Do you think healing yourself is the act of selfishness? If yes, then it’s time to change your perspective and begin the personal healing journey.
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 checkout. 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.