Posts tagged #suicide

Misery is a spiritual emergency

So lately I've been thinking a lot about spiritual emergencies.

Spiritual emergency: a brief introduction

The psychiatrist Stanislav Grof coined the term "spiritual emergency" to refer to periods of intense transformation that in our culture often get interpreted strictly as an illness and only treated through materialist means.

Nigredo alchemy spiritual emergence spiritual emergency

A spiritual emergency is a kind of sickness, but it's also a birth, a coming-into-being of the spiritual self - i.e., an "emergence" and a crisis that requires attention - i.e., an "emergency."

In his work, Grof used the term "spiritual emergency" to refer primarily to episodes of psychosis and disassociation that were actually involuntary or unconscious shamanic explorations. It's my personal experience that spiritual emergency also can include extremely intense misery (i.e., "depression") and unease (i.e., "anxiety").

Misery as spiritual emergency

Intense misery is probably a vastly more common symptom of spiritual emergence than the visionary shamanic episodes that interested Grof.

Intense misery relates to emergence because when it happens in the life of a magically-oriented person who's aiming for awakening, lucidity and illumination - well, that means that it's actually the alchemical phase known as "nigredo" or "blackening, decomposing."

Misery is what occurs when our natural self-centered quest for pleasure and status leads us into our own personal underworld.

For many people not gifted with awareness and knowledge this journey to the underworld leads directly to actual death and degradation.

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in people aged 15 - 34 in America.

How misery becomes ultimately-liberating nigredo

Misery becomes transformed into ultimately-liberating alchemical nigredo when it's met with honesty, compassion and awareness. We learn to look at our self-centered grasping truthfully, and then to gradually transmute the selfish misery into altruism that uplifts and heals us and everyone around us.

If you're experiencing a state of spiritual emergency lately, please know that I'm always available to talk to on the phone.

Love, Carolyn

image: [Abode of Chaos on flickr]

What to do in life: notes for those who have failed and are incredibly depressed

 I want to congratulate you on your devastating failure.

YAY! You've utterly failed! YESSSSS!

I am completely serious and not trying to be mean. I am truly, really, honestly happy for you. I'm thrilled, in fact.

I'm thrilled because you're an adult and you have no idea what to do in life.  Oh, it's not like  you never knew what to do.  You once did.  But Your Best Plan completely did not work.  In fact, it not only didn't work, it blew up in your face just like your face was Hiroshima and your plan was the atom bomb.  Thanks a lot, Harry Truman.

Now you're living in the nuclear winter of your discontent. You bitterly regret all that has transpired. You might feel like harming yourself.  At best, you probably feel like laying in your bed and only getting up to microwave a Hot Pocket, shove it in your face, read gossip blogs, smoke cigarettes and call your mom while hysterically crying.  At least that's all I felt like doing for six weeks when it happened to me.

That's okay.  Have all the Hot Pockets you want. But don't harm yourself.  You're a precious jewel. I don't care if you've massively fucked up.  My favorite people are the ones who have massively fucked up.  They're the really interesting ones.

So instead of hating yourself this as a way of finding what to do in life:

1) Take a moment to appreciate your uncomfortable state of being really clueless about what to do in life.  It hurts. Horrifically.  I know.

But! The fact that you're open and curious now about how to live life has put you leagues ahead of most human beings.

2) Consider how much your original plan, the one that failed so painfully and spectacularly, centered all around the effort  to gain security and pleasure and power for yourself.

This effort is called "self-cherishing." It's the act of trying to gather things up to make yourself safe and pleased.

It's pretty much everyone's default plan. The thing is, it doesn't really work. Think of how your self-cherishing has put in you in conflict with other people, especially with people that you love, and how much pain this conflict has caused you.

It's true that some people half-assedly make self-cherishing sorta kinda seem to work their whole lives.  They never wind up in the writhing state of abject misery which you now occupy.  But the thing is, they never really get the giant light bulb of freedom to go off either.  The fact that you're in total despair means you're unbelievably close, closer than all the middlingly okay people! - to genuine, deep awesomeness.

4)  Understand that you don't have to continue with your self-cherishing.

