Traditionally, “teachers” were known as healers. Most “teachers” today are wounded, healers. The word teacher used in this context means leader.
I speak weekly with many aspiring leaders and those who currently lead. I observe that many of them yet battle with past and present hurts and anger. Eventually, this “stuff” catches up. The accumulations turn into ruptures, which affects their “call” and “infects” the passion. These conflicts thoroughly convince me of their lack of knowing how to both understand self and heal self. It makes no sense to take mini-sabbaticals or retreats only to return the same way you left. It’s a waste of time, working to heal others’ while you diminish and fade into non-loving acts. Acts, which at one time were projections on you–you in turn project on the innocent.
Leaders (not all) speak the word of God daily. And, I notice that “the word” is of no effect in their lives. If anything, they hide behind it and mask their wounds and scars. If I recall correctly, the word is “quick, powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.” It is unfortunate how this scripture is only used to “combat” demons or “bind” spirits. But, leaders are not whole. They carry defenses and wear feelings on the sleeve.
Allow me to introduce you to a simple process called “self-actualization” in a moment. Firstly, you need to identify the core reasoning behind the fractures, brokenness, and fears within yourself.
Don’t point the finger.
Don’t blame the other.
Look at yourself.
Go to the pains and hurts.
When triggers surface, don’t ignore them. What makes you afraid of rejection? Why do you fear loss? What experiences do you have when there is a loss? Where did the root of this pain enter? How did it enter? Once you unveil these offenses, you will learn how they kept you from enjoying life and being ultimately fulfilled the way God intends. You will see how the pains and casting unnecessary blame to those innocent hindered your truest ability to love beyond measure and receive it unconditionally.
According to the site “good therapy,” self-actualized people:
–Accept themselves and others.
–Maintain deep and meaningful relationships.
–Can exist autonomously.
–Have a sense of humor, particularly an ability to find humor in their own mistakes.
–Accurately perceive reality, both as it pertains to the self and others.
–Have a sense of purpose and perform regular tasks geared toward that purpose.
–Experience frequent moments of profound happiness, also know as “peak experiences.”
–Demonstrate empathy and compassion for others.
–Have an ongoing appreciation of the goodness of life. Some might refer to this trait as childlike wonder.
Take yourself through a self-actualization process which helps to become familiar and identify with such internalizations (as noted above). The process will yield a transformative and liberating experience—enabling you to bring your “whole self” to a place of sharing, taking risks, to always learn and be vulnerable. Author bell hooks asserts,
“Teachers must be actively committed to a process of self-actualization that promotes their own well-being if they are to teach in a manner that empowers students. Teachers cannot have a split in body, mind, and soul…a mind is always at odds with the body.”
Notice that those in your social location are fractured, broken, unprivileged, marginalized, oppressed by systematic sins and evil, etc. These ruptures also restrict your ability to go forth due to a lack of non-trusting climates. Some leaders/teachers are only familiar with a “one-way lifestyle.” Trust and creating space for openness is not encouraged from the leaders. Leaders and their followers seem to be fearful of moving away from this “trust” climate and non-violence atmosphere.
Lastly, use critical reflection. This thought process also says to create space for you and others to bring personal experiences and emotions to learning for deeper critical thinking. In most cases, people are individualized and present no “togetherness.” Create a climate of trust for anyone to share and be vulnerable. Always keep yourself in a learning position by reading other materials, studying, visiting your followers, listening and discerning the needs of the learners.
The goal here is to acquire self-actualization skills and practice them daily. The more practice, the more it becomes a part of your “natural” self and existence.
Leaders, heal yourselves.