The Need for Emotional Healing
Dear Friend and Reader:
The strange sequence of events I described in Friday's edition
was actually pointing to something bigger, which we learned about Saturday morning in Tucson. Thousands of birds falling out of the sky, fish floating to the surface of the water and many other odd developments, all surrounding an eclipse of the Sun -- pointing to a political assassination -- was reminiscent of something you might read in a Medieval astrology textbook. But it was happening right in our time.
Our moment of history is characterized by fear and inflammation. That has many people in an edgy state of being, and makes many others vulnerable to manipulation. There is inadequate care for those who are mentally ill. Most other people deal with psychological or emotional issues they identify by taking medication rather than by going to therapy.
We also live in a time when it's easy to become detached from reality, and get lost in a kind alternate universe, be it the iPhone, World of Warcraft, or one's social and family dramas. There's always something to think about besides what really matters. And what matters now, I believe, is noticing that the fear and swelling are indications of emotional wounding; of an injury that must be tended or else get much worse. The wounding of millions of individuals adds up to a collective injury that is being expressed in the obvious pain of our society.
That pain is reflected everywhere from our struggles in relationships and with our children, to a population that is sleepwalking through our collective wealth being used to commit murder in other countries. It's represented by what we eat, how we feel in our bodies, how we struggle with time, and how we feel about ourselves. And it surfaced Saturday when an angry young man took it upon himself to use a "Second Amendment solution" against a government official -- hurting many other people with her and spreading fear through the Western world. And, reprehensible as the actions of this assassin were, he also lanced a boil, calling attention to those who profit from what amounts to mass emotional abuse projected onto the population.
These days I'm wondering less about when we're going to wake up to the political and economic situations that surround us and more about when we're going to acknowledge our need for emotional healing. Talk among news commentators today involves toning down the vitriolic political rhetoric. I'm wondering about the feeling of wounding underneath those harsh words and the emotions that drive them. I'm wondering about that occasional thought that so many have, when they access a quiet moment, that they must change something deep and significant in their approach to life.
I'm wondering about all the people who, as Bob Dylan put it, have been wounded by love, and wounded by hatred. I'm wondering about the millions of people, may of them young adults, who have been turned against their sexual feelings by abstinence indoctrination programs in schools, which have equated pleasure with immorality and disease. I wonder about many people I've met who feel so betrayed by their erotic feelings that they're disgusted by them, and by themselves as a result.
I wonder about people who cannot eat without feeling guilty. I wonder about all the people who cannot stop smoking, even though they know what awaits them if they keep doing it. I wonder about the people who simply cannot make peace with death, or with life, and are trapped in between.
I wonder about the many people whose desires for creative expression were shut down when they were kids, and who never developed a way of expressing their ideas and feelings in some form of art, writing or movement -- and lack the courage, resolve or encouragement to start today.
I wonder about the many people who feel misunderstood; who feel like they will never be understood. I wonder about the people whose parents were absent, alcoholics or abusive, and who don't have the example of anyone functional, competent or able to love them.
I wonder about the people who are too scared to seek out help; embarrassed to go for therapy, or who want and need it but cannot afford it. I wonder about those for whom help is not available because mental health budgets have been cut for decades, and those who belong in places where they cannot hurt others have no place to go.
All of this is about emotional healing. I speak not only for the victims of public policy but also for those in public service who lack the maturity and sense of commitment to allocate resources to the people who need them. I truly wonder about this obsession with pouring our national wealth into mass death while our own citizens struggle. I wonder about every single person who thinks this is a good idea. I consider, sometimes agonizingly, the karma of a nation that does this to the world, and has for as long as I've been on the planet. There are a lot of vicious wars you probably have not heard about.
If we look to astrology for clues, we are in the middle of a shift in the value on all things of an emotional nature. Two planets are about to leave Pisces -- Jupiter and Uranus -- and a new one is about to enter -- Chiron. As I've written before, Jupiter is a short-term visitor to Pisces and is providing both a healing balm and a way to finally express all the energy of Uranus. For its part, Uranus has been stirring up the emotional waters of Pisces for seven years, making escape seem more desirable than directly encountering our real feelings or creative impulses.
Chiron is about to arrive. Where Chiron goes, we tend to focus awareness and invoke a healing process. We get the option of mustering some maturity and directed intention, or courting serious problems. Chiron moves slowly enough to be a collective influence; it's one of those concepts at the meeting place of individual experience and shared experience. But mostly, Chiron calls on us to focus on our healing needs and to respond to the reminders that we hear and feel.
Chiron in Pisces will call us to focus on our emotional injuries and to seek ways to bring them to healing. I've noticed both in myself and in others a tendency not to seek healing until the pain is too great to bear. Working with Chiron, I've noticed that it helps a lot to respond to our needs sooner rather than later -- no matter how long you may have waited.
One thing that keeps many people from embarking on a healing process is awareness of how much they must face, and how much will need to change. It can all seem so daunting that there is no point in starting. However, much like doing the dishes, it's easier once you get the process in motion.
And it's definitely time: time to take (if necessary) the first step, which is being honest about what you want and need, and about what may be hurting you. It's time to create our lives consciously so we're supported in our healing process (rather than the opposite, as so often happens). Very simply, it's time to be mindful about what is going on within us, and around us on the planet.
Yours & truly,