We live in a divided world. This division, in part, is due to the individual divisions we all carry within. Most people on this planet aren’t bad people (there are some, of course). Most people are just wounded. And in those wounds; those internalized fissures and splits and shadow aspects of self, is where a lot of the hurt that we inflict upon others is originated.
So often we hear how “selfish” it is to focus on ourselves. How anti-collectivist it is to take days, months, or even years and decades of our lives to talk through our feelings, to connect to healers who can help us grow and to take special care to love ourselves. None of this could be further from the truth.
While all of us, including myself, could work to be more aware of the people and things in our life that need extra love and care, we cannot offer this to anyone if we do not first get our own feelings and thoughts and broken pieces in healing order.
Today’s blog is dedicated to anyone and everyone who is on a personal healing journey and to anyone and everyone who is ready to take that leap, but who has not yet (until now) begun.
Three Ways that Healing Yourself is a Collectivist Act:
1. Hurt people hurt people.
We are all hurting sometimes. And sometimes we are people who are walking around with one big, gaping wound of pain from things like childhood abuse, neglect, abandonment, and pain. Sometimes we grew up in amazing homes and then went off to life, only to find that there were other proverbial “monsters in the closet” who would hurt us or disappoint us or lead us astray. This is life. We get hurt. We then grow up and get choices.
All we can hope for in life as humans is to be a little bit better than those that came before us. And to hope that those that come from us will be a little bit better than we have been. But how is that to happen to our children and nieces and younger friends and neighbors if we are not to first set the example that transformation is possible?
When we wake up every day, chances are we will interact with at least one other living being. Whether it is in our own homes in the way of humans or animals, at the bus stop, at the office, on the internet, or at the grocery store – somehow we are engaging. Every interaction we have with every human being is an opportunity to spread connection and safety and love, and it is also an opportunity to spread hurt and hate and damaging energy out into the world.
None of us can always do the love part. None of us. But we can at least be on a journey where we minimize the damage we can cause by a dramatic percent.
Let’s take low self-esteem as an example of how this works. Let’s say I wake up. I feel I’m fat and ugly and worthless. I don’t even want to get up, because I feel like why even try? Maybe I feel like I am so unlovable that I can’t even justify looking anyone in the eyes that day. Maybe I then begrudgingly leave the house to get some groceries because I HAVE to and then, because I have the false belief that everyone on the planet is thinking about me enough to judge me, then I am short with those in line. Maybe I’m unkind to the person at the check out. Maybe I inappropriately cut off someone on the street. Then maybe I get home and scold my dog for just existing, because, you know, how dare anyone show me love, when I JUST KNOW I don’t deserve it? Maybe a friend even calls that loves me so much. But I either reject the call or barely listen to what the friend says, thus making them feel unseen and invalidated (and maybe even insecure that they love me, but it doesn’t really appear I love them)?
Maybe that woman that worked at the checkout counter just found out her husband was having an affair. Maybe she is there because she lost everything and she needed any amount of money to just get by. Maybe she felt worthless and ashamed that day. Maybe if I had been kind and not so in my own head about how worthless I am, I might have smiled at her, engaged with her like a human being, and made her realize her place and presence in this life has value. Maybe I would have not cut that person off and left them feeling agitated and annoyed (so that they could then go home and take that back to their loved ones). Maybe my friend would have called and I would have rejoiced that someone thinks the world of me and took the time to brighten my day. Maybe I would have allowed myself the closeness. Maybe I would have felt a heart opening and then been much kinder to my dog, who, you know, only loves me unconditionally anyway.
And so, as you can see, the cycle goes on. Most of us know and understand that our actions have consequences, but we don’t often think of that as an emotional idea. Even one aspect of healing that needs to be addressed – low self-esteem – can make us go out into the world on just one day and have an entirely different personal experience, but also have an entirely different impact on everyone with whom we connect.
