Besides the tragedy of what’s happening in Japan, another big topic to hit the news recently is the Charlie Sheen saga. A large part of the world is watching as he seems to be publicly imploding. I’ve heard many news people question, “Where is his family? Why doesn’t someone step in and help this man?” People are outraged by his behavior and at the same time saddened by what looks like his demise.
I understand the frustration of watching someone fall apart and feeling helpless to do anything about it. In Charlie’s case, as in all cases, the truth is that we can’t help someone until they’re ready to be helped. It would be great if we could fix every situation that is broken and every person who is suffering. But that’s not the way it works. Healing our lives is a journey and we have to be ready to put our foot on that path before we can begin the healing process.
One of my prompts from Paul this week was “fix.” I seem to be fixated on the word “fix” because every where I turn I find myself in a conversation or a relationship with someone who’s experiencing emotional pain. Being an empath on my own healing journey, I usually hear as much of what’s not being said, as what is being said. I can see and feel other’s pain and get frustrated because I know I can’t fix anyone. All I can do is listen with love and empathy and let them know I see them and hear them. Sometimes that’s all a person needs at the moment, to know that someone sees their need.
The obvious choice that most of us make when we feel emotional pain is to pretend it’s not there, or to try to think it away. Experience has taught me that we cannot think our pain away,nor can we talk it away, because the pain is not in our mind, it’s in our soul. We have to be ready to feel before we can heal, and that’s the scary part of healing ourselves. However, I know for a certainty that since we survived our pain when it originally happened, we will survive revisiting it so we can pour balm on the wound that’s sitting there festering. It’s not easy to heal, but we need to consider the alternative, which is to continue to live with underlying pain and ghosts from the past that keep showing up in our relationships, our conversations, and our behaviors and attitudes.
The saddest encounters I have with others are those people I meet who are so obviously distraught with their life, but haven’t yet faced that reality, so they’re not ready to open up and seek help. Just as sad are those who do know their life isn’t working, but they’re not ready to change. I personally know people who are having health issues but are not willing to make any diet or lifestyle changes, and those who are having financial difficulties but they’re not ready to stop buying every gimmick and gadget that shows up in the marketplace. These are the ones who I feel the most sadness for, because all they want to do is talk about what’s not working, they’re not ready to change and heal.
When I think of the frustration, heartache, and sadness I must have caused my family when I was younger, I clearly understand the reality that people have to be ready to change before they can even know they need to do something different. My family tried many ways to help me to be stable, productive, respectful of myself, disciplined, and a better decision maker, but nothing they did or said worked. I was not ready to heal so no one could fix me.
Even though my mother and my step-dad did what they could to help me find my way,they couldn’t. I could not even hear them, let alone understand the heartache they felt for me. The day came though, when I was sick enough within myself to reach out for help, and when I reached that place, there was an angel waiting to welcome me, take me under her wing, and walk me through my emotional illness while showing me the way to the other side. I will always be grateful to my first therapist, Patty, who showed up at the right time.
They say, “when the student’s ready, the teacher appears,” and I know this to be true. When I was ready to heal, people, books, seminars, music, and groups began to appear in my path. What I needed to start on my healing path and to continue my healing journey showed up. Some of the things that I tried were temporary and though I didn’t know it at the time, each was an opportunity to take another step towards the light I was seeking. A bit of truth here and a bit of truth there began to add up and come together and each piece contributed to the whole. I was being fixed when I didn’t even know anything was happening.
I’ve been on my healing journey since 1982 and I know for a certainty that I”m not done yet. A whole lot of my broken pieces are healed and there are still many parts of me that are in different stages of healing. What a journey this has been. Because I came to this planet to be healed, I wound up in the perfect family situation, that would unconsciously create enough emotional pain for me, so I would one day get to the place of crying out for help and for healing.
We each carry our own particular brand of pain. For many, it’s abandonment, which creates deep emotional and psychological pain, for others it’s being victimized through verbal, mental, or sexual abuse. No matter the degree or depth of suffering we carry within, healing is available when we ask for it. Being brought to the place of seeing our need is where we begin our healing journey. When we knock, the door opens, when we call out, the answer appears, and when we seek we do find.