Author Caroline Myss wrote a book she titled, “Why People Won’t Heal.” While I did not agree with everything in her book, the basic premise spoke to me – very loudly. Caroline believes that many people use their wounds. They use their wounds as currency to buy attention. Her theory is that people who will not heal are afraid to let their wounds go, as they are clueless as to how they would go about obtaining attention in new ways.
As I look around me, I see the truth in her theory. I know so many adults who seem to live life from crisis to crisis, always the victim. The crisis mode can often come with big emotions/ drama/ etc. Even though the person in crisis appears upset, they are also thriving – all eyes are on them – and the crisis has indeed been the currency that gains them great attention. Often the individuals who live their lives this way see themselves as an eternal victim and cannot understand that the common thread from crisis to crisis, from injury to injury, from mishap to mishap – is……. themself.
I look at these people around me who won’t heal and I wonder what their life would be like on Prozac and in therapy. I look at these people who won’t heal and wonder what their life would be like if they understood that there are ways to gain attention other than crisis and victimhood and pain. What if they learned that they could get attention from:
*Volunteering at a soup kitchen
*Helping on a political campaign
*Walking dogs at an animal shelter
*Assisting at a local library or hospital
*Organizing a study group/ special interest group/ or book club
*Furthering their education
There are many, many, many ways to gain attention and couple the attention with empowerment – self-empowerment and the empowerment of others.
So today, 394 days ’til 40, I hope that I will never be “that person”. I do not want to be known for crisis, but for contribution. May my contributions to the lives of others be the mark that makes me known. If only all people used service to others as their currency to purchase attention.