This is the question we often ask ourselves during those rare, yet excruciating moments when we are so despairing and exhausted that we are left with little choice but to take a long, hard, honest look at ourselves.
You’ve bought all the self-help books, attended dozens of courses and workshops, received healing of various modalities and spent a small fortune on talking therapies.
Yet their remains an awareness that within the three areas of your life that are most important to you – Love, money and success – there’s not much improvement, if any at all.
You still don’t love yourself and are often at the centre of conflict with others.
Money doesn’t flow abundantly, being a wage slave means you do okay, but your soul is telling you that this journey into humanness is meant to be much more than just okay.
Success eludes you, the confidence you need to leave the 9-5 and branch out with that exciting business idea eons years away.
The greatest barrier of all to healing is healing itself.
This is because there’s nothing to heal, there never was.
It was The Universe, I call her ‘Eloise’ that first put this to me, to say that hearing it was a challenge is the understatement of the century, I was outraged, angry and because this event happened only a few months after I left the world of New Age behind, I was convinced this voice had to be a demon, because in my opinion nothing other that something satanic would ever illustrate such a lack of empathy, compassion and understanding of my plight.
Of course, I had to heal! I felt utterly worthless and that was just for starters, the list was a long one.
Eloise spoke those words to me when I was lay face down, crumpled up on my bedroom floor after sliding down the wall in total exhaustion an hour earlier, tearful, deeply despondent and experiencing yet another Dark Night of the Soul I wept and pleaded ‘what more do I have to do before I am finally healed?’
I took no heed of those words, I was far too angry and because self-love was still a year or two away at this stage in my journey it wasn’t yet possible for me to have considered, even for a moment, that the voice I heard so clearly could belong to anyone on my side, I dismissed it as a naughty, mischievous spirit that had somehow managed to penetrate my carefully-constructed wall of psychic self-protection.
…but eight months and another three Dark Night’s of the Soul later I was ready to listen, I was terrified and still convinced it was a demon, but I figured I had nothing to lose because the bouts of debilitating depression and feelings of self-loathing were becoming much more frequent and more intense.
I approached my conversation with this energy like a six-year-old approaching the headmasters office at school, fingers fidgeting, knees knocking, teeth slighter a-chatter, I tentatively whispered ‘who are you?’
The voice replied, I am your soul, wisdom, your innate intuition your higher consciousness’.
I nearly died of fright and it was a further year before I attempted another dialogue, self-hatred ran too deep within me for me to believe I was worthy of being spoken to directly by the Almighty, that kind of thing only happened to successful, wealthy, spiritual people like Marian Williamson and Neale Donald Walshe.
…but open another dialogue I eventually did, but it wasn’t during these conversations I learned what I know now because these conversations were just too monosyllabic for that to have happened and you can read more about that here, I learned that there was never anything to heal when I surrendered to doing nothing when a Dark Night of the Soul presented itself, it was this along with the monosyllables of Eloise that taught me that attempting to heal ourselves is the barrier to healing.
You see doing nothing was the only option left open to me, I was determined I would not pay money I could ill afford to rent relief via a New Age healer or psychic I had done that long enough, almost two decades to know that the outcome was always temporary, and I couldn’t take it into psychotherapy supervision because I had been talking about my worthlessness and shame for just as long as I had been attempting to heal it.
So, although I felt suicidal, I was aware that I didn’t really want to die so I went with my only option which was to feel the pain, allow the tears to fall, the snot to congeal, my heart to break as the frozen energy of a thousand trapped emotions melted.
After a while I saw a clear pattern emerge, without worrying if I could feel my pain and approach it with the love and compassion Eloise was teaching me how to then ‘something’ was different, wonderful, exhilarating and miracle-like different.
Mind chatter stopped completely, and it was as if I had been given a new pair of spectacles because the world looked very different to the one before, suddenly it was a very exciting place to be, yet I still couldn’t put my finger on this ‘something’.
I recall the first time I accessed my own wisdom around this time, sitting with a group of friends, each discussing their issues and problems and suddenly I said something so profound, wise and ‘Osho-like’ my immediate reaction was to clamp my hand over my mouth while I quickly looked around to see if I could spot the person whose mouth these words had emanated from and nearly fell off my chair when I found it was me!
Eventually with everything emotion I felt with love and compassion, instead of hatred and judgment I grew, often in hours and days, it wasn’t uncommon to go to bed as one person and seemingly awake as another and that’s when it dawned on me that, that ‘something’ I was seeking to identify was fearlessness.
I was no longer afraid of what people thought of me, speaking my truth, owning how I was feeling, being judged, criticised or abandoned.
…and I finally understood that my journey wasn’t about searching for healing, it was about searching for acceptance from other people because I had none for myself.
I was never saying ‘heal me’ to my healers, psychics and psychotherapists, what I was really saying is ‘allow me to walk out of this room in an hour a much more acceptable person than the one who walked in’.
Having my uncomfortable and difficult emotions on show for the world to see meant I was not acceptable to myself and others, it meant I was simply a walking, talking breathing bag of shame.
We are shamed as early as toddlerhood when our uniqueness, our true nature and the emotions we display are brought forth spontaneously from a place of truth, honesty and authenticity that a one-year-old child exhibits, from then on, it’s all downhill to destination lies, emotional deceit and the crippling exhaustion of wearing ten masks before lunchtime.
Being told who we should be to fit in, to maintain the status quo, so the cracks don’t show and worst of all, so we don’t hold a mirror up to the pain and inadequacies of others.
There is no healing for self-acceptance and the spectre of shame that trails alongside it, instead it disappears and dies a quick and dignified death with every emotion we are willing to take ownership of and treat with the love and compassion it’s come looking for.
Sure, your worst nightmare may come true; the people you depend on the most for validation will disappear from your life, but that’s okay because within a permanent state of grace and fearlessness arrives an awareness that anybody is who is not willing to extend patience and kindness to you for as long as you need it while you fully experience pain, fear, anger and shame isn’t worthy of being in your life to begin with.
…but there’s a far greater chance they won’t click here to find out why.