Healing is a Social Justice Issue

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (17)

Within a society that is anti-wellness and anti-healing, it’s not enough to avoid talking about social justice issues. Healing is more than just self-love quotes and breathing exercises. It’s a deep introspective look into the social ills that are the causes of people’s pain and distress.

“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society” – Angela Davis

How does one become their ‘best version’ when they are faced with physical state violence that threatens their right to self-determination? How do you tell someone who lives with the threat of being stopped and searched or even killed by the police based on the colour of their skin that they are ‘in control of their reality’? If healing is about overcoming something that has had an impact on your mental well-being, then we must talk about the root causes. When we talk about healing, it’s not enough to speak only on codependency, boundaries, manifestation, confidence and so forth. We have to consider how economic inequality, racism, imperialism, and patriarchy impacts people’s emotional, mental and physical well-being.

Examples of Societal issues impacting one’s Mental Health:

Institutional Racism 

A black person constantly being stopped by the police and experiencing unfair treatment within the judicial system based on the colour of their skin. Being accused of things you did not do and being labelled a criminal or perpetrator when they are not the perpetrators of violence. This is institutional racism.

Capitalism.

Growing up poor and not being able to afford necessities. A poor child in school can’t afford to go on school trips, gets picked on because they don’t have the latest clothes. Parents have to be at work all the time to keep a roof over their head which results in the child being neglected physically and emotionally. The child grows up with self-esteem issues because of their circumstances. This is capitalism.

Patriarchy 

Having to watch what you wear in public in case you give men the perception that you want their attention. Being questioned whether you’re competent enough to be in a management position because you’re a woman. This is patriarchy.

A young boy being told that crying is a sign of weakness so decides to hide his feelings and suffer in private. Growing up angry and not knowing why. Internalising his feelings of self-hate and anger towards the world. This patriarchy.

Imperialism 

A person suffers from PTSD because of drone strikes. They experience disturbed sleep and flashbacks of relatives dying. Others in their situation have become refugees and experience xenophobia in the new countries where they reside. They battle with their mental health problems on top of being ostracised by society. This is imperialism.

 

Why it’s important to talk about social justice issues?

All of these issues restrict people’s right to self-determination and actualisation. They break a person’s spirit and bring a sense of hopelessness. Healing is something that all humans should do and it’s not limited to people who are interested in personal development. To move individuals towards self-empowerment and healing, we need to acknowledge and validate other people’s struggles. We need to hold institutions accountable for their role in producing an unwell society.

We are all citizens of the world and I believe it is our responsibility to speak out against injustice and do our part in creating a better world. You don’t need to protest to make a difference. You can use your platform, you can educate people around you, you can do community work that helps uplift and elevate others.

 

Journal Prompts:

1. Are you avoiding talking about social justice issues?

2. What ways can you educate yourself on the struggles of black and brown people?

3. How are you contributing to uplifting and empowering your community?

 

Question to you:

What are your thoughts?

I’d love to know what you think!

 

Love Ash, xx

Side Effects of Holding onto Resentment

Copy of Copy of The ugly truth about self love (3)

Do you currently hold resentment towards others?  Resentment typically arises when we feel an injustice has been committed towards us. A person who holds resentment may have felt personally attacked and subsequently allowed a grudge to fester. It’s common to hold resentment, however, when left unaddressed over a long period of time, it can become intoxicating and have a negative impact on a persons well being.

Resentment is a mental resistance to, a non-acceptance of, something which has already happened … an emotional rehashing, or re-fighting of some event in the past. You cannot win, because you are attempting to do the impossible–change the past.- Maxwell Maltz

One of the reasons why we hold onto resentment is in hopes that we never forget how they hurt us. We use the pain they inflicted on us as a memo to not get ourselves into a similar situation with that person or others again. Holding a grudge gives us comfort knowing that we never let them off the hook for what they did to us.

Additionally, we may have been accustomed to hold resentment as a tool for survival. Initially, it served the purpose of remembering potential dangers that can harm us. It helped us to create a blueprint in our minds of what to look out for and what not to expect.

It’s okay to mourn the lack of love you received from your parents or being overlooked by people you deeply admired. You don’t need to feel bad for holding a grudge. It’s difficult to forgive people for doing you wrong. When we trust someone and they do us wrong, it can have a huge impact on our ability to let our guard down with that person and others again.

What you Need to know about Resentment:

It hurts you more than it hurts the other person

You holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You end up spending precious time angry over something the other person may have already let go of.

You forget that people are human and are capable of change

 This, of course, doesn’t apply for all cases where you were abused or hurt by others, but in some instances, we hold anger towards people who have the capacity and willingness to change. When we hold resentment towards others, we are holding people hostage to our expectations of how they should and shouldn’t act.

You may be evading the healing process by holding onto resentment for years

 When we focus on what someone else has done to us, we distract ourselves from doing self-introspection. You may need to have an honest conversation with yourself, asking the following questions: Am I still putting these people on a pedestal? Where can I take accountability and ownership for what happened? If it was not my fault (young/ low self-esteem/ vulnerable) then maybe you can ask yourself something like; How can I practice forgiving myself for blaming me for what others did? Be honest about the healing work that needs to be done within you.

Why you must Let Go of Resentment:

You cannot control the behaviour of others

As much as we may try, we can’t control other people’s behaviours. Holding resentment will not change that person. They won’t be shamed into making any changes unless they decide to do that for themselves.

People are simply reflecting their level of consciousness

The person/people that hurt you are reflecting what they think about themselves. People have a different value system and they are just reflecting what they think is right/wrong. People causing you harm says more about them, not about you.

You deserve happiness

You deserve freedom and that is your birthright. You deserve to experience love and the wholeness of life. You deserve to let go of your personal freedom and well being. Resentment is poison for the body and takes up space which can be used to love yourself.

A Question to You:

Do you hold resentment? 

How did you let go of your anger towards someone?

I would love to hear your thoughts

Love Ash, xx