I know it doesn't feel that way.  It doesn't feel like you have an option way because you're addicted to it.  Self-cherishing is your smack, my junkie friend.  And you've overdosed.  It's either get clean now, die ingloriously, or dwell in derelection.

So know that you really can try something else.  Something very radically different.

It's called "other-cherishing" and it's the act of devoting yourself to the well-being of others rather than to the service of your own pleasure and comfort.

Hmmmmmmmm. I can tell if you're anything like me you're probably not too keen on this idea.

5) Don't feel bad that your mind immediately recoils at the thought of other-cherishing.

My mind recoiled intensely from it for years. "But I'm a human being, too! Who's going to cherish me?  If I devote myself to serving others, I'll just be taken advantage of and nothing good will be left for me.  Besides, there's way too many people out there, human suffering is too overwhelming.  There's nothing I can do that would truly benefit everyone."

6) Contemplate this answers to your objection: if you give up self-cherishing, the whole universe will cherish you.

The universe freaking LOVES people who are earnestly surrendering their self-cherishing more than preteen girls love Justin Bieber.  And that is a lot of love, guys.

Why? Because that's what life, the universe, and everything have wanted you to do all along.  Once you start to give up self-cherishing, everything else you do becomes massively easier and takes on much greater, more satisfying meaning. Synchronicities start whirling and the blessings start raining down.  They were there waiting for you.  But in the past they were too repelled by your grasping and greed.  Grasping and greed are repulsive.  They repel good fortune.

And also, actually, there is something you can do to benefit everyone.  You can liberate yourself from your own self-cherishing. I know I may be sounding repetitive here, but listen. This is massively, hugely beneficial.  It's so beneficial that the human race joyously celebrates for thousands of years people who have done it, people like Jesus and Mary Magdalene and the Buddha and Rumi and Mirabai and St. Francis.   You can wake up from your nightmare of chasing security and pleasure.  As soon as you do this, you'll no longer generate conflicts everywhere you go.  Instead you'll create joy and be a place of kind refuge and calm for others.

To understand this, just consider how much pain others have given you when they've behaved in self-centered, self-cherishing ways and trampled over your feelings.  Your own self-cherishing has caused at least that much pain for others.  If you relinquish it, you'll stop causing that pain.  You won't be irritable and easily offended.  Instead, you'll be welcoming and warm to be around.  Folks won't have to tip-toe on egg shells around you.  They'll feel honored and loved in your presence.  And this means there's a good chance that they will be inspired to surrender their own self-cherishing just by knowing you.  They'll succeed, and then they'll go around inspiring others to do the same.  Everyone will get freer and freer, safer and safer, happier and happier.  It's a virtuous circle.

Literally, you can deeply contribute to everyone waking up from the nightmare.

7) Consider that your belief that you can't give up self-cherishing isn't true.

I certainly used to believe that giving it up was impossible- I could see that it would be theoretically great to be able to let go of my self-centeredness, but I just had no notion how to do that.

At some level, I didn't really want to learn because I still thought I could make self-cherishing work for me.  Well, that turned out to be assuredly not the case.

Happily for you and for me, the processes for ending self-cherishing do exist if you've had enough of your confused pain and you're willing to try something radically different.  The four immeasurables cultivation and tonglen are a great place to start and can go a very long way to rubbing out your self-cherishing. Try them yourself.

8) Seriously.  Tell yourself that every day for a month you'll do four immeasurables cultivation and the meditation on exchanging yourself with others.

And then do it.  Make it a higher priority than watching cute cat videos on youtube.

9) The more you do those practices, the more clear everything else will become.

Your whole mental and emotional make up will shift.  Your perception will no longer be so distorted.  Your creativity will activate like never before.  You'll know what to do.

10) Write to me and tell me how it's going: sweetsongofjoy at gmail dot com.  I would love to know.

 

 

When One Door Opens: How Writing Helped Saved My Life and Carried me to a New Field of Being - A guest post by sbr martin

At one time, my life was a never-ending hallway, where all I could see was a series of closed doors. There probably were some that were open, but I was so far down that I couldn’t see them—and I’d given up on trying.

