REALITY BITES BECAUSE IT JUST DOES
A few years ago, when I started to write these blog posts, I hoped that I would reach other people who I had things in common with, and I did. What I discovered was revealing and not always very flattering in terms of what we shared. In conversations of all kinds I found myself looking in a mirror, and I did not often like what was being reflected back to me. It was an eyeopener because of my willingness to acknowledge that what angers me about others is often something I need to look at in myself. Part of what connected me to some of the people I met were characteristics I did not like about myself, something I wanted to resolve, and not justify through our knowing each other. Fear is not an attractive characteristic and that was pretty much what we all shared.
MAYBE IT IS OUR SHADOW THAT IS THE PROBLEM
So, fear is at the root of not feeling safe. It was hard for me to face that I definitely did not feel safe most of my life. Feeling safe in the world was not my strongpoint. My life circumstances did not read like a person making decisions from a place of fear, but I knew better. A poorly functioning Gut and Weak Immune System did not make me feel protected from the inside out. I can admit this while acknowledging the acts of violence and threats going on in the world. Also, despite living in New York City on 9/11/2001I, an incident that did change my feelings of personal safety, but my fear was more systemic than that. I was sure the basis of my fear, no matter what I had been through, was greatly determined by something deep. If I wanted to be healthy I had to look at my reaction to others fears. I needed to look at the underbelly. The things I did not find attractive about these other people, like me, who were also struggling with their Chronic Health issues.
YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME
The spectrum of opportunity stretches far on the internet, so through this blog I have met people from all over the world. Here in the USA, some lived on the coasts, some in the middle of the country. People from all over the world. I came to understand from listening to their gripes that the fear of something being taken from them caused feelings of fear and defensiveness. That fear greatly determined much of what was coming out of all our mouths. I came to understand how this thinking greatly influences all our decisions. It was clear to me that Poor health, Chronic Illness, Weak Immune Systems all contribute to this kind of “Fear of the Other” thinking. If a person feels that they can not defend themselves from within (Weak Internal Health Defense) the world outside themselves is a much more scary place.
IT IS EASY TO TAKE CARE OF PEOPLE THAT LOOK JUST LIKE OURSELVES
People I met through this blog often had more Right Leaning political views on Politics, Race, and Immigration that I did not share. There was a pattern of characterizing people that seemed so different than themselves as a threat. My anger toward those who felt this way was screaming at me to take a good hard look at myself. To understand their fears and not judge them with the same fear that they were judging people who were different than themselves. I forced myself to look at what I had in common with the people who had the unexamined fear of “The Other”. The kind of fear that diminishes health and, in my experience, develops from feeling defenseless and unable to fend off Opportunistic Bacteria, a Weak Immune System.
I AM GOING TO HIT YOU BEFORE YOU HIT ME
Here in the USA, and from what I see and hear around the world, the behavior that is prevailing in society and government is attack and defend. Sadly, the United States has become more of blatant divider politically in words and actions. The money that goes to building an even stronger military is defended and rationalized by people every day. Keeping people feeling unsafe is a strategy for the ever increasing Military Budget. I deeply feel that this way of thinking is greatly impacted by their own poor health and Weak Inner Defense Systems. This may sound simplistic, but I strongly stand by it.
STILL WATERS RUN VERY DEEP
From my experience with myself and others I have come to the realization that even pain staking healing of Chronic Illness does not always mean an awareness and ability to change fearful thinking and behavior. Emotional wounding runs deep and needs to be handled in therapeutic ways that are healing and build understanding. Ways that do not only threaten the tribal alliances people have, their relationships, their work and finances. Most people, here in the USA, do not own a Passport and therefore, depending on where they live, do not often interact with people from other cultures. Meeting new Immigrants from unfamiliar places changes that.
BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE
My observation is that healing on a physical / biological level does not magically wipe away the historical patterns of perception that are deeply imbedded in our collective psyches. The images of enslaved Black and Brown people shackled, barefoot, in ragged clothing, whipped and hung from trees, the degrading use of the N word are imbedded in our collective psyches. Just from the political climate around the world I am sure that most white people do NOT understand the shameful scar Slavery has left on us all. I hope more of us are learning, I know I am.
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? MAYBE NEITHER
Deep change may have to entail leaving behind people who are not wiling to grow and change. How we handle all this determines our health and personal growth. Tough decisions are made by action and inaction. Judging others takes on a whole new meaning when we face these situations head on. When we all face ourselves.
I have found help from Dr. Jennifer Daniels, MD. Check out her website. She may not be for you, but she provides well researched information on her radio shows and in her other communications.