vibration to take its place. And remember, if you are continuously being exposed to dark thoughts, imagery, and emotions, it is not because there is something inherently wrong with you. You are not bad or evil, nor are psychedelics. The medicine is simply mirroring back the reality you have been hiding from, and it is your greatest responsibility to face it, for then and only then will you be able to grow and evolve.


1 thought on “Why Psychedelic Trips Are Not Always Rainbows and Unicorns”

  1. What a great description of the cause of and how to utilize and deal with the “bad” trip. I have had only a few dark trips. In those experiences I too realized the power of letting go of the fear and feelings of being at fault or flawed and just observing the the emotions or mental state as a passing experience that I could learn from. It is a great reminder to use the same techniques to deal with the most difficult situations in our lives because if we can do this we can learn so much through them and use them to our (meaning everyone and everything) advantage.

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