I was tired of turning knobs that did not yield, tired of trying to find something, only to find out that that something wasn’t there. I’d had enough. I wanted no more. If there was an end to the hallway, it’d have to come to me, ‘cause I sure as hell wasn’t gonna go any farther. I just wanted to stay put, sprawled out on the floor, unmoving, ungrowing, a piece of living dead surrounded by tightly closed doors.

I was 14 years old the first time I heard the familiar cliché that when one door shuts another opens. I overheard my mother use this phrase when discussing with a friend how I had been awarded the coveted Marjorie A. Tilley Scholarship to The Ellis School, a prestigious all-girls academy in Pittsburgh, PA.

Apparently, my scholastic achievement was the opening of a door. The door that had been shut had been shut four years earlier when my father suffered a massive stroke and aneurysm that left him paralyzed along the entirety of his left side. He was unable to work or be a traditional father from that point on.

It was, I assume, to the former of these inabilities that my mother implicitly referred in her conversation. When my father became handicapped, the bacon that came home had no fat. My family’s financial situation changed for the worse. Going to a school like Ellis would have been out of the question considering our newly low income.

But what was pinched off by one thing was ushered in by another. I learned the meaning of that old chestnut and allowed it to give me a sense of optimism about all things, at least for a few years.

Though I heard the phrase many times over the following years, the next time I heard it that stands out in my mind was a week after my sister died, when I received word that I’d been accepted to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, among other law schools.

The loss of my sister was the closing of one door, and my acceptance to law school was the opening of another? Are you kidding me?

Yes, one door did close. Yes, one door did open. But the one and the other did not balance out. It wasn’t an even exchange, not by any means.

Use of that damn cliché did not make sense here—it was disturbingly incongruous and more than slightly absurd. Nonetheless, people kept throwing it at me. Oh, how I wanted to throw something back at them! But I didn’t. I held steady and smiled, just like I held steady and smiled at all the pleasantries given me two years prior when my mother died, and, two years later when my father died.

Here, what upset me the most, other than the death of my sister, of course, is that this was the second time in my life that I was deemed to have reaped the benefits of an open door while my loved ones met the misfortune of a door that slammed shut. My academic success popped up twice, when my kin were put in grave circumstances, and, in the instance of my sister, put in the grave.

I didn’t want to be the person who got something at someone else’s expense, like I had made a deal with the devil to get whatever I wanted if I lost something I wanted more. No. I did not like this ad hoc arrangement.

Could I, should I, make a new deal with God? Or maybe Allah? Maybe Re? Perhaps Buddha would give me a sweeter deal?

Feeling like I was losing on the winning end of a sordid transaction to which I’d never consented, my essence was being eaten, and it hurt. I didn’t want to feel the pain. And I didn’t have to, for, you see, I had ample distraction.

When my mother died in 1999, when my sister died in 2001, and when my father died in 2003, I was in the ivory tower, or the large-university equivalent thereof. I observed funeral conventions, cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion, and then hit the books hard.

I excelled in college and in law school. A cum laude graduate in both turns, with a BS in Psychology and a JD, I accumulated awards, accomplishments, and many other A’s during my stint on the Pitt campus. I was published and reprinted; invited to speak at a national conference; mistaken for the homecoming queen; accused of plagiarism because my writing so exceeded expected standards, and later vindicated because my portfolio confirmed my exceptional talent.

So I had a good ride. I had a lot to keep me busy. I buried my grief under a pile of books and paper. I didn’t have to think about the losses I had suffered. I didn’t have to feel. All I had to do was do well in school. And I did… until school ended.

When I graduated law school, I didn’t have a job lined up—which is something most graduates as achieved as I should have had. During my job search, I’d interviewed with approximately 36 different law firms and had not received a single offer. Not one.

Thirty-six law firms! That’s 36 rejections. That’s 36 more doors shut before me in my never-ending hallway.

Did 36 doors open as a result of the 36 that closed? I don’t know. But I know that one did. And, when that one swung open, it knocked me on my ass.

All of a sudden I had a job, but not one for which I had applied.

My job was to take care of my maternal grandmother, who had been diagnosed with metastatic small cell lung cancer. It was a terminal case. I felt it my duty to take care of her, and, though it caused me great sorrow to watch her die, I have never regretted tending to her in her final moments.

