A life without healing is a stuck life.
The majority of people in our society are living without healing, and as a result our society’s policies, laws, and systems of health and education remain stuck.
Take a breath and think about that for a moment. Let yourself sit with the awareness of the collective pain we are in. Let it sober you and also open your heart.
We can heal by understanding, with compassion, the story we are a part of.
This is what you need to know to begin:
1. You have to decide to know your story.
I say you have to decide to know your story because it requires brave mental action.
You have the remarkable capacity to investigate your own story with curiosity and learn how it fits into the web of living stories around you. It may be that your life pushes you to ask yourself difficult questions. It may be that the pain of living outside of your own values is uncomfortable enough that you are driven to investigate the story you are abiding by that isn’t your own. But it may be that you are comfortable enough, but don’t feel alive. This state is difficult to wake up from, so you have to harness your power of decision.
Begin by asking yourself questions with a tone of gentle curiosity:
Am I behaving according to my own values? If no, what values do my choices reflect? How do I feel when I act against my own values? How do I feel when I think about living my life based on what is most important to me?
You are teasing out what your story is about, what’s important to you and where you have conflict with those values.
2. Emotions keep parts of your story stuck.
Emotions are the glue that holds a story in place. In order to unstick a story, you have to be curious about the emotions that are holding it in place. To unstick a story, you essentially have to simultaneously observe and feel the emotions that are attached to the story. In other words, you have to both tell the story honestly while also feeling the story. This will feel awkward at first. Let the awkwardness lead.
3. You need a healthy support team.
Healing doesn’t happen alone. It happens through a continuous chemistry of awareness, connection, safety and decision. Two of those important elements of healing, connection and safety, require relationship with others. It is essential for our health that we learn to allow healthy connections with others. We need at least one person we trust enough to ask for support. More importantly we need to feel safe and connected enough to share our story honestly with at least one other person.
Start here: Practice reaching out for support even when it’s uncomfortable.
Start with one person you trust and share the reflections and emotions that arise for you as you get to know your own story. Connect with teachers and mentors who have already gone through what you’re experiencing.
4. Your whole story is part of you.
Creating a world that is actively just requires our full commitment to our our own wholeness. The tendency, individually and culturally, is to want to erase the parts of our story we don’t like. The good and difficult news is that we need our whole story in order to be whole. What this means is that we have to first accept as truth that we need all the parts of ourselves. We’ll probably want to run away or turn our noses up at this. This is part of our story too.
I’ll leave you with these wise words from Pema Chodron and an invitation to schedule a chat with me if you feel excited to learn more about how to understand your whole story.
“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”