Today, this card reminds me of what a constant balancing act being human is. Most of us are not uniformly “good” or “bad”. Instead, products of our experiences, beliefs we have cultivated, and our “good” or “bad” actions are a reflection of it.
Growth comes from building the capacity to accept this about ourselves so we may heal that which is traumatised in us, and improve our behaviour, reducing the chances of causing harm in relationships in the future.
This is a reminder to seek a balanced understanding of ourselves, as well as of each other.
Experiences of pain in relationships may lead us to believe that all people do hurtful things so it’s better to build a wall around our hearts. Or we may fail to see that even the best people are capable of causing pain, and the pain of realising this may cause us to avoid relationships altogether. Our relationship with connection itself can be imbalanced and altered dramatically.
We do this to cope and to stay safe, but to heal from pain is to find compassion and remind ourselves that polarities are seldom useful. Or even real. Nobody is ever that black and white. Growth is acknowledging that each one of us carry unhealed trauma that makes us behave in ways. Ways that can be worked on, so we may improve the quality of connection we seek. And that we offer.
Lately, I have been thinking about this in relation to injustice in the world. How can we heal while simultaneously dismantling systemic injustice, without understanding this basic inalienable truth of the human condition — that we are all capable of being good and toxic, in equal measure? That it is useful to reflect on the why, rather than the what of our behaviour, if we are to improve as a people.
Perhaps the answer is in adopting temperance — a balanced approach of empathy and compassion, to understand that we are all whole people made up of many different parts. Self-improvement and healing involves accepting that we each have aspects of the good and not-so-good. Our identities are not so fragmented in black and white and cemented by just the acts we may commit. We are all works-in-progress with the capacity to heal and be better.
I’m thinking today of how Rega Jha put it perfectly: Everyone’s inner world is as weird, complex and well-intentioned as yours.
Seeking balance with ourselves and our traumas might be an entryway to explore the grey areas, where humanness resides.