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See my Soul

Gabor Maté, one of my gurus, says that “For this society to function, it has to separate the soul from the body. We wouldn’t treat people the way we do if we acknowledged that they had souls”.

This really touched me very deeply today. In this instance, he talks specifically about people who battle with addiction, who are only seen as criminals by the system. Sadly it goes for so many people – we either medicalize, psychiatrize or criminalize behaviour instead of looking at the root cause, in most cases the suffering, that causes behaviour that is different or reactive.

If we can see and acknowledge that there is a Soul, and that we are connected on a Divine level of Consciousness, we would not have created the systems that we have in place now. Maybe it is too painful to acknowledge, maybe it challenges our own understanding of our Selves, or maybe we have just been completely blinded by the social constructs that we have created.

Imagine the hurt/anger/sadness/desperation of an addict that has driven that individual to the point of living on the streets, having lost everything. And then the system would eventually imprison them – as punishment. Is this really the best we can do? The same (in my opinion) goes for people who live with mental illness, or people living with memory loss. What do we do – we lock them away as if their difference is not enough of punishment already. Is this the best we can do?

Would we do this if we saw the sacredness of a Soul in every person we pass? If we could recognize our relatedness rather than our separateness to each and every person whom we encounter. If we can think of ways to serve rather than ways to punish. If we could reach out, even just in the small sphere of influence that each of us has, to see the vulnerability, to hold the gaze and to truly respect their personhood.

I honestly and truly believe that this is the only option we have at present. Call it mindfulness, call it Christianity, empathy, charity – whatever you want. But it is a call for action, to get out of our own bubbles and step into the arena (Brené Brown) and to start connecting again.

Our disconnect is beginning to cost us dearly. Our isolation from a tribe of Elders, and our insistence to focus on making money and going up the ladder is alienating us from that which feeds our Souls – genuine, authentic human relationships that will nurture not only each other but also the environment. Our addiction (Gabor Maté) is fed by social media feeding us information that we do not need, selling us products we do not want and robbing us of time we do not have. And so we drift further and further apart, making more money and climbing the corporate ladder in what we think is “success”. And right next to us, in our own neighbourhood or village, there is immense suffering from disconnect, people marginalized, hovering on the outskirts.

The saddest of all is that we have become blind and numbed to it. We simply do not see anymore how much suffering is all around us. We are living our own anguish, I know. But part of that anguish is caused by the very thing that we shy away from – connection. A sense of belonging. We all have different levels of fear that we hide behind, fear that makes us build walls of protection. This world is not for the fainthearted or the vulnerable. Boys don’t cry. We must pull up our big girl panties. Keep the stiff upper lip.

It is time for us to embrace our own vulnerability, which I think is the only way in which will see it in others. The same goes for embracing our own Spirituality, our own fears, and our own issues. Looking inward, reflecting deeply on who we really are, will open our hearts and minds to how intimately we are all connected and will give us the grace to look into the Souls of others, of people who crave validation. There are so many all around us. Be brave. Reach out. Connect. That is how we start making the world a better place. Simple!

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