Yesterday, I was reminded of why I am so grateful I learned early-ish on my journey, the importance of having a spiritual self-care practice.
I read all the comments people write on our posts, all of the questions, all the messages sent in the DMs, and every email that lands in our inboxes. At this point, and it is a blessing to be able to say this, I literally do not have the capacity to respond to everything. If I responded to them all that would consume my entire day and I would be unable to make medicine, continue studying, learning, mentoring, and actually serving. Needless to say, I have to pick and choose what gets my attention.
There are always more comments that are of a positive nature than not. Folks are funny, appreciative, and generous with their own stories and wisdom. I love it. But then there are the folks who aren’t...I ain’t gonna call them out their names. These are the folks who have nothing empowering to add to the conversation, only negativity and judgement.
So yesterday I read a comment that at first was quite helpful, taught me something that I will now research further, but the person ended it with a dismissal of all that I offered. Because I am not all-knowing and didn’t include info I didn’t know, they said the whole thing was useless. #ouch
At first I was excited (because I did learn something new), then hurt, then surprised, then sad, all in a manner of the few seconds it took to read their words. Surprised because, since they thought a piece of information that was important to them was missing, they chose to refuse the gifts of the entire offering. And I sad for them for the same reason. They threw the baby out with the bath water (side note: what is the origin story of this terrible expression?).
I thanked them, blessed them, and before the upset overtook me, finished a chapter in my current read, “I AM Discourses,” and wrote my way back into a pleasant mood.
But I reflected on the incident all day because how often do we do what this person did? Focus on the 1% that’s not to our liking and dismiss the 99%? Allow one piece of bad news to overshadow all the bliss that surrounds us? Fixate on one mistake made and dismiss all of our accomplishments and progress? Or worse, we have one twinge of pain in our bodies and Google diagnose the hell out of it, forgetting (or perhaps ignorant to) the literally millions of functions the body performs perfectly and miraculously each day without our instruction or guidance?
I was having a conversation with a friend recently about trauma and something I was not able to articulate, showed itself in this comment incident. People bring all of themselves to every relationship, every interaction, every judgment, opinion, and belief they form...about everything.
Our wounds when left unhealed are like the stain glassed windows you see on old cathedrals, they determine our perception of the world and color our expectations. If the windows are tinted disappointment, in every experience we will somehow be let down. If rage is our hue, then wherever we go we will find fuel for the fire. And if the palette is painted victim, then we will become collectors of hurt.
For every behavior and response to life, there is a legitimate explanation. It is our greatest work to become aware of why we react to life in the ways that we do, especially if those reactions are harmful toward self and others. Once we are aware of the wounding that happened in the beginning our of story and we choose to heal, then we can pen the transformation that leads to the happy ending.
It is only by the grace of my spiritual self-care practice that I did not spiral. Experiencing childhood trauma has taught me many big lessons, one of which being that trauma doesn’t take a break. When I realized that trauma was going to hang out with me despite my pleading for it to go away, I figured that the only way to kick it to the curb was with self-love and centering. I knew that in order to turn the volume down on trauma I was going to have to turn it up on something else. This is how my spiritual self-care practice was born 10 years ago.
I reach for and choose love and alignment because it helps me recover from learning lumps, remember that life is blissful, feel connected to my inner wisdom, and extend love and compassion to folks who are all operating from their own consciousness, be it wounded, well, or in between.
I hope my story and reflection help and inspire you in some way in your own life.
P.S. Developing your own spiritual self-care practice is an integral part of the transformative work you’ll do inside my mentorship program Herbal Medicine for the Soul. In the program, you’ll learn how to break the cycles of pain and trauma with herbal medicine, emotional alchemy, and spiritual alignment. Students have healed from persistent health issues, made peace and released old hurts, gotten off of medications, and started/enhanced their own holistic businesses.
Book a call to apply. It’s your time to thrive.