To Restore The Earth, We Must Restore Ourselves (Rev. Jared Michaels)
I’ve thought long and hard about how we can restore the Earth, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. There are a ton of good people out there who bring a lot of different things to the table. Chris Searles, for instance - the founder of Biointegrity and our editor - is a real leader in what I think of as the external part of the answer. There is, however, also an internal part of the answer. That’s what I’d like to talk about here.
Let me begin explaining what I mean with an ancient shamanic teaching: “As within, so without. As above, so below.” What this basically means is that we manifest what’s inside of us, and what’s outside of us manifests within us.
So in order to restore the Earth, we must restore ourselves. And in order to restore ourselves, we must restore the Earth. We must focus on both the external solutions and the internal ones simultaneously.
Now, what does it actually mean to restore ourselves? I think it’s helpful here to bring up the fields of psychotherapy and spirituality.
Let’s start with psychotherapy. I am a psychotherapist and I have found these two sayings to be foundational in my work. One: “Relational wounding requires relational healing.” I find this to be extremely true. No matter how enlightened we are, we often need to do at least some healing in relationship for our healing to be thorough. Two: “A burden shared is halved, and a joy shared is doubled.” This has also been true for me. We live in a traumatized world and need to be able to feel and to process our feelings in order to heal. Usually we need to do this work while, again, in relationship. We need to be shown that it’s okay to feel, to be given great safety, and to be lovingly held. Then we need to let it all out. All of this is why psychotherapy is so important.
Psychotherapy is not enough though. We also need spirituality. To become able to be of true service we need to become aware that we are more than our egos, more than our identities, more than our wounds, more than our minds and bodies, and more than the human drama that’s being played out on Earth right now. We need to realize that we are God, Buddha nature, the Tao, Great Spirit, or the whole interconnected universe. Whether we use religious or secular language to describe what I’m talking about here, it doesn’t matter. What the world needs right now is not a religious or a secular revolution. It needs a Truth revolution, and what I’m pointing to is true. We need to discover that.
Why? Because knowing who we ultimately are is the source of peace and happiness. With this awareness, we shine, we love ourselves and every other being on the planet, we find our true power and genius, and we become able to engage with the world (even today’s world as it teeters on the edge) without getting totally overwhelmed. For these reasons and more, spiritual awakening is absolutely critical right now.
Through doing the inner work of psychotherapy and spiritual practice, we heal and realize our inherent wholeness. In short, we become restored. And the more we’re restored, the more we want to help, the more we’re able to help, and the more we do help.
I’ll end with an aspiration for us. May we restore ourselves with wholehearted passion, and in doing so may we restore the Earth.