I find it hard to keep company with people who knowingly walk around sporting unresolved issues. I’m not referring to those who are unconscious of the guilt or suffering they carry, but specifically those who openly admit to having experienced trauma, that which they fully recollect and acknowledge as having an impact on their lives.
Only fractionally more frustrating than people who parade their pain like honour badges, are those who attempt to hide it and think the rest of society is so hoodwinked that we don’t see the damage fuelling their sideway glances, their incongruent reactions or constant distraction.
If there is one thing you should know, it’s this: there is nothing you carry that does not reveal itself or carve its mark on some facet of your physical and mental world. Nothing.
Coming from a world where vulnerability, openness and trust is a daily essential, it is easy for me to say that everyone simply needs to show up and open up. I understand that. What I also understand, is that the process is not easy.
It is simple, but it is not easy. The excuses are easy.
The excuse that now is not the right time to go diving into the pain, that the wounds are too old to explore or too big to harness, is the least courageous approach to those things that keep you a passenger in your own life. Because that’s what we’re talking about here, not vulnerability, but courage.
I understand how the exposure of vulnerability can be crippling, that sitting down and soul-to-soul conversing with another human being can be extraordinary and alien, but as human beings we have the option to tap into that well of courage every second of our lives.
It takes courage to say I am not okay, to admit I have been deeply hurt, and there is a part of me that has not forgiven, will not let go and needs help.
Before the vulnerability is the courage and that is what you need to find.
If you think you’re getting away with it, this bottling up of everything that is raping your spirit, that you’re managing to slide by intact without the impact being too great, then I ask you to look around you – to your health, your relationships, to the generations of your kin.
How many times have you been sick this year? Look to the recurring bouts of sciatica, infections, joint pains. Look to your family, the generational patterns before you and those set to continue after you. Look to how that relationship ended or why the other has not even begun.
Look to your world and then tell me that you don’t need to excavate the wounds you live by.
If you’re still reading this, I ask that you stop pushing away the very thing that you need to pull deep inside yourself to heal. I ask that you treat yourself like all those external appliances your conscious mind fixates upon and which you expect to be running at the best of their capacity – your car, your central heating, your laptops, your phones.
Put those things aside, for a moment, and focus on the internal. You don’t even need to focus, not really. You just need to stand still and look, what you need to see will jump out at you for itself.
If there is something internally damaged, broken, not working – have it seen to. Have someone qualified take it apart, explain to you what – in their professional opinion – can help to remedy the situation.
Value yourself, as much as all that food about to defrost and leak over your kitchen floor. Deal with your issues, in the same way you deal with that dripping tap, before it drives you nuts.
Value yourself as much as you do all the stuff around you, and that includes the people too.
Look to your mental and physical health, for the sake of us all.