Meditation and psychotherapy have a similar overarching goal:
To make the unconscious conscious. What you are now is the result of what you had left and how much you had to give up based on prior learning; especially early learning where enduring circuits are created. This is where you formed your fundamental mental models and beliefs about yourself. Hence, what you are is based on what you were. But, early learning is often fraught by damaging experiences complicated by good intentions. None of us ever fully accepts the resulting counterfeit representation of our true self. There is a force within each of us that knows at a subconscious level what our consciousness senses but cannot fully apprehend.
Making the unconscious conscious can only be accomplished by peeling away resistance one layer at a time.
Think of this as a controlled crises.
It takes great courage to undertake self-discovery and self-realization on a voluntary basis. It is a gradual process because resistance presents itself in its various disguises at every stage of the struggle. Nevertheless, it beats the alternative: Which is to face our demons in an uncontrolled crises orchestrated by an inner force we do not know.
The great risk of waiting too long is that we become increasingly likely to experience the uncontrolled crisis which is sure to come because it is tacitly orchestrated by the unconscious itself. By waiting too long or tuning- out the still audible suppressed voice inside of each of us we run the risk of ending up further away from our real self than before our sub-conscious executed the process of the uncontrolled disruption of our egos.