Heal, but don’t forget to live.
I say this as a person who is going into business as a Reiki practitioner and someone who has been exploring self-help for years. I have had counseling, coaching, massage therapy, and energy healing done on myself. I have found them all useful. After some events that took place earlier this year, I finally realized that you can’t permanently banish pain and trauma. You might be saying, “Duh,” but a lot of us can unwittingly fall into the trap of obsessing over self-help and asking why, when the why doesn’t matter so much. We may not know why until we meet our Maker, if then.
As much as we would all like to be completely free of the things that plague us – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally – we can let our lives pass us by if we are constantly trying to get to the bottom of a wound. We can spend so much time focusing on problems, we forget to be human.
Human life is messy, real, and uncomfortable. There are going to be moments where you feel completely fed up with this existence. You’re going to feel sick of the superficial bullshit that we have to put up with, especially if you tend to be a deeper and more introverted type. You’re going to get tired of going through the motions and doing things that humans have to do to feel comfortable in this reality. You’re going to have times where you hate what you do for a living. You’ll feel an intense dislike for certain other people and situations. You’ll feel broken by the horrible things you see people doing to animals and to each other. You’ll feel heartbroken after your romantic partner dumps you or you lose a beloved pet. Does that mean you’re negative or that you need to do more healing, attend a yoga class, or meditate right away? Is there a set time period for grief that, once surpassed, turns you into a Grinch? I think it means you’re normal, and you can certainly do those healing or meditation classes if you want to. Grief has no set period. Before you run to light your sage and cut those cords, you have to remember this:
You are going to have negative emotions, and you are going to encounter negative people. You are going to require time to grieve people, animals, or even ideas. It is true that some people should not have a place in your life if they constantly trigger you or mean some manner of harm, but try not to get scissor-happy to a point where you cut everyone off. Sometimes, people are just having a bad day, and their negativity is short-lived. Sometimes, we vent and take our frustration out on people we love because we know they will still love us through that. A healthy person will not do this frequently and will treasure those that allow them to let loose from time to time. Sometimes, people are highly irritating, or we get bogged down by their expectations of us at times, but they don’t pose a significant threat to our well-being. They don’t deserve to be aggressively spritzed with sage mist, even if that is a funny thing to picture and you may be very tempted.
I do not like to think of people as “toxic,” even if it is true. This label seems cruel. Those who are triggering to this degree are so affected by their own issues that it really is not personal, even when it may seem so. You do whatever you need to do to preserve your inner peace, but please remember that labels don’t help anyone. Those people who are toxic to you are projecting their stuff onto you – not that it is fair or deserved, but that is all they’re doing. Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, they don’t know any better. You can’t fix them. Giving them too much mental screen time only makes you miserable. They may never apologize or see the error in their ways. That’s on them. You don’t need to agonize over whether you pissed them off in a past life or think that the Universe hates you. As sad as it is, these things happen, and if you approach them a certain way, you can grow from these situations and people. Maybe the pain never fully goes away, but it won’t always feel so strong and debilitating. You won’t be angry forever.
I used to think medication for depression was useless. I thought, “It only numbs the pain and doesn’t fix it.” Well, you know what? After my mom died, I wanted to be numb. Medication is not the answer to everything, but sometimes you reach a point where you’ve tried everything else. My sensitivity at that time made everyone sound like a skipping record, an out of tune guitar with a broken string – everyone annoyed me, and I was afraid my mouth would get me in trouble. By this point, I was a Reiki practitioner and had been through many healing or therapy sessions. People thought of me as “zen.” But the way I felt, having to interact with people after the loss of my mom, was not zen at all. I wanted to beat the walls, scream and cry, even if someone only said “hello” to me. It was that bad, and I found myself changing my mind about meds.
I still love Reiki. I still love spirituality. I still check the self-help section at the bookstore on occasion. I meditate and do Kundalini Yoga. I energize my crystals and sleep with them under my pillow. But I also read the news, read books for pleasure, enjoy wine and beer, swear, watch junk on TV, play mindless phone games, eat junk food, and take medication for my depression. These things are not apart from spirituality.
Being able to embrace your soul and humanity at the same time – that’s extremely spiritual.
It’s also very healing.