The source to all planetary problems are human. I remember where I was when I figured out this little nugget. I was living in Cornwall in a recording studio that was at the center of an eclectic creative and maritime community that was fighting the mass eviction at the hands of a land developer. This experience gave me a deeper awareness of the ever changing relationships humans have with land and the growing discussion and concern around ideas of gentrification.
That land consumption as we understand it was fueled by a combination of the capitalist system and the human experience of land trauma. That the displacement of the emotional trauma that accompanied land trauma was being thus transferred to other places and cultures, through a culture of ignorance and denial. The attitudes of planning authorities and local councils were causing a never ending wave of community destruction and cultural decline.
The mass exodus of London to Cornwall seemed to take on a very real personification of these issues. Where house prices and the average local wage was at the time one of the most disparate in the UK.
It was during this time that I realised that you cannot solve land trauma or any kind of trauma by buying your way out of it. All you do is displace it. It amazes me to this day that people are still under the growing illusion that you can buy yourself out of the system. Indeed in the last decade or so it has been both encouraging and disheartened to see the volume of friends that have managed to get off grid. That getting off grid offers their own personal solution.
Of course whatever we do in the micro informs the macro. Off grid self sufficiency has informed a kind of colonialist overlay of the back lanes of rural areas everywhere. The low impact gentrification of The New Earth. The New Earth relationships that seem to be devoid of any acknowledgement of ancestors, community and the emotional trauma that bore the unacknowledged pain of the opt out systems. As we abandon our parents, interfamilial connections and intergenerational responsibilities in favour of a trauma free lifestyle. Most people aren’t interested in healing. They are interested in obliterating, obscuring and ignoring the obvious. In fact they are quite used to demanding other people do the work that they won’t. As COVID 19 has also taught us about the plight of Essential Workers. Yup it’s brutal out there and yet I love humans and their strange interpretations of the world.
So it was through this experience that I came to the conclusion that Healing Humans on an interpersonal level was paramount to minimising collective trauma. At the time I had no idea how, when or what that realisation might pull into fruition. At the time it was merely my core understanding of the root problem, humans. That if I wanted to change the world I needed to figure out healing and that at the very center of that, was probably my own.
Of course this projection onto others is very much part of my own shadow work. I realise that mitigating my shadow work successfully is very much bound up in identity politics.
That my shadow is probably on a projected course of caring less. Yes it’s a very strange thing for me as an impassioned person to find myself saying. That I should care less. That I should stop convincing, cajoling and coercing people to care as much as I do. That in fact there is deep disrespect in believing I know better, when I can’t do better. That I have to continue to alter my internal dialogue about others as part of my own betterment. I am not perfect. I am still privileged. More recently it has been easier to reconcile my dis-ease between the colanised and the coloniser since my return to Scotland and that tells me a lot.
Healing Humans is also the name of my own facebook group, which I have been neglecting as I write for you.
It’s been a layered strange process trying to figure out Facebook group dynamic and I still have no idea where it belongs in the realism of my digital offerings. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with it and if indeed it is much service or use to anyone. Like much of what I do it has been a long journey of feathering the nest of my own understanding in order to present my ideas of systemic trauma to the world.
It seems to me that the concept of Healing Humans is a massive commitment to recovery, largely because we stand in a place where we have no idea what has actually been lost. I write this sitting deep in the shadow of my trauma, rather than the trauma itself. You see, even the shadow has shadow. If you have been following me for a while you won’t be surprised when I tell you that my shadow stems from both the systemic and the societal. That our shadows are actually the light sparks of something far more sinister (Yes the anti-human system).
In recent weeks my work has come to a new level and I find myself not so much in the work of a doula, an incident based approach to trauma work. I now find myself in the process of surrogacy. I sit with people as they try to figure out who and where they are in relation to a system that is doggedly set on extracting power by exploiting them. That the system itself imbues family structures and is able to define intimate relationships as both consumptive and performative. Where family dynamics play out like the dynamic on an Instagram account, rather than the endlessly loving and supportive ideas of family that we have been gaslight to believe in.
Many of us are wearily attempting to dodge the role of the oppressor ourselves. Breaking the cycles of intergenerational and systemic trauma like canaries down a coal mine.
As I write this I see I am sitting now in the deeply woven fabric of the interpersonal cognitive dissonance that is required to uphold an anti-human system. Where people have been systematically undermined by their parents, the education system, the work systems and community systems. To find themselves somewhere way beyond the edge of what they thought to be true. The things they were convinced of, that aren’t too convincing. The things that drive you mad if you just took sometime to attempt to reason with them. Unlocking, disengageing and dismantling the system is a process that starts from within. Where we discover that love isn’t what we thought it was. That approval isn’t required for you to be held. Our secure attachments need to move beyond societal compliance. The levels of trauma that we experience both personal, familial, societal, professional and indeed systemically are way far beyond what most of us can cope with on our own. That’s why I am a Life Doula.