In spirituality, healing has so far focused on the individual. It is almost always written from the perspective of healing our own traumas, fears, and blocks to our greater self.
Rarely is spirituality seen as something that should be used to bring us together. Although we know there are wounds and divides happening all around us, we have yet to turn our attention to healing as a group concept.
At the same time, we know that an essential part of healing is overcoming a concept of separation. In healing, we return to wholeness with our Higher Self, the Universe, our Higher Power, and with the parts of our selves that we shut out and blocked. Despite this awareness that separation is a source of pain, we never ask ourselves how we can heal separation on a larger scale.
We have yet to ask how separation in our communities can be healed. We have yet to ask why overcoming the divisions that cause us to fear and judge each other is so important. And we have yet to ask how, by healing our social and communal wounds, we will find the true meaning of healing.
Until we see healing as a thing for the collective, rather than a thing for the individual, we will never truly heal.
This concept of coming together and connecting is something I have only recently begun to explore myself. As I open myself up to it, I find my consciousness taking on a new form. I must unlearn the singular perspective I was raised with and begin to learn a new, more comprehensive way of being.
One thing that has profoundly helped me with this is the documentary The Color of Fear. It was recommended to me by a friend, and I now know why she felt it was important I see it. Although done in 1994, it's as relevant today as ever. What this documentary does, is it shows the power of healing when we bring different types of people together and get them talking.
So often, we discredit listening to another person as an essential human experience. We think that people who are experiencing social injustices need so much more. And because we know there is social injustice happening all around us, we feel daunted, overwhelmed, depressed and eventually powerless. We do nothing, because we feel nothing can be done.
However, no one person is being asked to heal all that's happening right now. In fact, believing we can or should is often an action of the ego. We may even discredit listening because it requires us to step back, to release the need to make ourselves the hero of someone else's story.
Instead, listening asks us to empower the other person so they can heal themselves.
Listening asks us to hear and understand that the experiences we have are not the experiences other people are having. And for white people, like myself, listening asks us to stop making oppression a problem for everyone else. We, who stand in a position of privilege, must become active participants in change. And the first action step we can take is listening.
By listening, we shine a light on all the corners where racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and all other forms of prejudice hide. We learn, through people's own words, what they need. We stop projecting onto them what we think they need or what we think we would need if we were them.
For more on this, I cannot recommend The Color of Fear enough. To try and express what happens in this documentary in a blog post would do a disservice to it. Go check it out, and afterwards, come back and share your thoughts with me.
Exploring division, social injustice and oppression is an ongoing thing for me. If you would like to recommend a book, podcast, or movie, leave it in the comments. I promise I will check it out!