What prevents us from living meaningful, fulfilling lives? What holds us back from discovering our full potential?
I believe it comes from our lack of connection, both with ourselves and with others. As a society, we have created numerous strategies to protect ourselves from actually meeting, within or without.
This disconnect is at the root of many of the ills we experience. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a way back to real connection.
Disconnecting through addiction
Painting by Jordan Petersen
Addiction is a highly effective way to cut off. Most of us are addicted to something: social media, cell phones, shopping, eating, smoking, drinking or drugs. As a healer, I’m amazed at our perpetual state of disconnect. We’ve become professional at avoidance, cutting off from how we’re actually feeling.
When I ask people to sit quietly with themselves without any distractions, people become squeamish or make statements such as: “I hate meditating,” or “I can’t sit that long,” or “I have too much to do.”
We band-aid our discomforts with constant distractions, unwilling to feel any hurt or pain within.
Why do we do this?
There are many reasons why we don’t want to feel. Some of them stem from beliefs we have around feeling down or uncomfortable.
We associate sadness and discomfort with being unsuccessful or weak. We suspect we’re losing our power or the respect of others if we express such feelings.
We imagine that if we soften or become less functional, we’re less worthy. Yet, when we deny ourselves the opportunity to sit still and simply feel, we close off our ability to be fully present and to receive the world around us. Our ability to listen to others and receive the healing love and beauty that surrounds us depends on stillness.
The inability to sit with ourselves and the truth of how we are currently feeling not only causes illness and disease—both mental and physical— it’s also a symptom of a much larger disconnect: an ambit of collective apathy.
Giving away our power
Many of us have shut down to the suffering and negativity happening on our planet.
When we witness something negative or hear of disturbing and destructive behaviours in the world, instead of sitting in the discomfort this causes us, we judge it. Once we judge, we give away our ability to feel love or compassion.
By sitting in the reality of our circumstances, we can be present in the truth of our experience. Avoiding pain or a festering wound does not make it go away; it only worsens the severity of the suffering.
Bearing the pain or negativity, we give the wounds a chance to heal.
Avoidance of feelings of sadness, discomfort, pain, anger, frustration or unworthiness is an attempt to selectively numb ourselves. Yet in doing so, we inevitably cut ourselves off from empathy, love and our ability to connect.
Most of us believe these emotions hold no retail value. They represent weakness and block us from achieving and maintaining material goods and wealth. Yet, these aspects of life represent the balance we crave. They are the vital missing link in our ability to connect.
Denying the whole
We glorify the able bodied, the beautiful, the young, the independent, the homogeneous. We deem them worthy of acceptance and success. We willfully forget about the rest: the imperfect bodies, the delicate souls and the fragile environments. We deny the gifts and value they offer.
Glorifying surface perfection leaves us in a state of inadequacy and self-loathing.
There is great value in recognizing the difference between feeling sorry for ourselves and wallowing in self-pity and self-victimization. By recognizing the very real imbalance within ourselves and admitting the truth about our negative patterning, we open the possibility of changing.
We have the option to either love ourselves or beat ourselves up about our past choices. If we choose the latter, we continue to make matters worse and add to the negativity on the planet.
But, if we choose to step out of the negativity and familiarity, we move into the consciousness that we are all learning and making mistakes.
In living life imperfectly, we explore our free will perfectly.
We can celebrate and treat ourselves gently and with kindness and compassion. This automatically shifts the old way of thinking and makes room for new creation and manifestation to evolve.
No man (or woman) is an island
Many of us are creating and experiencing the same fears and limitations. When we realize this, we see we are not alone and we
can open to witnessing each other’s humanity with compassion and understanding.
Healthy human connection is the fastest, most effective remembrance of our likeness and connection. It’s also the fastest, most effective route to healing and leading a more balanced and healthy life.
As we meet each other with vulnerability, empathy and compassion, we find we have the ability to heal our bodies at a far more efficient rate. Our brains and bodies respond with floods of oxytocin (a morality and trust hormone) and our nervous systems relax. We re-open ourselves creatively, emotionally, and physically.
In choosing loving connections, we have the opportunity to affect greater consciousness in others and inspire them to access their own healing. We can create healthy relationships and connections with everything we interact with on the planet. It all comes down to choice; we have the power to choose.
The effects of re-awakening these aspects within are vastly beautiful! We begin to shed the cage of apathy. We re-establish ourselves as loving, healthy, happy beings. We naturally open to pleasure, joy and excitement and fulfill our deep capacity for connection.
The power to bring true happiness to the planet is in our hands.