As we encounter painful or fearful experiences in life, we tend to retract and close ourselves off from them, avoiding or shielding ourselves from as much of the hurt or anxiety as possible. It is natural to avoid or protect ourselves from unpleasantness, but continuing to do so after we’ve already been injured does us a great disservice. Doing so is like covering over a poisoned wound with a bandaid and expecting it to heal without using medicine. Those wounds we ignore or suppress and forget about stay lodged in the subconscious part of our memory-body or psyche, where they continue to fester, quietly influencing our beliefs, moods, and behavior, blocking or disrupting normal functioning, and causing parts of our minds to be stunted, underdeveloped, or dis-integrated.
These suppressed elements of our psyche become a part of our “shadow-self” (personal sub-/un-conscious) and can greatly encourage addiction, physical ailments, mental illness, and habitual or unconscious behavior that is harmful or that at least distracts us from achieving our full potential. We can only heal those tender wounds when we allow them to come to the surface in a safe environment, to be felt and honored in the light of conscious awareness, without judgement, but rather with a gentle dignity, courage, kindness, compassion and a genuine effort to understand. Often we will need the assistance of a compassionate healer or at least the support of an empathetic listener; we are courageous to ask for that help and should not hesitate to seek it out.
If our adolescent human species is to survive at all and proceed on with a conscious evolution, we must be willing to bravely face our individual and collective “shadows”, to shine the light of awareness and compassionate understanding on them, and succeed together in actively healing the wounds that our greed, anger, delusions, pride, narrow-mindedness, and ignor-ance have caused one another. Listening with a sincere aspiration to understand those whom have not felt heard and have been neglected by society is just the first step, but one we’ve largely yet to take. Our collective karma has been one of passing on pain and suffering from generation to generation and person to person, allowing it to grow larger and larger, to systemically dangerous levels, because the majority of us have thus far refused to face our own fear and woundedness and take personal and collective responsibility for our own minds and actions, so as to break the cycle or causal chain of passing on the pain and suffering and instead transmute it into fertilizer for our growth and maturation.