The main problem with emotional healing is that when you’re drowning you’ll grasp at anything to keep your head above water. Talk therapy, yoga, meditation, prayer, self-help books, sound baths, reiki, biofeedback, gurus, psychedelics, books and breathwork can all help keep us afloat, but how exactly do we make our way to shore? What does it take to make the shift from surviving to thriving?
“Hiders never start. Seekers never arrive. Only Finders make their way.”
We all know the hider, the one who’s disinterested, aloof, oblivious and settled for status quo long ago – even though the box they live in is dark, dingy and smells like a boys middle school locker room. To be fair though, once you’ve sniffed farts long enough ass starts to smell appealing.
Then there are the Seekers, those intrepid souls courageous enough to carve windows into their boxes in hopes of letting fresh air and sunlight in. They’re certain there’s more to this world than their myopic eyes can see and they’re ready to step forth from their shadow. They’re seeking deep answers and a better way of life, but they feel lost, continually grasping and clinging to any person, book or healing modality that offers them solace from their unruly minds and aching hearts – but they forge ahead nonetheless, willing to open the doorway of awareness even if it hurts, often spending years or even decades fumbling in the dark searching for a light switch that’s just out of reach.
And then there’s the outliers, the Finders, who manage to tear off the roof and topple the walls that have penned them in. But how? What exactly separates the Finders from the Seekers?
Below are thirty ways Seekers often struggle, which may or may not pertain to you today, in this moment. The truth is we’re all hiders, seekers and finders simultaneously – all imperfect, resistant and blind to our faults to some respect, thriving in some areas while falling down in others.
Real growth only comes to those willing to shine a light on the aspects of themselves they’d rather not see. I know the suffering I’ve caused others by hiding from my flaws and denying faults – and I’ve felt the pain of unearthing my own deficiencies and failings, so I know firsthand just how hard this work can be. The work of awareness isn’t for the faint of heart. Most people don’t have the stomach for it, but for those of you who do, I offer the following as a mirror to reflect upon…
- Perfectionism Kills: Seekers search indefinitely, because that’s what Seekers do. They believe things can always be better, so they never let themselves arrive. Personal improvement as a lifelong quest makes for weary travelers prone to getting lost…. Finders stick on 18 knowing perfection is a mirage.
- Be Your Own Guru: Seekers idolize spiritual leaders, wishing to outsource their healing to others rather than doing the work themselves. They believe the right guru or healer can fix them and they’re wrong…. Finders take responsibility for their own healing, actions and lives.
- Work On This Life: Seekers dwell on the mystical, rather than the practical reality that is… Finders start unpacking this life before delving into past lives and star charts. They ask, “Who are my parents and what did I learn from them?”
- Connect With Self: Seekers often float ungrounded, using the trappings of spiritual materialism as a means of escape and fulfillment. When a spiritual scene becomes your path, you’re lost… Finders prioritize growing their connection to Self and something greater over chasing connection at spiritual gatherings.
- Know You Are Worthy: Seekers sabotage their best efforts feeling unworthy of what they desire most… Finders live and act from a sense of unwavering worthiness they believe is their birthright.
- Rise Above The Drama: Seekers cling to trauma from the past and create drama for the future… Finders know they’ll remain stuck so long as they play villain or victim.
- Take Ownership Of Your Feelings: Seekers take offense and get hurt easily… Finders take responsibility for their feelings, knowing nobody can make them feel a certain way.
- Give Yourself What You Seek From Others: Seekers chase love…. Finders generate love, validation, support and acceptance from the inside out, feeling it first for themselves before passing it on to others.
- Know What’s Important: Seekers erect hard boundaries, mistaking preferences for needs… Finders know the difference between the two and seek compromise.
- Stay Open In Conflict: Seekers contract or close their hearts when challenged or criticized… Finders open into the discomfort with a posture of inquisitiveness.
- Work Through The Body: Seekers work through their mind to understand… Finders work through their body to heal.
- Stop Running: Seekers outrun their problems only to get caught from behind again and again… Finders grow their awareness, turn toward their fears, faults and feelings and sail into the storm.
- Question Yourself: Seekers are driven by their needs and desires… Finders inquire whether their needs and desires are a reflection of their deepest insecurities.
- Own Your Fears: Seekers put the burden on others to ease their fears…. Finders take responsibility for their fears and stop projecting them onto others.
- Expect Less: Seekers expect the best of others and are constantly disappointed… Finders view expectations as a premeditated resentments.
- Stop Hiding: Seekers hide their feelings in hopes of averting conflict…. Finders express their feelings openly rather than having them come out sideways later on.
- Address Your Childhood: Seekers play out patterns put in place from their childhood… Finders identify their unconscious patterns and replace them mindfully.
- Judge Less, Accept More: Seekers demand others change… Finders accept others as they are and detach with love if necessary.
- Know Your Limits: Seeker’s give until they become resentful, or take until things become unbalanced… Finders don’t give more than they wish and don’t take more than they’re willing to give.
- Dare To Be Real: Seekers portray what they want others to see… Finders live authentically without pretense.
- Hear What’s Being Said: Seekers listen selectively, searching for an excuse to remain correct or justify their actions… Finders hear the greater truth of what’s being said.
- Love Your Parents: Seekers blame their parents feeling something wasn’t good enough, right or fair…. Finders take responsibility to heal their relationship with their parents, knowing what stands between them and their parents, stands between them and their happiness.
- Stop Controlling Others: Seekers exert control to feel safe…. Finders give up control to experience freedom.
- Have Faith: Seekers trust their family and friends… Finders trust in the universe.
- Know Yourself: Seekers identify with what others see in them… Finders know who they are even when others don’t.
- Accept The Outcome: Seeker’s need something to happen… Finders do their best, then detach from the outcome.
- Kindness Starts With You: Seekers unknowingly treat others the way they treat themselves… Finders know the way they treat themselves is how they’ll treat others.
- Focus On Yourself: Seekers focus and reflect on others… Finders reflect on their own qualities, motivations, plans and actions.
- Be Willing To Change: Seekers invite change… Finders embrace it when it arrives, even when it’s difficult, painful or scary.
- Love Yourself First: Seekers search… Finders find, realizing self-love is the ultimate choice, decision and commitment necessary for being happy and becoming less needy.
As Seekers we take responsibility for our healing by one, expanding our awareness and two, taking action. Awareness without action is useless. All the awareness in the world is pointless if you never endeavor to change your behavior. It’s ok to fail, so long as you try, but you must try.
One thing I love about breathwork is that it takes real commitment to do paced breathing for an hour straight. You’ve gotta want it, which is the same mentality we need to bring to our healing. Doing the work half-heartedly will get you nowhere in life or personal development. If I were to leave you with just one question I’d ask, What do you most need to leave behind and why haven’t you done it already?
I’ve held onto lots of things for way too long throughout my life. Anger, guilt, fear, shame, sadness… and not once have they ever made me a better person. We need to get real about why we’re holding on before we can let go of what’s holding us back. If we aren’t willing to put down the burdens of our past, we’ll never move forward. We start with willingness and progress with awareness, both of which fertilize the ground from which we grow and change. This is the work, the path and the mission for those who choose it.
So, which of these offerings resonates with you most? And, what actions can you take to step forward along the path to becoming a Finder?
Think about it, because all meaningful change begins with a single drop of awareness – and that change in you has the power to affect everyone you know and everyone you’ll ever meet. It’s our relationship with ourself and others that defines the quality of our lives, and awareness is the key to supporting, nurturing and expanding those relationships.
What we believe, we manifest – so we must look within with humility and sincerity if we wish to transcend our limitations.
There simply is no other way.