I’ve recently discovered Matt Kahn on You Tube. If you haven’t seen or heard of him, he is a spiritual healer and speaker who just seems brimming with wisdom and what, to me, feels like truth. (As a bonus he also happens to be hilarious!)
Some spiritual teachers talk of not getting stuck in “your story”- referring to our tendency as human beings to replay our past and over-identify with our traumas. I think they mean this is the sense that we shouldn’t wallow in self-pity and nurture victimhood and resentment, which may seem like a very sensible thing, and perhaps easier to accomplish when you are out the other side of the tunnel.
But Matt Kahn speaks of how this can seem a very rejecting and unkind thing to do for ourselves. Most of us have been through some shit!! To be told to stop wallowing in “our story” is a kick in the teeth when many of us are perhaps hopelessly entangled in it, and perhaps haven’t finished working and learning from our pain. We might not have finished being angry and resentful- we might need to be angry and resentful in order to heal further.
He talks more of self-compassion, and loving this angry part of ourselves unconditionally. This part of us that is still attached and in the grips of whatever abuse, neglect, or loss we’ve endured- this part needs our love more than anything, not to be told to suck it up and stop wallowing. The way out of the tangle and mess of our past traumas is loving and accepting ourselves when every single part of us IS “our story”. We may not always be so identified with it, but when we are, to be told to reject it is to be told to reject ourselves. That is pretty harsh and not very helpful in my opinion.
I think that everyone can be helped in different ways. I find loving and accepting ourselves when we are entwined with “out story” to be much kinder and more compassionate than to be told to just get over it and move on. For some people this might even be abandoning their inner child even more, when what they need is to be guided gently through the pain by our loving adult selves. Of course some people might need the firmer approach, it might be totally appropriate for them, but I’m not one of them.
Matt Kahn on You Tube – the funniest spiritual teacher I’ve discovered!