Trying to spiritually heal might be ruining your life

Trying to spiritually heal might be ruining your life

Hello friend.  Come sit with me for a while. I’ve got something on my mind I’d like to talk about.

I’m so fucking tired of hearing the word “healing” 

I’ve witnessed an increasingly worrisome trend in the woolala spaces, specifically the ones that begin online. They can be from the occult, astrology, tarot, or generally woo types of circles. Everybody’s talking about fucking healing, and I’m sick of it.

There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re just fine how you are right now, no changes. There’s no laundry list of scores to put your current habits, physical appearance, and health against. There are no goals to hit. Everything is arbitrary. You don’t have to change a goddamned thing to be valuable.

The world is especially shitty right now, but not because it’s shittier than it historically has been. It’s because we’re more able to be aware of its shittiness at any given point in our day. You should feel bad. You should have feelings of general sadness, despair, malaise, hopelessness. That means you’re paying attention and can feel what’s happening. Sure, you can snuff those feelings out and fake happy all you want, but the more people are acknowledging how shitty everything is, the harder it will be to remain blissfully ignorant.


Those bad feelings don’t mean you have ‘healing’ to do. Your mental illness will not be solved by meditation. (Bitch TRUST ME on that one). You’re not broken. The concept of healing is used for having your feelings hurt all the way to the humanitarian atrocities committed going back centuries. Traumatic shit is traumatic!  Those traumas still run through our DNA, and they tell us to hold off, be cautious, be careful. Sometimes they tell us to be angry and we don’t know why, to shut people out or run away. That’s not something to heal! It’s something to acknowledge as information, and decide what we want to do from there.  More often than not, the most helpful resolution to traumatic reactivity, specifically generational trauma- is self acceptance and grace.

Every time I hear someone talk about how desperately they wanna ‘heal’ or put in some sound wave vibration for “deep DNA activation healing” I want to barf. That’s not how it works, my friends. My fancy monsters.  We cannot, in our despair, simply shake our fist at the sky and demand a ‘tabula rasa’ once more. We cannot erase what we have experienced, nor should we.


As we gaze into the dark abyss that exists within ourselves, we do be frightened when it gazes back. That shits scary as hell. A giant eye blinking expectedly at us, like ‘come at me bro’. We scuttle backwards and shriek out ‘I wish I hadn’t seen that!’ 

That scuttling backwards is what most “healers” are hoping we do. Escape the reality of our concern and disgust, our shame and horror of the human condition. Yes, please pay me $500 and I will remove your generational curses! I will heal your core wounding and you will be fixed. Good as new!  Meditate with me in a circle while we all talk about how we sooo identify with deities that belong to traditions whose original practitioners we’d shun in an HOA meeting.  Bombastic side eye.


Jesus Christ, sometimes I miss being Christian with how insane this all sounds.  But that’s the root of it anyway, isn’t it? That’s what most folks in the business of “healing” actually are doing- repackaging Christianity into something that looks more exotic. Something harder to pin down. Yes, child, tell me your sins and I will absolve you! Wait sorry, I mean, let’s share our trauma and forgive one another!  Hum with me to these drum beats.  


This shit is how cults start.


There is nothing wrong with you. You’ve got no need for ‘healing’.  Ex Christians especially are primed for this concept. That original sin bit is sticky as hell in our subconscious. Community is in such short supply these days that anything even resembling a group of loving, like minded individuals may be tempting as all hell to step into. But inevitably, they’ll ask for money.


The backswing of this concept is just as nefarious as the overindulgence. Sure, you have growth you can do. There’s parts of you that are in pain, and usually when we’re in pain we’re assholes. It’s a condition, you see. If you break your leg, someone asking you to walk across the room to them might have no idea what they’re asking. They don’t know that your leg is broken and you’re in pain. If you don’t tell them, but instead walk towards them in a dramatic fashion, screaming obscenities at them, hoping they get the point on their own- they’re gonna think you’re an asshole. Because you’re being one. You’ve got a broken leg! Ask for help, tell them NO.  You can’t walk right now, sorry. More pressing issues at hand, like getting to a hospital!  They will surely understand once you tell them. But usually, we are taught to suffer in silence and tell no one.


That’s healthy.


