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I am back on a staycation stay-home holiday.
As my family lives several provinces away, I find myself once again longing to be there. I am forced to look at things that I have avoided such as “grief.”
I have been writing too much again…if there is such a thing. I’ve lost some material, and it feels like the corridors in my brain are locked up—the place where the good stuff is, where the material on grief and life and love are.
This year, I am attempting to finish my first book. It has been painful so far, and I have had a few book check-ins from friends near and far. But here I am, writing an article to you as the the book sits waiting.
I have more to say briefly in the form of articles before I can continue, and it is this: this pandemic has been a catalyst for change, and it has brought on waves of mental illness, which is the root of my grief.
The root is how mental illness has taken from me the one I loved. This was a generational trauma, for the same thing happened with my maternal grandmother and my grandfather.
This is no irony; this is indeed generational trauma or ancestral trauma.
This is my mother wound.
Here is the irony: I am a therapist, and I work with those suffering from mental illness.
Often, those who have been greatly impacted by mental illness are drawn to the profession to heal others. It is my dream that, one day, mental illness is eradicated and a thing of the past.
I pray that we can prevent, not just treat, this disease. This is possible and there is research being done as we speak. This is not my only dream though.
I hope that therapy can be used as a tool for people to embrace their gifts and to live their best lives, while tapping into the hidden, dormant gifts that humans are not often able to access.
My dream is for the entire planet and its inhabitants to heal. This, I know, is an ideal dream; however, it is possible.
Before any of this can happen, we need to look at ourselves and our own traumas, for the path to healing is also a personal one.
My friend asked me the other day if have started to do my own work toward. Healing? Her question was a good one, and in order for one to move forward, one must fully process their own “stuff.”
This pandemic has stirred everything up, and my response was that I am doing my own therapy, which is no secret.
We all need to do our own work. Something needs to happen beyond therapy though, and this is spiritual development or forgiveness…whatever language or wording you give it.
There is an integration here, a connection between both emotional and spiritual healing.
We all have experiences and pain that we resist and push down. We might say “later” and this is far too much to handle now. And we keep going through the motions of our day-to-day existence.
A global pandemic serves as a jolt to those deep, embedded wounds and painful memories hidden deep within our subconscious.
What are the difficult stories that you have pushed down?
Often, we avoid painful life experiences. Perhaps, isolation and solitude have you searching as well and working through some painful stuff.
We have to remember that our life is in our hands.
We may not have control over external life events and the series of domino effects; however, we have control over our own internal landscape and response.
This is such a confusing and difficult concept to explain and accept. How can this be true, you might ask? In the simplest of terms, we have control over how we show up and how we respond and react right now.
Each day, world events become more triggering and cause great pain, and yet, we can decide on an individual level and communal level how we respond.
We can rise up and live with compassion and empathy while offering others our gifts and support.
We can turn a blind eye and turn off the news, or we can respond in turn by living and following the path of the Buddha.
This path is the path back to ourselves and each other.
This is the path of love and healing. I believe this happens by living fully in this world while embracing impermanence, compassion, and equanimity. The path of Buddha can be ours, and it is a gift of awakening.
We do not have to practice Buddhism to embrace this. On the contrary, this gift is for everyone regardless of religion, class, or political ideology, for the tenets are simple. But they do require daily practice.
This practice shows us that our trauma is not something to be ashamed of, and we can work on healing each and every day, especially now with the triggers and reminders of the past pain and sorrows.
Life without sorrow would not be life after all.
So here I am, and here you are, right where we need to be.
We can begin again each and every day and offer ourselves some compassion, and this, in turn, will radiate outward for all to see and experience.
The path of Buddha is for everyone.