Embracing Our Pain For The World
I woke up and came across the song Masters of War by Bob Dylan. As my hearing engaged I heard words describe the low anxious rumble in my body that had been increasing in intensity over the last few weeks. The anxiety for our dying planet, broken social systems, and widespread suffering. Anxiety is one of my masks for pain in particular, sadness, and I soothed the inner panic to run and hide from it. When I acknowledged the feelings and wanted to avoid them as we are typically conditioned to do, I found strength in remembering my commitment to embracing my pain for the world. At that moment a spaciousness was created within, the type of space that comes when we give ourselves permission to feel. I write this as someone who is still learning, in the very seedling stages of finding roots in this work of Earth healing. As not an expert, but one who has woken up to the echo of the Earth in her Soul and not able to go back to sleep.
The “Radiance” in Radiance Realized isn’t simply our inner, perfect wholesome light.
It is the light from the fire of our soul, it is the anchor point for all of us, it is the eternal well where our True nature comes from, which includes pain, grief, rage, sadness. Life, a Wholesome, perfect, embodied life includes all of the feelings. Realizing our radiance is embracing our pain just as it is embracing our light. And included in that is our pain for the world.
Too often in the healing community, this integral piece of the puzzle is left out, especially in Western culture. We seem to live in a culture where we want to amplify what feels good only. Amplify the “positive” and bypass the pain, often a result of the larger story of our World that needs healing. There is also the common trend of escapism spirituality or using “I am not my body” as a way of not taking responsibility for the signals that body is giving us for the pain of our world. Or even worse, “we have to stay positive and only focus on the good or we can’t heal anything.” Talk about a mindset that breeds repressed emotion.
Healing doesn’t mean working towards feeling good as much as possible. When we do this we leave out most of who we are in the process. Only healing our individual wounds, physical and beyond, only focusing on the positive, is like healing our entire body while our left arm is atrophied and decaying. A crucial part of our healing is missing. We then walk around with this pain we are denying and “keep having the same issues” coming back again and again. It is heartbreaking and a breeding ground for shame within the healing community.
But perhaps that pain isn’t about our individual self, rather we are channeling the pain of our planet that is naturally informing our experiences.
Imagine if you were constantly reaching out to those in your community for help to heal. Then imagine that you were not only ignored but your pain denied completely by everyone around you. This is what we do when we don’t embrace our pain for the world. We deny our world the right to be witnessed in her pain because we are denying it in our own quest to feel good.
I myself have been both a victim and perpetrator of this narrative. It wasn’t until this past year where I got clear and my world got rocked by what I call Wild Grief. In that type of inescapable pain, I found no separation from myself and the world around me. I believe this eye-opening grief was a gift by Mother Earth to shake me awake. My vision cleared to see the Reality of the wounds and traumas my individual and thus MY LARGER BODY, the Earth is currently experiencing. And I feel it, I carry it, we all do. I am more than my body, I AM the body of Mother Earth.
I am still in the infant stages of finding my way through this and finding solutions. But as far as I can tell the first step for me has been to ACKNOWLEDGE. Face it. Feel it. Stop spiritually bypassing the horror of this post-apocalyptic world we are in. And start the process of taking RESPONSIBILITY. When I heal my individual wounds my first steps are often: acknowledge, feel and take responsibility for my healing process. Breathwork is the most invaluable tool I have found for this work. There is no greater connection to the Earth than becoming conscious of our reciprocal exchange of breath with our planet.
With the healing of our world I take that same philosophy: acknowledge, feel and take responsibility for my power in the healing process.
So look at your dead arm, take responsibility for it, it is literally stinking up your life. Embrace your pain for the world, it is the most human thing about you. I look forward to sharing more on this topic over the coming months as I dive deeper.
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! We need to hold each other accountable as we wade through this deep water now more than ever.
P.S. If you want a phenomenal resource to explore, please check out Joanna Macy’s, The Work That Reconnects. Her philosophy and action-based tools have been invaluable for my journey.