A few days ago my friend and fellow blogger Fran Rossi Szpylczyn posted this quote from Etty Hillesum on her Facebook wall
‘I really see no other solution than to turn inwards and to root out all the rottenness there. I no longer believe that we can change anything in the world until we first change ourselves. And that seems to me the only lesson to be learned‘.
Inevitably some of the responses were of the ‘Yes, but…’ kind. As I write this in aftermath of yet another mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. On a day in which British bombs fall in Syria starting within seems trivial at best.
And yet, and yet… I don’t think there is anything else that really counts
Bear in mind that Etty Hillesum was no armchair philosopher. She lost her life at 29 in Auschwitz. This quote from her is in the face of evil of Nazi power.
I am deeply cognisant of the threats we face in today’s world. But perhaps the deepest threat is not to recognise the only real power that we have….
to face into our own woundedness…
To do all we can to resist transmitting our own woundedness on.
Given that most of the awful things that happen are wounded people wounding others, if cannot do what is required to heal ourselves, on what possible grounds do we imagine we will help others?
There really is nothing more important than attending to our own pain. Once we have truly soothed and healed that we can move on. The problem is that most of us do not dare to face into our own pain.