Healer, Heal Thyself
Once upon a time I thought the world was fixable, I took my big fixing mind and I started to look at where I would fit into the fixing team that was going to fix it all. Needless to say I haven;t found the team yet, and it really is quite some time later. I'm sure they're out there, fixing. It's just that I have always had something better to do. Avoiding my broken family and the bullies at school when i was younger took up quite a few years. Then drinking and so many amusing failures at chatting up the opposite sex took up quite a few more. In fact, when I look back at the initial portion of my sentient life, I find that a lot of time has been taken up with fear and avoidance and longing. Things that I want to fix for others.
It seems possible, then, that either fixing these for myself would be a starting point ('charity begins at home', and all that), or that looking to one's own ego all the time is a cyclical barrier to real progress and the outward looking individual is one who is more likely to achieve the impossible. Because we all want to achieve the impossible in one way or another, don't we? We want our dreams to become a reality.
This is never something I have told anyone about, obviously. People who communicate their feelings are the ones who move forwards emotionally. But here we find one of our many Catch 22's. There is just something a little untrustworthy to me about emotional people and people who want to talk openly about how they feel. It's a squishy, contactful area with no parameters and no routine that I can discern. Others telling me about what they are going through is fine - it allows me to be stoic, a realist, practical and sage; a good listener who is 'always there for you'. Speaking my heart, in converse, would make me vulnerable, fallible, pull me down from my rock to a land below where the natives could see the lines etched on my face and the frightened and lost boy behind my eyes.
This reality, i am sure, is partly to blame for the jolly hockey sticks who do travel the globe seeking out entrenched poverty to alleviate with school-building, well-digging and conflict resolving. It is a great motivator because it takes you away from your own shallow sense of self, one which in cliche may be borne from a private school system that breeds 'confidence' above all else, or a patriarchal culture that doesn't let boys cry... and encourages girls to.
But it IS a great thing, to sally forth and help others. It is one of the central tenets of major world religions. It negates procrastination and provides industry. It also only exists in the 'good 'uns' - those who choose to donate themselves to the needy. And quite often, only for a limited period of time; to enhance a cv or tick-that-box. There are plenty who use the same drive to do well only for themselves, to compete within their peer group, to ride high on that lack of empathy borne from their schooling or culture and do well AT THE EXPENSE OF those same down-trodden fools who have never woken up to these potentials.
The alternative, the Healer Heal Thyself model, must needs take careful limits lest it dive so deep into the navel of introspection that it drops below the cuff of it's own tie-dye hareem pants and is hanged upon the fairtrade ankle bracelet of middle-class apathy. Satisfaction is always to be aimed for, yet a danger when achieved.
So, to my own journey. I escaped part one, thank goodness for it was awful to have no agency, to be a subject. Part two also is becoming far more managed with time and experience. And so I move into a new field, a field whereby I feel I might have some agency after all, controlled neither by circumstance nor pure animal whim alone.
And what to do? For too long this mind underused. It may not be as great for solving as I might hope. I may never be the way, the light and the truth that one might dream to attain. But, really, I just need to find the team that I know to already be out there, fixing things. And maybe some of them are talkers, and some of them are do-ers, but isn't that just the sort of balance that is needed?