We often fear doing things alone.
Not only is there a tangible physical feeling of safety in numbers, it can feel more comfortable emotionally as well. When we devote our attention to others around us, we avoid sitting in the stillness and facing ourselves. Oftentimes you will see people running themselves ragged tending to the needs of others simply because they don’t know how to just be. Perhaps you are one of those people.
I used to be like that. If I wasn’t busy or “being productive” (I frigging hate that term now), then I felt restless, jumpy, and off-kilter. This cloud of guilt constantly loomed over me, especially if I dared to just enjoy myself a bit. The first step in my healing process was banishing the word “should” from my vocabulary, and I recommend that you do the same. It’s really a shit thing to say to yourself. While you’re at it, maybe get rid of “have to”, “must”, and anything else of the sort. How can you heal when you’re constantly talking down to yourself that way? If you’re as captive to the judgmental voices in your head as I was, it makes sense that you’d be totally miserable.
So I looked to find some way of healing, and I started reaching out to others. I was in so much pain that I had no choice but to trust my intuition at this point – my brain had overloaded and practically shut down. That ended up being a blessing in disguise.
Perhaps that is why we can only break through when we hit what they call rock bottom – perhaps by then our minds are so paralyzed that we instinctually move towards those who can actually help us. Only we can heal ourselves, but it does help to have others there as support – as long as they are truly there to support and not navigate the process for you. If someone tells you they can heal you, run fast. I got lucky – or maybe my instincts kicked in for me – and I found a wonderful system of support humans who know that they cannot heal me for me, but only facilitate my healing with me. That small change in intention makes all the difference.
The most crucial factor is that you must have a desire to heal in the first place. It does feel frightening to be alone with your emotions, especially when your trauma and pain seem insurmountable. When you’ve spent years pushing away the elements of yourself that you believe to be unlovable and undesirable, the last thing you want to do is look at all of that shit at once. It’s hard as hell. Give yourself credit for even wanting to go there.
Start consciously noticing those mean voices inside you. That’s the first step. Awareness is crucial in the process of quieting them. Then, know that you cannot keep looking for someone who will save you from yourself. You can seek salvation in a partner, a friend, a teacher, a family member, a healer … but you will always feel a lacking, because it has to start with you. The onus is on your own shoulders, and you ruin your relationships when you put the responsibility of your entire well-being in their care. It’s not fair to them and it won’t work anyway, so why not stop hurting everyone involved?
Let me share something hopeful with you. As I heal, I’m learning to receive. I always thought that constantly giving made me a good person, but really I was just yearning to feel worthy and validated. Receiving is infinitely more vulnerable, and that’s why I have such a hard time doing it. But as I open myself up to this scary softness, I find that people are more than willing to support me. It makes me tear up – I’m literally crying right now – to think about the amazing humans who stepped up to help me every day of these last few months. All because I finally let them.
What I’m saying is, don’t be afraid that you have to heal alone. Yes, you need to face your own demons and only you can do that work. But as you forge down the road, even though it’s unknown and lonely at times, you’ll find that the rewards are worth it. There are people out there who will delight in supporting you and meeting your needs. You can’t find them when you are in so much pain that you can’t even see them. You have to break open to create space for the love that you crave.
I believe that once you take the responsibility for your life into your own hands, you are absolutely capable of healing. How good will it feel when you make progress on your journey and know that you created that? What a beautiful awakening. You matter, and you can transform your own life. Sending good vibes.