But, Lord, the pain! The heartache of seeing a vibrant woman decay each day, to see her body dwindle away to nothing but skin and cancer-ridden bones.

By the time the cancer had spread to every part of her body, including her brain, I was dying with her, though I didn’t know it at the time. She was the last member of my immediate family. I was losing her, losing what was left of my lineage, losing myself. I wanted to curl up beside her in bed and wrap myself around her withered body, to merge with her and give her some of my life, or take away some of her death.

Gramma died around 4:15 a.m. on a Friday morning in June. We had set up two beds in the basement, because of the convenient appliances and lavatory already situated there, and we slept toe to head in bed to bed.  For no reason, or for a very certain reason, I suddenly awoke at 4:15, a tiresomely wee hour of the morn during which I was usually out cold. I went to check on Gramma. Her body was still warm—her chest artificially heaved one last time, bulging from the operation of the oxygen tank ticking nearby. She was dead, and my dynasty was gone.

What happened next is what I only later realized was my attempt at killing myself. I’d never contemplated suicide, not before this point in my life, not during, and not after. I was too afraid of death.

I am, after all, an academic at heart (and brain). Years of schooling have taught me to analyze everything and break it down. I am predisposed to figuring things out. For every question, there is an answer. And I am programmed to find that answer at all costs.

The greatest curse of the learned mind is the difficulty inherent in resolving faith with intellectual thought patterns. Faith is belief in something without proof, the very thing for which we scholars are always on the hunt. So how, pray tell, is the academically-inclined individual to believe in something she can’t prove when the need for proof is so deeply rooted in her nature?

For me, this dilemma comes acutely into play on matters of the hereafter—the concepts of an afterlife, life after death, heaven and hell, whatever you choose to call it.

Question: What happens after one dies?

Answer: [Unknown]

I need to know that answer. I am programmed to find it. But I can’t. I’ve tried countless times, and the results were nil. So the question remains unanswered, and I am rendered hopeless, crippled by my fear of the unknown.

And, for that reason, I’ve flushed out any thoughts of suicide. I’m immune to them. Suicide would make me confront a question I can’t answer, and it might give me an answer I don’t like, or give me nothing at all.

But just because I’ve never been suicidal, that doesn’t mean I didn’t try to kill myself.

The method of annihilation I chose was one to obliterate all thought and feeling while preserving life. I was killing myself slowly and cruelly, taking my time.

I became a raging alcoholic through and through. Sure, I’d been an occasional drunk for years. College keggers, weekend benders, and 20-something birthdays saw to that. But after the loss of my grandmother, when I was for the first time ever completely alone in a home that once housed five, I became a full-blown alcoholic.

The alcohol was destroying my brain and my body, as well as my social ties and reputation. So too it was destroying my thinking and reason. I put myself in incredibly dangerous situations time after time, and, to this day, I am amazed that I survived.

I drove drunk, and sometimes drank as I drove. I picked up dozens of men in the bars, and had love affairs that lasted less than one night. Casual sex made me feel alive. Men made me feel good. I needed that assurance, so much so that I didn’t even care that the sex was unprotected most of the time.

I wanted to die. I never said it back then, didn’t allow myself to think it either; but hindsight later saw this as the case. I missed my family and wanted to be with them. I refused to abruptly take my life for fear of the unknown. But the slow draining of my soul was bringing me closer and closer to my beclouded goal.

I was at conflict with myself. Part of me wanted to die, and part of me wanted to live. I wanted to believe in the concept of an afterlife, to see myself being one day reunited with my lost loved ones. But my logic could not bring me to this conclusion. My mentality would not permit me to fathom an other-world existence.

I saw life as a finite line, with a distinct starting point and a distinct end. Nothing thrived beyond either point. If I could not bring to mind thoughts that existed before I was born, then, it follows, there could be no thoughts for me to bring to mind after I died. There was no way there could be any thought after death, let alone life after death. Any other argument was moot.

The panic attacks that resulted from this train of thought were intense, overwhelming at times. They took my breath away, but left me with enough breath to still be alive, albeit in a state of not truly living.