Toxic individualism is a horrible and unseemly effect of the American identity. We aren’t allowed to ask for help but we must perpetually be in pain. If we break character of being ‘okay’ for even a moment and allow others to see us hurting or in need, we’re failures! All that juicy self righteous virtue we racked up from our silent struggle is down the drain. Boo


You don’t need to go outside of yourself to have someone “heal your trauma”. That’s your job, frankly. It’s supposed to be a gross, messy process. You’re SUPPOSED TO FUCK IT UP. Like, a lot. Fucking it up is a necessary step towards getting past old barriers put up by traumatic and somatic memories. Overcorrection, and the shame/embarrassment that comes with acting a bit much is there to inform you when you’ve gone too far. Your mouth is for communicating what you’re trying to do, and apologizing when it’s not quite right.


One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is Mandy Moore’s character in Saved!  She’s a stuck up, holier than thou teenager who is so self involved and addicted to appearing like a good person, she glosses over everyone’s humanity, including her own.  She’s a shithead.  At one point, she throws a bible at Jenna Malone, hitting her in the back of the head. This results in one of the most succinct exchanges on the subject in a film.  


Eventually, she breaks down after crashing her van into an enormous Jesus cutout at prom. It’s the perfect expression of the sentiment I can feel oozing off of folks who have gone to countless yoga retreats and immediately come home and scream at their kids.  God that scene still makes me laugh.


You cannot go back to a clean slate, you cannot erase the bad things you’ve done or that have been done to you. Being in pain isn’t something to fix! Pain tells you when something very not okay is happening. Healing, on the other hand, is the distraction we indulge in as we scuttle away from the root cause of our pain.  Because accountability isn’t something you can sell to people.  You can’t put self awareness in a pair of tight lululemons and get a hundred likes on your gym booty pic.


As you do the small bits of sweeping up after your frazzled self, you’ll notice just how much at odds you become with those around you. The chaotic, reactionary mess we all have lived in is no longer a comforting direction. In fact, it makes your anxiety worse! Where do you go? Your old hiding spots aren’t safe anymore, and you’re suddenly vulnerable to all these feelings. Gah!


You’re gonna be weird. You’re not gonna fit in. You’ll probably be fucking annoying to people honestly. (We all go through the proselytizing phase. Don’t worry you’ll grow out of it)


This is the time when “healing” sounds the most tempting. You’re emotionally naked, in a room full of people who are staring at you, and you’re uncomfortable. You can learn to stomach that discomfort until it fades, thereby eventually standing proud, butt ass naked (emotionally). You can be in that crowded room and decide that you like yourself regardless of what other people think of your nakedness. But the fear is real, and if you’re the only one you know being emotionally nude, you might be tempted to go to the group that’s got the jingles and jangles and are like- half- naked. They’ll charge you a fee and dance around to love bomb you and reel you in. The emperor still has no clothes, but you sure do have a belt made of whistles now, good for you!


Don’t get me wrong, fucking up is part of the process, and for some of us- one of those fuckups is giving into the idea that someone else can heal us. It is a terrific letdown when we realize that’s not true. The sand has never been more inviting to stick your head in here.


The idea that pain is something to heal, and that there are inherently “unhealed” parts of you lends itself to a Christofascist mindset that is particularly troubling.  Especially given our current political environment.  “Unhealed” can be code for disease, which has a subconscious disgust reflex association. Something within you is rotten! Not in an original sin way though, no. You were born with it! But you can heal it!


Many energy healers would have you get out of the conversation of politics, remove yourself from discomfort and stay in the woo bubble forever.  Now, remind me- what type of culture pushes their pain and discomfort away so as  to maintain social order?  The very culture that produced all that pain? No! Surely not. We’re different from THEM.


Narrator: they were not, in fact, different at all


There is no harm in reaching out to other people who are spiritually inclined when you’re in pain. There’s nothing wrong with getting a tarot reading, or an astrology reading, or having someone do reiki on you over the phone. But if you find that the vast majority of your “self care” and “work” is paying other people to hang out with you and tell you nice things for the sake of ‘healing’. Well- you might be fucking up your life.


And that’s okay. You’re supposed to fuck up.

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1 comment

👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 well said and great movie reference!


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