To heal the world, we need to start by healing ourselves. When we heal, we replace our hurt with love. Consciously and unconsciously, we spread the energy and feelings that are inside of us. It’s like the saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” The opposite is true as well, “Loved people love people.” We repeat what we know. We know what we feel. So when we replace hurt with love, this love is then passed around instead of hurt.
Of course these phrases are not mutually exclusive. Life is not black and white. We all carry around love and hurt. We spread them both. Luckily, we always have a choice to choose love if we want. Even if it doesn’t seem natural, even if it goes against our fears, we have the choice to choose love and let go of the hurt. We can cultivate that love within ourselves and watch it spill over in all of our relationships.
We nurture and grow love for ourselves with our intentions and actions. We can choose to eat healthy and exercise. We can commit to thinking more positively and saying fewer mean things about others. We can simply choose not to tolerate thoughts or actions that keep us stuck or down. We can say, “I will no longer tolerate [any activity] that no longer serves me.” By doing this, our love grows.
That’s not to say that it is easy. As old pain comes up, it will be painful. Our minds will try to rebury it. And thankfully, we still have a choice; we can still choose love. Using the brilliant phrase from Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God series, we can ask:
“What would love do?”
We ask until the answer is clear. Then we get to choose.
As our love grows collectively, we, as a society, naturally begin to care more about others and the environment. We have more energy to care and give because it isn’t being spent on avoiding pain and hurt. Avoiding pain and hurt uses so much energy in thinking, rationalizing, excusing, over-planning… We try to control everything to avoid those feelings that cause us hurt.
We do it with good reason. At some point and time in our lives, that feeling that causes us hurt now, was not safe to express. The primary cause of this hurt and pain in our lives is blocked feelings. How do these feelings get blocked? The root of most blocked feelings are implanted during early childhood. We chose to block these feelings because we believed it would keep us safe. As we grow, we either process and let go of the feelings we blocked or we add to them.
An example of how a blocked feeling occurred is if we are told, “Be tough. Don’t cry. Don’t be a baby.” We wanted acceptance, so we buried sadness away to get that acceptance. Perhaps we were laughing, shouting, and singing and were called selfish for “making the situation all about you.” That judgement and rejection of our expression made us bottle up joy in want of acceptance. Perhaps we simply observed a parent reacting in a certain way, felt their fear, and chose to copy it, thinking it would keep us safe and help us fit in.
Acceptance is everything to a small child. If our tribe, aka our family, doesn’t accept us and throws us out, we could die. It is human nature that we pick up on avoiding and/or burying emotions that are not accepted by our peers and caregivers. And each time we do this, we shut off our expression. We turn down our light. We did it as children out of security and necessity, and now we are programmed to continue to do it.
We could blame our caregivers, but they didn’t know any better. They were just doing exactly as they had been taught. Besides, if we were to blame them, it would be giving away our power. It’s like saying, “Here, Mom and Dad, you can have control over how I act, what I say, and how I feel because of how you raised me.” When we do this, we choose to relive the hurt of our past over and over again. Thankfully, we can also decide to act differently.
The decision to uncover our buried feelings, to explore them, understand them, feel them, and set them free is up to us.
And if you choose to do that. You will heal. Your healing will spread to those around you without you even trying. And the world will heal. Bit by bit, little by little, the world will heal.