Drunk, desperate, and degraded, I was on a downward spiral, a road to nowhere. I was either intoxicated or overcome with anxiety every second of every day. I needed help, but I was too proud to seek it.

I’d kept so much sadness, fear, and longing inside of me for so long. I needed to let it out. I needed to tell someone my story. And the person I chose to tell was myself.

Ever since I was a child, I’d always dreamed of someday being an author. I fantasized about writing a book, having it published, and having other people read my words.

I was constantly tossing different book ideas around in my head, but never followed through with any of them until I decided to stick with the one thing that always stuck with me—the tragic and compelling story of my own life.

Pride, one of my most pronounced character defects, prevented me from writing anything autobiographical. So I decided to fictionalize my experiences. I would use my personal facts as the skeleton for a tome to be fleshed out with exaggerated details, brow-raising side stories, and shocking plot twists.

That tome came to be called “in wake of water.” It was published in Nov. 2011, by The Artists’ Orchard, LLC.

Loosely mirroring the losses I endured, “in wake of water” is a work of fiction which centers on a suicidal female who is driven to die because she operates under the assumption that death will reunite her with her deceased family members.

Countering the female lead’s beliefs are the thoughts and actions of the main male character, Tad, who is apprehensive about all aspects of life and death and who greatly fears the unknown.

Sound familiar? These two characters represent two parts of one psyche: mine.

The female character is my Id, the impulsive me that wants only instant gratification. Tad is my demanding Super-ego, who scrutinizes everything and requires adherence to objective guidelines.

As author, I took on the third role in Sigmund Freud’s infamous model. I became my own Ego, writing to strike a balance between the dissimilar needs of my fictitious tragic heroes. I did this for literary effect, so that I could tell an interesting, well-rounded story. But by the end of writing “in wake of water,” I’d achieved something else as well.

What I worked out in order to create good fiction ended up also creating good non-fiction. My writing had inadvertently been cathartic. I faced thoughts and feelings I’d tried to bury under books, drown in vodka, or find in the bulge beneath some random man’s zipper. I became familiar with myself and slew some inner demons. I achieved a sense of closure and of peace.

Writing, pitching, and publishing also helped me become and stay sober, though my sobriety is largely attributable to the fact that I later had children. So in a very real, tangible way, my writing helped save my life, by front-lining the rescue of my brain cells and liver.

But the intangible ways in which it saved my life are far more profound and long-lasting.

Bringing my inside pain to the outside was like popping a pimple that would otherwise have festered to fatal infection. The ugly sickness seeped out of me and left me clear-complexioned—and clear-minded.

For the first time in years, I was able to open my heart and my eyes, and, when I opened the latter, what I saw was amazing. I saw an open door. Finally! So I stood up, put myself back together, and walked through it.

On the other side there was a field, a surreal expanse of splendor, prospect, and perspective. When I stepped out onto that field, I heard something thunderous sound behind me. The door I’d just used for exit crashed shut and spontaneously combusted. I didn’t have to look back to know that it wasn’t there anymore.

I had once and for all escaped my never-ending hallway and found a place in my own nature, a place where all those fabled doors simply did not exist.

No longer did I need to frame my life in terms of openings and closings, in terms of losing this and gaining that, or in terms of something arising when something else was crushed. I would embrace these things as separate occurrences, each independent of the other, such that I’d find no entitlement tethered to suffering, no panic tethered to joy. And so came my release from the most pronounced shackles of my human condition. I was set free to run about the field and enjoy it.

Now, mind you, the field I’ve found is like any other out there. There are rocks to stumble over and upon, thorns on wild roses, and bramble. I have been hurt and have fallen quite a few times, but I always get back up and move on. There’s so much more out there to explore, discover, and write about. I ain’t gonna let a few bumps and bruises get in my way.

 

Described as a “psychological and thoughtful novel of suspense” by Midwest Book Review, “in wake of water” is available for purchase in traditional and digital formats on Amazon. To buy, follow the link on my Amazon author profile, http://amazon.com/author/sbrmartin, where you will also find a link to my second novel, “pig,” which was released as a Kindle Edition eBook on June 11, 2012.

