Are self-inquiry and personal improvement the key to collective healing?
Is vulnerability to be feared or embraced?
Lately, I have been reflecting on these questions, especially since I became an internationally published author last summer. In my book, The Naked Truth of a Healer: The Path to My Authentic Self, I share my healing journey and a deep reflection through the lens of a holistic professional. The reviews and feedback I have received confirmed that this matter is timely, as so many people are searching for answers.
I have been in private practice for years, teaching people and guiding them to find the healer within. I teach others self-care, alignment, and healing through embracing vulnerability, adopting a spirit of raw truthfulness, releasing fears, and finding acceptance for the things that cannot be changed. I help people find their way back to their genuine passion, vitality, and joie de vivre through honest introspection and commitment.
Two key words I found are introspection and commitment. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we all have wounds and carry a level of trauma. These can vary from complex trauma, to needs not met as a child, to carrying generational trauma. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all struggle with something. Healing and taking a deeper look into our lives, including our ways of acting, reacting, thinking, the way we show up in the world, and the whys of our nature, is a lot of work and is certainly not an easy task. We have to constantly battle against the old patterns that reappear, and challenge ourselves to dive into unknown waters. It is much easier to suppress our feelings and emotions by numbing our pain and by pretending that all is well. But the reality is, healing takes time. We live in a world that glorifies superficiality, unhealthy habits, and a “fast-food” learning pace. Healing is challenging because the pace can be slow at times, but it cannot be a rushed process.
Are we here to survive, or live a fulfilled life? Happiness is our birthright, after all.
Can we be healthy if we don’t take a closer and deeper look at ourselves? And why are we so afraid to be judged because we chose to live the life we want?
Lately, these are the questions I hear from those who have reached out to me after my book was published, and from those who have praised me for my courage and vulnerability. Although it was uncomfortable and a little scary to be so vulnerable in the book, it brought an emotional connection with my readers. I believe that only when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to be authentic with ourselves, is when we can walk towards the path of our healing journey.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a 17th century Swiss philosopher known for “The Age of Reason” wrote, "Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” I was reminded of this quote when I listened to Oprah’s Super Soul podcast with Jarvis Jay Masters, the author of That Bird Has My Wings. Jarvis Jay Masters wrote his book in prison while on death row for a crime he says he did not commit. In his conversation with Oprah, he explained how being in prison for over 40 years actually helped him get in touch with who he is, his true self. One of his wishes is to be able to look at the ocean and be present. He realized that so many people who are free and able to see the sky and the ocean are prisoners of their unconsciousness—that is, they are not being able to see what is there. Can we be free if we live without feeling ourselves, or without being fully present?
In spirituality, we often hear “ascending” referring to climbing, rising, and awakening our spirituality, while “transcending” referring to going beyond the physical limitations. As I believe both these statements are true and perhaps the ultimate goal in our spiritual journeys, then can we start to fly when we don’t even know how to stand in our own bodies?
It all starts within us, when we take moments to retreat from outside voices to be still, and when we connect with our breath and listen to our inner voice, magic happens. When we take a moment to “push the brakes” in our daily demands, to self-reflect and nurture the most important relationship we can have, that is the relationship with self. We become conscious and self-aware. Just like a muscle that grows stronger as we exercise, our self-awareness will become stronger and stronger.
As we recognize the source of our past wounds, our limitations, and our conditioning, we will slowly ‘clean’ our lenses from years of pain, hurt, anger and resentment. We recognize and understand why we act and react in a certain way, we learn to be gentle and compassionate towards ourselves, and it also opens a brand new way to perceive the world we live in. As we reach for our deepest answers and walk on our healing path, we become more understanding of the bleeding pain that our world carries. Everyone in this world is hurt.
Now, it is certainly easier to be sensitive to the ones we love, to the ones who are compassionate and empathetic towards us. However, the challenge is to find compassion in our hearts for people who we don’t know, for people who don’t look the same as us, for people who have opposite ways of thinking and have different beliefs than us, and for those who are not so kind. This is where our humanness lies. Our healing journey will help us reconnect with our true essence, which is love — meaning, when someone is rude or hurts us at times, the tendency to fight back and react is fueled by the instinct that we need to protect ourselves. But as we grow, we understand that most of the time, the other person’s unkind behaviour has nothing to do with us, but with them.
People are only projecting their pain, their hurt on us, and perhaps their inability to recognize their light. That perception is like what Deepak Chopra refers to as “magic lies.” So many times, we react to what we perceive is correct or the truth, until we realize that it isn't the case.
Now, does it mean that finding compassion towards others means we allow people to disrespect us or hurt us? Certainly not. As we become more connected with ourselves and in our healing journey, we learn to recognize what is the level of our tolerance, we become conscious of our self-worth, and we learn to love ourselves, which helps us create healthy boundaries. The commitment towards ourselves and our well-being will help us let go of the people and situations that no longer serve us, not with anger and resentment, but with grace, compassion, and peace. From there, we will attract people and situations that will support us and inspire us in our journey. That is liberating.
We are all connected. We are all waves of the same sea. If we start the journey towards finding who we truly are and our purpose in life, then we will live a deeper and more fulfilled life. We will then build healthier relationships with ourselves and our families. And, if we are or become parents, we will lead our children by example. We are planting the seeds in their lives. We can create a ripple effect of healing, compassion, and respect for all our fellow humans.
At the door of 2023, our world is in crisis, where we continue to witness basic human rights stripped away in many countries, in countries where people live under oppression, unfairness, and injustice. There is no equanimity in our world—guns are sold, voices are shut, bullies are applauded, competition over collaboration, global warming. Is there anything we can do? We may not be in control of the world, but we have control over our inner world. We do have sovereignty in our lives.
Let's be present in our lives, in our bodies, and with ourselves. Let’s bring our healing presence to this world. If we find our inner light, then we will carry it and help others find theirs. Remember, a simple smile has the power to save a life, a simple spark can light a fire.
We are the key that opens the field of full potentiality and possibilities.