It’s true. And many people are fond of reciting that statement. I am not one of them.
I’ve decided to not only get over my irritation with this line, but to actually find my way to ownership of it, and to follow it with this: Yes, but do we get it?
The answer, for the most part, if people are honest, is No.
Of course, we need to define the term “help.”
Traditionally, the term in this context means help in the form of psychotherapy. Counseling. Social Workers and stuff. Shrinks. Therapy. Psychological help.
Over the years, the avenues by which personal healing is available to people have branched out vociferously, to say the least. Retreats, workshops, psychic readings, coaching, bodywork, EFT, EMDR, acupuncture, Shamanic journeying, food cures, Reiki, crystal infusions, reflexology, many, many holistic healing arts, CD’s, DVD’s, MP3’s, books, lectures, Ted Talks, podcasts, YouTubes, are to name a few.
We certainly have options. In this writing, the focus is on good, ol’ psychological help. This is because there is something about good, ol’ psychological help, and health, that is lacking in our society, no matter how many therapists we have.
Stigma and denial run strong. Still.
It’s basic. We are wounded in childhood, no matter how great our parents were, though there’s a wide spectrum on severity of damage. Then, we take those wounds with us into adulthood and, depending on the level of
resilience we each have to the stresses of adult life in this world, to varying degrees, they block our ability to be fully present to ourselves, our partners/children/friends/co-workers/bosses/employees/fellow drivers/flora/fauna/God/universe/life itself.
Endeavors to heal one’s self, one’s body/mind/heart/life, that don’t include checking in on unresolved issues from childhood (unmet needs that are still charged/trigger points), evidenced by one’s current relationship with parents, siblings, family of origin, spouse, kids, and self, is missing the foundation for the house.
Unresolved, unhealed wounds from our past are dictating much of the show that our life choices – our emotional and behavioral styles and habits – are putting on.
We can watch it and weep, or we can become more engaged, conscious directors of the show.
We all need help, psychological help. We all have some damage in our psyches, our souls and minds and hearts.
It’s a conundrum that the psychic wounds we incur in our households of origin are born in the context of the dysfunctional world that humans ourselves have created. We are wounded by the fact that we are so wounded that we created a world that inflicts wounds, across generations, centuries, eons. In other words, our parents couldn’t have done much better. They are products of this dis-eased civilization of ours.
This is not about blame. But it is about getting help.
So, what to do? How to get help?
The good news is that the help needed is pretty straight-forward, believe it or not. Try starting with these –
3 Steps to Getting the Help We All Need:
1.) De-stigmatize psychological help, because we all need it to some degree. No one here gets out alive. Call a therapist. Get a good one.
2.) Read a good primer/manual. Educate yourself for goodness’ sake. (Healing the Child Within, Learning to Love Yourself, Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families, Bradshaw on the Family, Getting the Love You Want, to name a few).
3.) Talk to trusted, safe people. Find the one person in your whole group of friends who actually cares about this stuff, gets it enough to have a substantive conversation, and is interested. Go deeper with that one human.
There is much more to say on this grand topic. I was moved to write this because, for whatever reasons (perhaps based in childhood?), I have a passion in this life to be a voice for the ever-classic, ever-present need to turn our attention to good, ol’ fashioned Family of Origin dysfunction and the psychic wounds it inflicts, carrying over into damage to happiness and success in adult lives.
The good news? As Harville Hendrix says, “We are wounded in relationship, and we heal in relationship.” There are reliable roadmaps, tools and a path to create real shifts and healing. They help.