To be healthy is fundamentally also to be happy, whatever that means for each of us, or if not happy, at least to acknowledge and even embrace the unhappiness. The donkey EEyore in Whinny the Pooh embraces his sadness and it’s his way of being, so it’s his “happy”. I would see myself in that category at times through both my Spanish and Swedish background. In Spain we would accept the expression of emotions, and pain as somewhat beautiful and to be lived out, but seldom in the melancholic and silent way as my Swedish culture would. How we deal with pain or wounds from life depends on where we grew up. Our Christian belief is built on feeling the suffering, whereas in Buddhism the whole purpose of life is to deal with suffering but to not to feel it. One culture expresses emotions other cultures wouldn’t. How is your culture dealing with feelings and emotions?
Regardless of what culture, we find those who feel a sense of entitlement from the wounds human life brings and/or those who turn the wounds into possibilities to understand and heal. How you deal with your wounds in life – with entitlement or healing will shape you as a human. Does your ex’s bad behavior entitle you to suffer, commiserate and earn pity, or does it bring you an understanding and a possibility to do good?
The line is fine in between the two, but from the start when the pain is overwhelming we often feel entitled to more respect and compassion, but as time goes on we (hopefully) understand and make sure the wound leads to even more understanding and healing. How we act will create us as humans. The entitlement path leads to craving, and the wound behind the suffering can last for generations and turn into bitterness and manipulation, whereas the alternate path can lead to the most amazing human energetic force to do something awesome and heal with action. I bet that more amazing strokes of art and helping organisations have come from angry and sad people than from ‘happy’, laughing ones. Would Van Gogh have painted or Beethoven have composed if they hadn’t suffered? Would David Gilmour have auctioned his guitars to support legislation for a healthier climate if he wasn’t furious by a history of dis-respect for Nature?
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”
An act of hope will be healing, but not doing anything often makes it worse – check out how we can help. If a wound has been repeated for generations, the healing path can break this bad family history, or inherited family ‘Karma’, from generation to generation, and turn it around to a good one. To see the family pattern is a good start to breaking it.
What we noticed over the years is that some of the wounds stay on. No matter how much we were forgiven and we forgave those who abused us, there is one wound that is hard to get rid of – the pain we caused ourselves, or allowed others to cause us. More often than not shame is involved. It can be a complicated mind game given our thinking has been inherited from religions, psychology, sciences and other beliefs. We often do it on autopilot without noticing or questioning it until the body speaks louder with pain or even illness. Then it’s gone very far, but not always too far. The sooner we can catch our wound-making and to acknowledge our part-taking, the better.
Here is where our Mind Detox – O8 comes handy. In all cases it will be clear if your suffering and pain, entitles you or heals you. Let me give you an example: When we have ‘heart pain’ such as humiliation from let’s say being betrayed, we feel entitled to be recognized and have friends and family consent and support our suffering. We want the betrayer to say they are sorry, many times. Maybe we keep requesting a sorry our whole lives and we keep our loved ones knowing that it’s never enough as we talk about it all the time. The shaming of the betrayer and the suffering becomes part of us, our identity, our lives and people in it get affected (specially kids), they are shaped around the suffering, as if I hurt my leg and need help to carry my bag, even after the crushes are long gone.
We carry the suffering as a back pack hanging on our front, in between us and every new person we meet. History is full of vengeance and hate and cultures that say it’s honorable. Here we enter the famous entitlement path and firm belief in what is right v. wrong, (O8#1). How detrimental this human thinking has been through our common history. In order to detox the entitlement, we first understand that there is/was always ‘a benefit’ in ‘the investment’ in a thinking pattern or else we wouldn’t keep it, and the benefit comes with a cost. To acknowledge and see the pattern of ‘a benefit’ and it’s costs, is already half the healing. Immediately you can drop it if you wish to do so. We never keep thinking or doing anything that doesn’t bring us some type of ‘benefit’.
The toughest detox is the suffering that comes from self-betrayal. This is the hardest to acknowledge, understand and forgive ourselves for. Even if we forgave and forgot the abuser long ago, (often with the explanation that they couldn’t do or be any better), we still feel the pain from the event, and if we come back to it we probably have to understand our role, the ‘benefit’ in the happening and forgive ourselves for it. We can’t drop the event as we can’t understand how we could have allowed it to happen. If we were the abuser, we can’t forgive ourselves for hurting others. We also struggle to forgive those who hurt our loved ones, especially if it’s our children, including ourselves if we didn’t understand we were hurting them at the time, but in looking back see that we did hurt them. We loose trust and confidence in ourselves, feelings of shame and guilt arise.
The wound is now our own self-betrayal, and we don’t understand the complexity of our lives or what makes us hurt ourselves, or loved ones, even though we do. Confusion takes over and fear of how we should react, and self-hatred is next. It can be as simple as smoking, drinking, overeating, or cracking our bones in some macho performance in spite of knowing that it hurts us. It can be more complex to understand mental abuse or the harm of a third person.
Sooner or later the forgiving has to come in order to be at peace with one’s failures as humans to care for our own selves and others. To forgive ourselves is usually much harder for many people than to forgive others, just as it can be very hard to accept our own complexity as humans with several identities. It’s as if we all of a sudden don’t know who we are, or how we could do it. In the recognition of our self-harm lays the vulnerability. To recognize that we hurt, or allowed others to hurt, is very hard to live with. Hurting ourselves or others it’s not a healthy behavior and more or less stigmatized to silence.
We help you figure out what your pain and suffering is caused by, and how to redirect the energy and ‘the benefit’, of both the act itself and the suffering it still brings today, into tangible hope or acts of hope. This is a spiritual detox, it’s beyond words and minds. Forgiveness brings peace and when tapping into your abusive side the feeling is often overwhelming, and we become very vulnerable. In those moments it’s not strange that we seek and need Mercy. Many, me included, turn to help from a deep and safe friendship, or a ‘larger’ non-human energy such as Nature or God if you like, who can hug and embrace us with all our faults, and make us feel OK with who we are, with all those faults. It’s a moment of being totally human, naked, small and vulnerable. This is the moment when Saint Teresa of Avila outsourced her pain to God and Saint John of the Cross, referred to as the Dark Night Of the Soul. They both turned to God for Mercy. It’s the famous Buddhist Emptiness or Nothingness from which a new healing force arises, Prana or Qi, and with it the strength to do good.
Interestingly the word Mercy in the first version of the Bible, written in Aramaic, Rachem, also means Womb. What a great metaphor for a protected and loving space, and the being born from it is a new life. Sadly, it was later translated to Heart in the Bible, under the leadership of Pope Constantine who got rid of most all feminine aspects of God year 325, more about that in another blog.
It is seldom entirely your fault that things happen, but with a little help you are always your own rescue from it all, even Family Karma.