Now multiply that by days and months and years and decades. The more we heal, the more health we bring to those around us. And then, maybe we inspire them to do the same.
Call to action: Take out a piece of paper and write down the three areas of your life where you are most likely to lash out (externally or internally) and how these behaviors are limiting your relationships, your finances, your health, and your emotional balance. In other words, what is the cost to both yourself and the people around you for not facing and healing these things? How might your life be different if you could heal these areas and move forward without them dragging you down?
2. Healthy People Inspire Others
Think about the few people you know in your life who are truly healthy. Think about how, even if you don’t always recognize it, you sort of look to them as inspiration, hope, and light. Think about how when things are tough, those safe people are some of the first people you choose to call.
That connection to those who are healthy and the people you feel safest around is not an accident.
The healthier we are, the safer we are to others. The more we work on our own internalized wounds and dark crevices, the more we can be consistent in all of our affairs and the more we can be an oasis of calm in a world that is far too filled with emotional, relational, political, and sociological storms.
The people we all feel the safest around are those that stand still. Those that, while they may sometimes deal with emotional storms on the inside, rarely take it out on those around them.
Healthy people are rarely born (of course sometimes people grow up in amazing families and have a healthy foundation from which to start, but most don’t). Healthy people are almost always earned.
The healthiest people I know started off with some of the darkest lives. They just didn’t let that darkness stop them from success. They didn’t let that darkness stop them from going on a journey that offered them a complete emotional transformation and psychic shift. This hard work that these people around you have put in to getting as healthy as they can be, does in fact impact you and the lives of everyone they meet. And it impacts how the people around them go out and treat others after they have interacted.
Just like the negative behaviors have a ripple effect, so do the positive, loving, consistent, and balanced behaviors that we put out into the world.
Call to action: Sit down and write out the people in your life that you feel the safest around. If you only have one, then just write one down. What are the traits that this person or these people offer? How can you continue to work on your own challenges and areas of pain so that you can become more and more like them, as well as an inspiration to those around you?
3. Energy Matters.
Energy and the light or density we put out into the world is real. If you think about the people you interact with on a daily basis, there are people that by just being around them, your energy level elevates and you feel lighter. Maybe they say nothing, or definitely nothing profound, but there is just something about them that makes you feel drawn-in and safe.
Conversely, there are also people with whom every time you interact, you feel exhausted, drained and maybe even sad or dense. They too may be yelling and flailing about, but they may also say nothing. Maybe they are just so heavy with pain and wounds and problems that they refuse to look at, that you leave them feeling less okay then you did before you were near them.
Does this mean that the people who make us feel light are good and the people who don’t are bad? Of course not. It means that the people who make us feel light aren’t carrying around the density of unhealed wounds that they refuse to look at. And to that end, being near them just feels a whole lot better.
Generally speaking, the more we heal ourselves, the lighter the energy we emit. While some people just come onto this planet filled with light that is clear, most of us have to work toward it and do the business of pulling up our sleeves and digging deep to find that light.
All of this means that not only do we have the option to add or detract from other people’s lives by our words and actions, but equally by just the presence we bring to the room.
And guess what happens when someone is around us and they feel that light energy coming towards them? They are more likely to go out and to treat the next fellow they encounter with a little more kindness and a little more grace.
Call to action: How light or heavy does your energy feel today? How light or heavy does it feel on a regular basis? Try not to judge yourself if you are feeling particularly dense or heavy. This doesn’t mean you aren’t a good person. It just means you are struggling right now. Also, if you are feeling light, great – now use that to continue to dig deeper and find more and more things to heal so that your vibration can get lighter and lighter all the time.
Most of us are not always dark. And most of us are not always light. Make sure to never think you have “arrived” and that you now have reached a level of evolution where you shouldn’t continue to practice the art of digging deeper to ensure that you can bring the best experience in life to those around you and continue to make a difference on this planet. Let’s face it, the planet needs all of us now to be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be. Otherwise, we are missing the point of living entirely.