Follow “in wake of water” on Facebook at http://facebook.com/inwakeofwater

Posted on July 12, 2012 and filed under Creativity.

The Love Healer Manifesto (a long read that's worth it)

<3Creative Commons License photo credit: Daquella manera

I Know Why

 

I know why you’re depressed. I know why you’re struggling.  I know why your feel angry, unseen, unknown, unvalued, unwanted.  I know why you feel like you have to fight every day to make a living and stay above water.  I know why some days you feel like you’re drowning.

 

I know why you get into relationships with people who touch you so deeply with their wonder and then burn you so badly with their selfishness.  I know why you can’t reach sexual ecstasy and why you find it so hard to relax.

 

I know why the whole thing isn’t working.

 

What gives me this prescient knowledge? Am I psychic? Well, yes, a bit—but really I’ve just realized the truth of the matter for myself and I’ve seen clearly that what is true in my own deepest heart is true for you, too.

 

So I also know that none of the mess is your fault.  None of it is because you’re deficient or you’re not wise or smart enough.  None of it is because you’re not energetic or clever or sexy enough.  It’s not because you’ve failed or gone wrong in any way.

 

Yet though none of it is your fault, you are the only one who can make it better.  And you can do that—make it wildly, incredibly, soul-swellingly better.

 

So if none of the mess is your fault, what’s going on? Why does this stuff suck so much? Why is life so unbelievably hard in so many ways? Where is all this stuckness and suffering coming from?

 

Before I tell you my answer, I need you to slow down.  I need you to take some really deep breaths—and not pansy deep breaths, either.  Take giant, hearty, full-bodied deep breaths.  I need you to really let this sink in for awhile: none of it is your fault.

 

You are innocent, completely and totally.  Breathe in that truth for a moment: just be with it  It’s not you. Not your fault.  You are 100% absolved. You are 100% perfect.

 

Okay. So what’s the problem? What’s going on?

 

It’s this: you’re a love healer and you haven’t been shown how to own and take full responsibility for your talents because our culture doesn’t understand or respect love healing (although it needs it desperately).

 

When you know how to take full possession of your genius for love healing, when you know how to see and revere yourself for your amazing power, when you know how to deploy that power in your own life and in the lives of everyone around you, you will:

  •             No longer be depressed
  •             —you’ll be joyous.
  •             No longer struggle to make ends meet
  •             – you’ll be fully supported.
  •             No longer be unseen or unknown
  •             – you’ll shine like a beacon.
  •             No longer have painful relationships
  •             – you’ll experience rich harmony.

 

How Do I Know This?

I gained these insights by working through a 7-week course which I designed to be a kind of next generation of The Artist’s Way– it's called Awesome Your Life: The Antidote to Suffering Genius. the course put me and many others in touch with our innate genius and lifted us out of creative misery.  You can find its first few chapters here. That course contains some of the same wisdom I teach here and also a series of experiments that lead you through 7 steps of the mythic journey.

 

Working through the Antidote to Suffering Genius course put me in touch with my own genius for love healing (which had long caused me suffering because I repressed and denied it) and gave me the intuitive power to see and foster the same genius in others.  In the series of posts you're reading now, I share with you directly the knowledge that came to me about the genius for love healing—what it means, and how it works.   I offer this to you now as a kind of concentrated dose of wisdom which can use to stimulate your own inherent power to awesome your life.

 

You may find that working through The Antidote to Suffering Genius course for yourself is a wonderful way to supplement, process, and expand the truth I'm explaining here.  You also might find that the present work is all you need for your awesoming to commence.

 

Your History as an Oppressed Love Healer

Do you feel some doubt about the notion that you’re a love healer? Does that sound too good to be true or too fluffy and weird to be true? Or both? And “love healer”—what does that even mean, anyway?

 

I can answer these doubts and questions only by inviting you to think back to your very earliest memories.  Think back to when you were a very little child playing with other little kids, being with your family.  When did you feel the most alive, the most powerful, the most free and glorious and delighted?

 

I bet it was while you were loving someone or something (a person, a plant, an animal, a doll, a building, a group of friends, a patch of nature) and that someone or something responded to your love by becoming more beautiful, more strong, more whole, more vibrant, more wise.   In other words, it wasn’t just the act of loving that brought you joy (although that is wondrous in itself), it was witnessing the miraculous power of your love to positively affect and uplift what you directed it toward.

