We live in an era of the “self”. “Self” love, “self” empowerment, “personal” power, “personal” manifestation, “personal” healing, “me”, “me”, “me”, “me”, “me”. What “I’m” manifesting. What “I’m" doing. “My” self. “My” wellbeing. “ “Me”.
For a lot of people, self-love and introspection is a means of healing generational trauma which in turn supports familial healing and our communities.
In order to change a community, we have to change as individuals. When we change, our families change. When our families change, our communities change. When our communities change, our countries change. When our countries change, our world changes. Big change, does indeed begin with each one of us. Therefore self-love and personal healing is a pivotal part of the process. However it does not end there. After the personal part, the “self” part, the pay it forward part supersedes it.
For many light seekers this piece is seemingly absent, and from a collective perspective, absent there as well.
There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of collectivity. We can see that through our last administration. We had someone in power who wanted solely that, power. It seemed as though a lot of his behaviors were reactions of his ego trying to protect his worth and “manhood” as opposed to thinking about how his behavior affected the whole - not just white, upper class, males - the whole - gay, straight, trans, white, black, Latino, woman, asylum seekers, tourists, visitors, the environment…humans in general. That wasn’t some aberration. It didn’t come out of nowhere. It was a reflection of what was going on in the collective conscious. Everything that is happening outside of us, everything that is happening in the collective, is a reflection of what is going on in our minds, in the collective’s minds.
For some, there is no thought of the “we”. It seems to be a Darwinian approach to life - survival of the fittest.
Even with some of the new age light-workers, missing is the first law of the universe, the Law of Divine Oneness. This is the law in which all others build upon. This law states that we are all connected through creation. Every cell, every atom, every particle in our body is connected in some way, shape, or form to the rest of the universe. This means we are all one. Meaning by nature we are a “we” not an “I”… this includes thinking about others, and understanding how our behavior affects the whole. It is important we not only consider ourselves, our personal manifestations, our personal power, and our personal journey, but that we consider the whole. We can’t be us without each other. We can’t manifest our dreams unless the whole universe conspires. Each and every one of us plays an integral part in the functioning of the universe. Lower vibrations, higher vibrations, the dualities are needed, just like light and dark, sun and moon, water and fire. We need all the vibrations for the functioning of this planet.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to love yourself, to take care of yourself, to protect your boundaries and energy, to stay in when you’re tired, and to honor your space.
Yes manifest the shit out of your dreams, work on yourself, make money, yes! AND also, analyze and be inquisitive of how you think, act and behave. If the thought of your own wellbeing far outweighs the thought of another, if you’re manifestations are solely self-centered, if you can be the force for change and you’re not speaking up to “protect your energy”, if you believe what is going on in the collective doesn’t affect you because you are of a "higher vibration” (we are all connected - it affects you), if you’re more concerned with what other people think about you instead of using your voice when human beings are being tortured or treated unjustly, if you’re more concerned with staying comfortable than fighting for what’s right, if you’re cancelling on people frequently, if you’re not showing up on time, if you’re not honoring your word, if you’re not conscious of how your behavior is affecting your friends and community and you’re taking outweighs your giving, there is a fundamental misunderstanding of collectivity. The self-love you speak of can quickly turn into selfish. Self-love without self-awareness isn’t enough. Personal protection without collective conscious thought, isn’t enough. Personal wellbeing without paying it forward, isn’t enough. We must be accountable. We must be considerate. We must think about the whole.
In the spirit of Aquarius season…and Covid.
I have been thinking a lot about this concept of community and togetherness, as well as my own personal journey and how it has affected my friends and family. Even how my spirituality, once I began down that path, was still a void-filling tactic more than a healing endeavor, potentially more selfish than self-love.
Throughout this pandemic, most of us have spent more time alone than we ever have in our lives, I’d imagine.
Through this process of quarantine, social isolation, masking and so forth, I’d also imagine, most of us have come to realize how important human connection is, how important it is to give and receive some sort of love every day in relation to other people. To think about others. To be in community.
There is no doubt in my mind the lowest times in my life were when I got into “I” thinking. “Me” thinking. So self-centered and obsessed with my problems, my pains, what I needed, what I was going through and what I was going to do for my career or my life, that I lost track of the collective “we” and fell prey to feelings of loneliness, isolation and sadness. I was living in the movie called “My Life” and at those times, I was at my darkest.
I think back to when I was going through my divorce and all I did was speak about myself and my problems. I have this one friend in particular who was always there. We would sit at dinners where I would cry my eyes out and obsess over every detail of my ex-husband’s struggle with alcohol addiction. Not only was it was his problem, it was my problem and I made it everyone else’s problem. I don’t really remember asking how she was doing, or asking what was going on her life. I just remember her showing up for me. I just remember obsessive thought loops of all the “problems” that were happening in my life. There is no doubt it was hard, and I also made it hard on everyone else. Had I been able to get outside of myself. Had I thought about other people. Had I noticed how I was affecting my friends and family, I wonder how that would have shifted my behavior.
