How we can honour the Indigenous children buried at Canadian residential schools.
There is a lot of collective pain starting to surface.
It feels like we have been living under a cloak of fear-induced silence for decades, centuries even.
Countless atrocities that have been taking place worldwide are finally bubbling up, becoming known, being felt.
It’s as if we weren’t ready until now.
Up until this point, we, as a collective, weren’t able to allow these pains to be felt or these stories to be told. There is a reason why the remains of these 215 Indigenous children (a number that keeps growing) haven’t been found until now. And that reason extends beyond the logistical reasons why the discovery has only recently taken place.
Our ability to feel and heal is analogous to an onion being peeled. We move through layers of allowing—with each layer getting us closer to the core inner truth that we all share:
Love. Consciousness. God. Source. Unity.
The word doesn’t really matter because the truth goes beyond language anyway.
But each layer is full of deep discomfort and resistance. Each layer is full of the physical manifestations—wars, atrocities, injustices, fears, and illusions of separation that have been haunting us for too long.
Each layer, each injustice, each hurt is a test. Every time we experience terrible consequences in our outer world, we are being asked to take outer action but to also rectify and heal internally. We are being asked to face that pain in a way that allows us to transform it. We are being asked, again and again, to break the cycle within and without.
Because beyond the veil of all this suffering lies something else. Something infinitely more beautiful. The reason most of us don’t see it is because we see ourselves as separate. The moment we accept that everything we see is connected to us—meaning we play a role in creating it all—our view can begin to change. Most people gloss over this last sentence. It doesn’t make logical sense.
How are we to blame for something that happened in the past? It sounds ridiculous to the mind. But this statement isn’t for the mind. It’s for the soul. It’s a statement to ponder deeply in silence where your soul, your inner knowing, resides.
Once you are willing to see yourself as intrinsically connected to and a creator of all else, it becomes easier to imagine new possibilities. It also becomes easier to understand that all the suffering and injustice is here as the Divine in disguise, ready to wash us clean of our pain, as long as we are open to it. Everything becomes an opportunity to step into higher states of consciousness. Everything, as terrible as it might seem, is a gift pushing us in the right direction.
When we can meet every facet of reality with this understanding and acceptance without judgment, our perspective starts to shift. From there, our outer world begins to change as well. Changing our perspective doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and pretending injustices aren’t happening or never happened.
It means taking outer action to help right wrongs. But it also means genuinely looking at situations as a chance for you to heal right here and right now so you don’t try to “right” wrongs with the same fears and feelings of separation that created the conditions in the first place.
There is no changing the outer world without paying close attention to our inner state.
And so, here is how we begin to use pain as internal medicine:
1. By taking responsibility for everything, even if you had no physical part to play in it.
2. Labelling it, allowing the pain to be felt, and washing over and through you until you are ready to use it as medicine to change.
3. Find a way to stop hiding what you feel and share it instead.
4. Using tangible means of transformation, such as ritual, to make a shift.
Getting to the place where you can celebrate how you’ve transformed and continue to change means taking action from this internal state of well-being while holding immense gratitude in your heart for all the continued opportunities to heal.
Thank goodness this darkness is all coming to light. Because we are not victims of circumstance. We are empowered beings here to shine more light in the dark within and all around us, with every moment that passes.
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