 

Put simply, I bet you felt best when you were healing with the power of your love.  Healing in the sense that I use it in this book doesn’t just mean fixing something that’s sick or broken.  It means raising something up to a higher level of order, beauty, and wholeness.  In other words, “healing” means “evolving” not just “fixing.”

 

Now think about all your time in school.  Were you ever offered a time and a place to practice this art of healing with love that brought you so much joy and aliveness? Were you ever encouraged and applauded, given an A+ for the magnificence your love brought forth? Were you ever given compassionate guidance and help in amplifying and focusing the power of your love healing?  Were you ever taught techniques for using it on yourself to heal your own wounds?

 

If you are like most of us who grew up in Western culture, the answer to these questions is “no.”  So what happened instead?  Your skill for love healing, which brought you so much happiness was completely ignored by your teachers.  It was something that you were only free to do at play time—something that you were taught didn’t “count” towards your success in life.

 

Did this happen to you? Was your love healing gift taken for granted, treated as unimportant and unlikely to bring you reward?  Was it glossed over with condescension and never taken seriously?

 

If yes, then your deepest source of power and joy was not nurtured.  Something sacred and stunning and core to your being was gravely insulted by your education.  To put it starkly, you were robbed.

 

 

How Our Present System of Education Generates Self-Destruction

 

At school they taught you to read and write, do science and math, understand history and maybe some other skills.  But they took away (ignored, smothered, insulted) the core talent which all these other skills are only meant to serve: your ability to heal with love.

This is why you’re suffering.  This is why you had or have an eating disorder.  This is why you cut yourself.  This is why you made suicide attempts and why you’ve done drugs.

 

You self-destructed in these ways because our society (represented in your childhood by the school system) did not in the least bit value, nurture, acknowledge or celebrate your magnificent, essential gift for healing with love.

 

Your mother and father didn’t adequately protect you from the assault and devaluing that happened to you at school.  They may have ever perpetuated it at home.  Why? Because the same violence had been done to them.  They had lost touch with their own power of love healing.

 

Think: how joyful and free were your mother and father? How centered and grounded and calm were they? Did they impress you as people with full sovereignty and strength, or were they individuals scarred by shame and self-doubt, by insecurity and misery which they handed down to you?

 

So why did your teachers do this to you? Again, the same answer: it was done to them.  They had suffered the same insulting, ignoring and devaluing and didn’t know how to offer you anything other than what they had received.   Our society has been skewed and violent and messed up in this way (and maybe 1000 other ways) for a long, long time.  There may have only been a handful of cultures on the face of the earth that ever properly valued and nurtured love power.

 

So what am I saying? In brief, I’m saying that your life is so difficult and you find it so hard to be happy because at your depths you are a love healer.  Whatever it is that you prefer to love and whatever medium you use to express your love (we’ll talk more about this later), you are a love healer.  You are a love healer in a society that completely devalues, mistreats, and fails to understand love healing.

 

Everyone Asks for Everything Other than the Love They Want

Let’s talk for a moment about what this means for you today.  We already talked about how very tough stuff became when you were a little child.  So what’s happening right now?

 

You’re in some institution of higher education. Or maybe you’re working now. Or maybe you’re out of work.  What are you doing with your time? It could be just about anything: designing movie sets, waiting tables, teaching yoga, doing research, caring for children.  Whatever it is you’re doing, people pretend that they don’t want your love healing, they want you to do a specific service:

 

Get the food to the table

Make the movie set

Teach me a back bend

Keep the kids safe and fed

Produce new academic knowledge

 

Or any other thing.  There’s a rule in our society: you’re allowed to ask for, expect, and buy tangible goods and services.

 

But you know what? Beyond the very basics, most people don’t really want goods or services at all.  What they really want is to be loved, to be healed and evolved by love.  And that’s what they really want from you—love healing.  But in our society (I like to call it the mad world) there’s a profound taboo: you are never allowed to ask for, receive, or benefit from love healing.