We all know those people who only talk about themselves, their problems and their lives. It’s exhausting to be around. They’re exhausted from self-consumption and we are exhausted listening to them. Like my friend listening to me for years on end.
What I have come to realize is…
On the days when I feel a little consumed with myself, I notice that the day gets better when I am assisting other people on their journey; when I have coaching calls, when I am writing, when I am thinking about how I can support others. It is certainly a better day when I think what I am doing is for the benefit of the collective. It is certainly a better day when I reach out to someone I love and show up for them; when I think about someone other than myself. Especially during this pandemic, the days at home spent thinking about myself, my problems, why “I” have to stay home? Why is this happening to me? Those are the harder days. It’s the days when I think about the collective that I feel I have the power to keep moving through what is going on. When I think about the people I love. My mom, my dad, my brother, my best friends, when I do something for them, when I show up for them, that is a better day.
Imagine if we all felt that way. What if we all showed up for others rather than self-consumed by ego-centric tendencies. We could give AND we could receive. We could speak of ourselves and the other. We could think about ourselves and the other. We could set big goals and support the other. We could heal ourselves and support the healing of the other. We could take care of ourselves and we could show up for the other.
Our fight is with our egos that separate us from others. It’s with the fact we think about the “I”. What do “I” need?” How can “I” feel better? Why is this happening to “me”? What serves “me” best? How can “I" gain more power? How can “I” gain more control? We have made ourselves sick with the illusion of separateness and therefore sick with isolation.
Human connection and love is a biological necessity. We are connected.
Of course a level of “I” is needed to take care of ourselves and keep our cups full, yet when it far outweighs the thoughts of the collective “we”, which I believe was the case for myself through my mid-to late 20s, we will find ourselves immersed in loneliness, isolation and sadness.
If we get out of the mindset of what is serving ourselves just as individuals, we will be able to come into love. Come into genuine community. We will be able to see what is best for the human race, for our friends, for our families, and for our environment. We will be able to create intimate relationships with people by leading with equality, balance, respect and common ground. We will give - the law of giving: another law of the universe which states we get what we put out with opposite and equal force. That’s why it feels so good to give, we get it back.
One of the keys to the yogi’s teachings is:
When we experience for ourselves, or witness in another person, something we’ve once believed to be impossible, we are freed in our beliefs to transcend those limitations in our own lives.
“If she can do it, I can do it.”
“If he can do it, I can do it.”
"If they can do it. I can do it.”
When we feel a shared sense of self, we can apply what others have learned in their lives to our own. We can then pass that same gift on to others. Shared humanity, empathy, and compassion are some of our greatest teachers, tools and gifts.
While caught up in the “I” we have cut off one of the basic human needs of life, human affection and connection. Love.
We as a collective have chosen power over purpose. Fear over love. Me over we. The one tracked minds have led us towards a whole lot of loneliness, despair, illness, depression, over consumption, materialism, and addiction.
Let this be a time to get to know our egos and our shadows.
Compassion is cultivated when we know our darkness, then we can be present with the darkness of others, with the darkness in our communities, in our governments, in our society. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. Solutions become real when we accept there are shadows. Collective healing becomes real when we pay it forward. Opportunities present themselves when we begin to think about the whole.
Let this be a time we think about the collective. Let this be a time we heal so we can create the ripple effect of change and inspire others to do the same. Let’s get back to service.
‘Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.’ - Robert F Kennedy (Ripple of Hope speech)
Some questions to ponder to get you started:
How have I not honored my community?
How can I honor my community more?
In what ways haven’t I shown up for my friends and my family?
How can I show up more now?
When was I so entrenched with “myself” and how did that affect the people around me? The community around me?
Do I honor my word?
Do I speak my truth?
Do I stand up for what I believe to be right? Or am I more concerned about what other people think of me?
How can I pay my self-love journey forward?
When making decisions in your life:
What’s the most loving decision for all parties involved?
How does my behavior affect the people around me?
How does this decision affect the people in my life?
How does this decision serve my community?
How does “my” manifestation serve others?
What about the “we”?
And don’t forget to turn your magic all the way the f*&k on!
Erica Sauer is an Intuitive Life Coach, Breathwork Facilitator & Writer.
she hosts morning breath work and an evening group discussion for our community. You can enroll here.
Read more articles by Erica: https://www.ericasauer.com/
Millions of Mirrors by Erica Sauer is based on the assumption that everything outside of us is a reflection of what is going on inside. That all our thoughts, beliefs and stories about ourselves and society create the present reality that is unfolding in front of us. It is the idea that if you do not like what is happening outside of yourself, you have the power to transform it by shedding the limitations and constructs you have been programmed to believe. This editorial space offers spiritual guidance, lessons, and practical tips and tools to allow you see the truth of yourself and embrace all you are becoming. Follow along with Intuitive Life Coach & Writer, Erica Sauer, so you can turn your magic all the way the f*&k on.