The world today is full of troubled people, clinging onto their fear, resistance and anxiety, barely holding on while blaming other people for making the world a horrible place. They make choices we can see are bad, driven by old habits, that bring them the same results they have always gotten. It frustrates us that they can’t see, that they won’t change, that they refuse to heal in a timely a proper fashion.
We want those people to change to make our life better, want them to clean up their act and support us rather than be a drain on us.
The best way we can help these people, these messy, broken people, these people who cause us such struggle is to engage our own healing.
“What the fuck?” I hear you say. “They are the screwed up ones, the drain on me, the bane of my existence. Don’t they need to heal?”
Sure. But the best way you can help them heal, help them find their own new ways to be centred and happy, is to work very hard on your own healing. To help them, you have to lead, have to find ways to not let them push your buttons, to model new ways to be, rather than just trying to pound them into change, which will always just create resistance and blame, not healing.
No one will listen to you until they believe that you have heard them. They see and experience your unhealed parts. They know that you are broken too, that you get all crazy and make bad choices. Why should they do as you say and not as you do?
Deciding that your healing can only happen after the people you are in relationship with heal makes other people responsible for your happiness. It leaves you demanding rather than growing, leaves you unsafe and angry rather than someone who can offer strength, calm and empathy for the wounds of others.
We don’t forgive others for them, we do it for ourselves. We can only move forward with healing if we don’t hold resentment and fury, only learn to forgive our own trespasses by learning to forgive others. Staying bitter and angry leaves us in the role of victim, always stalled and suffering at the bad choices of another person.
Our healing is the only healing we are directly responsible for, the only healing that we have direct control over, no matter how hard we find it to exert that control.
It is only by our healing that we learn to make better choices, make compassionate, smart and considered choices that not only keep us more stable, but also allow us to assist in the healing of those we love, breaking the old and destructive habits that keep relationships broken.
The only way to deal with troubled people around us is to take responsibility for addressing our own troubles, doing the work of personal change.
If we look to find fault in others, look to find someone to blame, we will always be able to identify someone human, flawed, corrupt and broken around us — we live in a world of humans, after all — but that identification will only let us justify our own bad choices, justifying the choices where we avoid our healing rather than to engage it.
It doesn’t matter how “unfair” you think it is that you have to do the work of healing yourself while they get to be stuck in their own issues and drama. When you realize the cost of not changing, even when they haven’t yet found reason to change their behaviours, you have the need to heal yourself.
If you need healing, if you want healing in the world, being distressed about the level of sickness, stagnation and fear that others around you hold will never create what you need.
Your only choice is to focus on your own growth, knowing that your work will not only help you but it will also help those you love and are in relationship with to see and feel new possibilities for moving past their own blocks to love and healing.
This can be tough stuff. Many people will test your healing, wanting you to take care of them rather than working to heal themselves. They are stressed, overloaded, challenged, so if healing is so easy for you, why don’t you do the healing for them, too? As transpeople, we often know the cost of having to do the healing work for those who resist their own transformation. This blog is full of the price of that that obligation.
But what is the alternative? Is it staying angry and brittle, furious and pained that the people around us won’t engage the work of moving past their old patterns to find connection and transformation? To me, at least, that doesn’t sound like a useful strategy. Better to pay the costs of healing than of staying sick to stay stuck, I believe.
There are troubled people all around you, yes. But the only troubled person you can really change is you. Your healing can become a beacon and an inspiration to the people you love, sure, but they have to heal by themselves, in their own time and their own way.
Find the connections, between your heart and your mind, between your choices and your outcomes, between your blockages and your possibilities. Get clear, actualized and integrated, doing your own hard work of seeing and feeling more clearly, of making better, smarter and more loving choices.
And, if you work hard enough, you can open some space for healing in the world, creating room for others to come along with you. You help them, encouraging and supporting them in doing the healing work that you know they need to do.
If it is to be, it starts with me. Your healing and success is a gift to the world, especially to the people you love the most.
You’ve got your troubles, I’ve got mine. Please don’t wait for me; find your own path to healing, happiness and enlightenment.
I’d love to see you do that.