 

So people never ask you for your love healing, even though that’s what they’re really craving from you (the taboo against asking or receiving love healing is so deep that the vast majority of people don’t even know that that’s what they really want and are looking for).

 

So because no one knows how to ask for or receive your love healing, they ask you for other things.  Actually, they don’t just ask, they demand.  And these demands can get very loud and very mean.  You hear messages all the time (spoken or unspoken) like:

 

  •                         This set design isn’t good enough
  •                         This dissertation isn’t up to standard
  •                         You’re not a brilliant yoga teacher
  •                         You’re not doing a good enough job with the kids

 

On and on.  People find things to criticize you about or demand from you endlessly.  You get fired, or let go.  Or you push yourself really hard to meet all their demands and you end up on the floor in a ball, heaving and crying because nothing you do is ever good enough for them.

 

What’s happening?

 

This is what’s happening: everyone who comes into contact with you senses subconsciously that you are a profoundly amazing love healer.  But you don’t know that consciously and neither do they.  So they ask you for a zillion other things, whatever they can think of.  And since you’re broke and trying to make ends meet you run around going nuts trying to jump through the hoops, meet the specifications, be up to snuff, win the race—get the pay check, the job, the fellowship, stay afloat.  This makes you feel frayed, frantic, miserable.  You don’t feel loved or loving—so you’re not offering love with your work.  You’re just trying to get by and hoping that they don’t completely devour you.

 

You don’t feel you have much motivation for doing anything, even things you at one time really liked doing.  Why? When the people you trusted devalued you as a love healer, they cut out your fundamental motivation for doing anything, for relating or for creating  They struck a very deep blow against the core of your self.

 

So you feel miserable.  The people demanding stuff of you feel miserable.  The taboo against ask for, receiving, or celebrating love healing persists.

 

Sounds grim, right? Look around and you see this everywhere in your own life and among your friends.  This is abuse.  This is wrong.  This needs to change. But how?

 

The Deep Change

 

Well, it starts with one person. You.

 

One person who is willing to completely own, value, cultivate, celebrate and revere her own talent as a love healer.  One person who is willing to revere and celebrate the same talent in other people.  One person who is willing to offer her real gifts with no apologies.  Who is willing to stop trying to jump through hoops of false demands and instead stand in her strength and give people just what they are really asking for from her: love, radiant love.

 

The more you do this—offer your love gift freely and support others in offering theirs—the faster the fire of love will spread and the quicker our culture will heal.  You will free others from the taboo.  You will free them to appreciate and value you at your depths.  Gradually, you feel much less confused and threatened when people seem to be making demands of you or criticizing you because you know what they’re really trying to do: ask you for love healing.

 

I want you now to imagine a world where every child’s talent for love healing is nurtured to the utmost—where it is cherished and cultivated and applauded.

 

And I want you to realize that you’re not miserable because you’re not good enough at what you do. You’re miserable because you’re not grounded and centered in the deep knowledge of who you are.

 

Think about it—if you felt totally seen, known, cherished, valued as a love healer, wouldn’t you….

 

  •                         Feel relaxed?
  •                         Enjoy whatever you’re doing more?
  •                         Feel brimming with inspiration for grand ways
  •                                     that you could offer your love to the
  •                                     world?
  •                         Love making stuff?
  •                         Love everyone around you, and yourself a whole
  •                                     lot more?

 

A Big Vision

 

So here’s my vision for you:  you are fully seen, known, celebrated and valued as a love healer—first by yourself and gradually by others who are inspired by your knowledge.  You express your love healing in the world in a way that perfectly delights and strengthens you.  You are richly rewarded for your love healing in wealth and honor.  You see the world evolve, within your lifetime, into something radically different and radically better—thanks in part to the love you shared.

 

I want you to know this:

 

  •                         You are a love healer.
  •                         Just you being in the world makes everything
  •                                     way better.
  •                         Your value is immeasurable and crucial to the
  •                                     survival of our world.
  •                         You deserve to be richly supported just for being.
  •                         You deserve all respect and all beauty and
  •                                     comfort.
  •                         In a just society, you would be richly supported
  •                                     just for your very being.

 

We can make this happen.  Stay tuned for ideas on just how.