This fall has tested us all, there is no doubt.
Amid the heavy pain of the world’s events on the macro level
Down to the severe pain of the individual’s heart on the micro level.
Perhaps you’ve been in personal transitions, endings, betrayal, or pain.
I strongly practice with the inner parts of myself + my spirituality. I am giving the parts of my attention, listening patiently, validating their perspectives, and learning how to take care of them.
We don’t spiritually bypass in this house.
Yet, it is still important to recognize when inner work + inner safety still need support from the outside to create environmental safety, not by more violence, but by holding accountability.
Sometimes, the inner work is to ask for the outer help you need.
Many of us in this culture of “self-help + spirituality” have been the receiver of prescriptive mantras like:
“If you see something negative in someone else, then it’s something you need to resolve in yourself.”
“It’s your wounding you’re projecting.”
“It’s not spiritual to be in anger.”
Let me remind you.
Wounding can cause a skew in our perception—and there can still be authentic environmental cues (emotional + physical) that cause us to feel unsafe. That can’t all be resolved inside; we need the support of our trusted friends.
Discernment is not hierarchical judgment (I’m good + you’re nasty). It is an essential part of healing + maintaining safety. If we give trust to everyone before we have the evidence to suggest they are safe — we are foolish. If we forgive by providing someone who hurt us free reign to our vulnerabilities — we haven’t learned the sacredness of boundaries.
Grief is an integral part of the human process. If we don’t grieve, then we cannot release the pain. This is a natural process of endings + transitions. So much grief can be held in our bodies from unprocessed pain in our childhood.
Anger is sacred. It is a fire that can both protect + destroy. We must be careful. While it isn’t helpful to be unquestioningly consumed by it (look at our world right now), it is essential to connect to it, be curious about it, and listen to its pain + its perspective on what it believes the harm or injustice is—its fear.
Compassion can (and needs to) exist alongside each of these emotions. The loss of compassion next to anger causes wars. The loss of compassion next to discernment causes self-destruction. The loss of compassion amid grief causes resentment. The loss of compassion, alongside our wounding + fear, causes shame or blame.
Dr. Cat Meyer, PsyD, LMFT, is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in sex, trauma, and psychedelics in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. She is also a ceremonialist, author, teacher of yoga, and international speaker dedicated to evolving the relationship surrounding sexuality and our bodies. Through her company, SexLoveYoga, she leads online workshops, sensual retreats, + ketamine-assisted retreats for couples. She is also the host of Sex Love Psychedelics podcast.