When I first decided to pursue a career in therapy, part of me struggled against what felt like a departure from everything I’d known before. Or everything I think I knew. Part of me worried one-on-one work was frivolous; how could focusing on ourselves individually support large scale transformation? Another part of me also struggled to articulate the uses for psychotherapy beyond fixing what seems medically wrong.
Within the walls of my school there was little space to truly envision the possibilities for micro and macro-level healing. It seemed everyone was to stay in their lane.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about allllll the people I’d encountered in my life. The ones in power. The ones up against it. The ones with one foot in each realm.
Because when it comes down to it: we are all individuals, interacting with and reacting to one another.
In my life so far I’d observed and/or experienced:
how the weight of someone’s trauma impacts their capacity to notice the needs of others
how it feels for employees when leadership can’t slow down and listen
how someone’s never-ending need for more can leave them isolated
how power and ego replicate within social movements and co-learning spaces
how unprocessed values around money can compromise security in relationships and work spaces
how expression and art can empower
the tension and frigidity that accompanies being called-out
the softening that comes with belonging
This isn’t meant to be linear or categorical but: Social transformation cannot happen without individual transformation. Or at least individual Self-reflection. Self-praxis, I suppose.
At the risk of sounding definitive, I feel that turning towards our Selves is perhaps the most dynamic thing we can do for the movement.
When we can confront what and how we’ve internalized scripts around power and oppression; when we can find an internal sense of security, like a guiding light in the darkness that exists; when we can explore our own sacred relationships and consider how we can liberate them, and then even more; then we are cultivating a Self-effulgent template for how we show up in other spaces.
Things do not go on as business as usual. Every moment becomes an opportunity for connection and transformation.
There is no social security without an embodied internal sense of security.
Transform yourself, transform the world.