“We don’t get wounded alone and we don’t heal alone.” – C.G. Jung
We know that us Brits – including us before we began this journey – have this aversion to sharing our darker side with others and so we can miss the many advantages of group process.
The first principle of changing anything, let alone transforming or even – God forbid – healing an issue or pattern starts with communication. To put it bluntly: if you can’t talk about it, you will not change it! It is often with a wry smile that I hear someone who has let their defenses and dissociation down enough to understand they have royally screwed up, but then march over the horizon like a wounded hero claiming they will go and change themselves and come back a better person. No, they will not because they are not communicating with others about the issue.
For the most part we are blind to our issues and negative patterns. That is why we have relationships and families and friends, because they will put us straight if we are willing to listen. So it is within groups that we find meaningful change and healing and in doing so we grow our consciousness becoming more aware, mature, and wise.
Once we come together a group consciousness develops which then typically sets up the issues that the group mind as well as the individual minds have come together to address. The combination offers powerful insights, often more than as an individual.
Many years ago at our first group workshops, it was a revelation to realize that our issues are often similar to others’ and that we are not alone. It becomes obvious that, with the combined will of the group, each and every one of us can move forward if we so choose.
In our lack of awareness of our behaviour patterns we often think each day, or each relationship, or each group we encounter is different. The people might be different but once you have the awareness you realize that your behaviours and the emotional reactions are not. Our patterns started in our childhood, at a moment of wounding, and if not addressed you will see exactly the same patterns in boardrooms, social groups and even in our own families. With greater awareness, in these groups we can also learn to heal them, changing our self-defeating patterns into life enhancing ones.
When we descend into misery and unhappiness it is a very individual place; while you may attempt to drag others into your experience it is not a place you inhabit with others. However, if you heal and transform an issue it is healed for the group mind and not only the group mind but it also heals the collective unconscious of humanity. So our healing is everyone’s healing.
You can share your happiness and your love and your success but not your pain. We certainly learnt this within our family for when we were separated and in our worst pain we feared that we had damaged our children with our dysfunction. But as we set out on a healing path and got our lives back on track our children also benefited and with luck will not have to relive our traumas although I suspect they might have a couple of their own.
The Hawaiian culture has some great healing models, and one is the understanding that if a member of the family has a problem or a disease then one of the best and quickest ways to heal it is to come together as an extended family and share. They share their grievances and judgements on other members of the family or in a wider group and keep sharing anything that is not working until the bonding and the inclusion is regained. Wisdom knows that when this happens typically everyone in the group benefits including the person who was presenting with the problem.
This is the power of the group and we have witnessed it multiple times in our seminars. Yes, initially it takes courage to step past our ego, to learn to communicate and appreciate the importance of integrity and honesty. Not one of us can make it on our own; equally we can’t make it by leaning on others. But we make it like trees in a forest. We are an individual standing in a massive and diverse group with our own roots and branches, but we all support and nourish each other, not taking from others but giving and receiving.
Jeff and Sue
Heal with us
Join us for our Spring workshop as we restore the soul with the warming glow of group healing.
Surrounded by the rolling hills of Wiltshire, we will fill our hearts with nature’s sweet song and help each other along our paths to happiness.
Embracing Change – saying Yes! to life