An Afterword: Additional Tools for Tough Times

 

This Afterword is meant to offer support for anyone who feels drawn to the journey of healing from the inside out—before rushing off to try to “save the world”. And although many of us have been at this for decades, it is for most of us a process, and a gradual progress. I hope to share tools and practices, teachers and guides who have aided others and myself in incredible ways. Feel free to visit the Resources page on this website after reading the following short introduction…

We can never really know another person’s inner world—but we can guess that they wrestle with the same human challenges. That they know grief and joy, love and fear and vulnerability, and that they, too have at one point or another—or many times and often—felt unbelievably alone in it all, and wondered what exactly it is they are doing here.

Most of us believe that if we found ourselves in dire circumstances together—hurricane, tornado, earthquake—we would help one another. Any of us, I believe, would try to save the life of the person nearby, no matter our religious beliefs, or the color of our skin, or the judgments we had been holding. If another person’s child was in danger we would do everything we could, without thinking, to save their child.

I am reminded of a story that Byron Katie tells of being mugged in Central Park, in New York City. The man grabbed her purse and then, realizing that she had seen his face and would be able to identify him, held his pistol to her stomach and told her he was going to have to kill her. She said, “Thank you for doing your Best. If this is your Best, then I understand.” He was so stunned by her compassion that he dropped her purse, turned and left.

We are human. We are humane. And if given half a chance—we prove it. Yet we haven’t been taught to look for or expect those qualities of Being in each other. We are taught for some reason to look for the opposite, and to imagine that the person sitting next to us on the city bus, or standing in front of us at the store, doesn’t have that same seed of goodness that could be nourished and tended to and encouraged—and so our diminished expectations of one another are proven out.

Comrades: the Mind & Heart

We’re living in very unconscious times. The Mind and the Heart are not very good friends, although they were meant to be. The Mind is unwieldy and has yet to be worked with by many in a way that honors its brilliant role in the process of conscious creation. The Heart is by nature open, and ready to be engaged with, so that it might work in concert with the Mind—yet the Mind and the Heart seem to be too often working alongside one another as adversaries instead of allies.

Although small pockets of higher consciousness have existed here and there over thousands of years, allowing people to live in deep harmony and with awareness, the majority of our modern race has now been swept up into a sad modernity called “civilization”—which is far from civil, and has not been encouraged to study the nature of Mind or the nature of Heart, but instead, has been encouraged to focus on everything but; esteemed titles, material possessions, outer appearances, romantic (or non-romantic) conquests, and desires that know no end and cannot ever be quenched.

All of these expenditures of our life force are in the end, empty. Sadly, most of us find this out usually in our final moments, when we realize we can’t take any of it with us and fifty or one hundred years from now no one will mostly likely even remember our name, our title and rank, lofty or non-lofty position, nor celebrate our achievements or drudge up our failures, nor champion our material successes—because they will be too busy pursuing their own.

We are here on average, fifty years—what was it all for?

The Wounded Healer

I think there are a few important skills from which we could benefit in the often terrifying territory of the age we are living in, where the mind is fed violent imagery, and the body is fed food with almost no food in it, and feeling—or feeling vulnerable for even a flash of a moment—is portrayed as weak, and instead we are supported and invited to remain numb, and to replace “feeling”with sugar and caffeine and alcohol and medications, and every addictive pastime imaginable.

The best we can do for a wounded world that needs our help is to first work on the inherited wounding within us. Then, we can be of an even truer service—as the Wounded Healer—one who knows the territory and the rigors of healing intimately, and one who can continue to guide one’s self and others with great tenderness, great wisdom and great compassion as we continue the mighty work ahead of healing what we’ve done to one another, and to the planet.

We can rise together, even if we fall alone.
For it’s a beautiful time to be alive, even on
this long walk Home.

What I’ve found in my own journey is that you have to want true happiness—more than your own hurts, dramas and even past traumas. You have to want the kind of deep contentment and easy joy that just is and just happens for no reason whatsoever, having nothing to do with circumstances. You have to really, really, really be tired of suffering. Once that point is reached—once that asking from the deepest place in your being is howled and roared, cried and cried out, wailed and silently wept and the decision to know true peace is so searing and your determination so fierce that it could cleave a mountain—Life will respond. In as many ways as it can conceive of, over and over and on and on, and all you have to do is to allow the help, the guidance, and the goodness in.

I’ve chosen very specifically the following sources of support. May they be one more stepping stone on the path to your deepest peace. (Resources)


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