"What I learned from Jordan Peterson about how impossible I am TO DEAL WITH because of my own suffering"
Lindsay Le Blanc is a Canadian media artist, herbalist, traveler and creator of symtomologie. Follow her @petitcanadien on instagram
I have a lot of mood swings. Some days it's a serious struggle to be someone who's "easy to deal with," because riding waves of moods and energies can almost feel out of my control.
Even though I work in healing, I have an aversion to the natural health industry because of the perfection that companies represent in their marketing that we'll never embody.
I often wake up tired, my body aches and I spend too much time on the computer which I know leaves me zapped. I can't identify with those women who we see in advertisements with their arms outstretched in a field of yellow flowers and so, it pushes me away from the entire industry of natural health and pushes me more towards my bad habits, my excuses and ultimately the symptoms of my unhappiness.
You have to have an aha moment where you look at your life and ask yourself: what is it that will make me happy? What am I so desperate to have that thing I just can't have, and why have learned to accept this instead?
It's worth examining what kind of suffering are you carrying around with you and ask yourself what are you waiting for to let it go?
I recently posted a picture of a woman on instagram with the caption: "What if u could feel the lightness of just being? Imagine your body being in a state of symptom-less joy. 💞" (She's pretty right?)
To me, this isn't the promise herbal medicine can offer but the feeling of letting go of your suffering as you shift your commitment away from the identity you've built around it, to your own self-care.
The whole industry is plagued with barriers to entry on the consumer side of self-improvement. I know it might look nice on a retreat brochure, but healing is hard work, man. (that's Peterson talking) We are attached to our problems and we've embedded them into the very fabric of who we are.
I've been working to heal myself 'holistically,' for a decade and I can't tell if I'm a role model from one day to the next. I'd like to think I have a lot to offer the world but I created this brand not because I live in a state of perfect health but because I don't! And neither do you, I'm sure of it.
I believe we don't have the carte blanche to just suffer and complain, instead we have a responsibility to try to be well. It's worth acknowledging that we aren't the only one who has to deal with our symptoms - so do the people around us! And we hold onto them like weapons in battle: "I have pms!" is often my go-to excuse for snappy, hyper-sensitive, irrational neediness. Over time these common every day symptoms we've gotten used to have become embedded into our very experience of life.
When we feel like crap, even just slightly like crap, the way we feel affects our relationships to these other people in our lives, who are equally dealing with their own crap. It's enough to make you sick dealing with other people and their crap, let alone your own!
What's worse is you can't just buy something to fix yourself or any of it. The relationships you have to deal with, your self-talk, your habits or mind - there is no bottle to pop open or liquid to swallow down and suddenly be better. And no one else in your life is ever going to be enough for you if you don't feel "whole."
There is a youtube video of a talk by Jordan Peterson (whose 55th Birthday it is today as I write this) called "Pick up your suffering and bear it," that is one of the best things I've ever tried to truly absorb & wish more people would have an honest listen.
After hearing his talk I thought: so, maybe this is my story. Maybe these are my grievances, maybe this is my pain... but I am the only one who can do something about it.
That's a Peterson aha moment.
What I'm starting to learn by doing "the work," is that when you can forgive yourself for the root of why you even thought you had to carry around these issues with you in the first place, it's much easier to change and move on.
It's a lot of work to try to be well mentally, physically and emotionally and that commitment is one we make as an agreement with our quiet inner-self, but it can be loud in the ways it gets expressed. This kind of commitment requires shaping a new view of what we know as our selves and our world and that's about all we've got.
The herbs in the "solutions" I've produced through symptomologie can help us on physical and emotional levels, but we still have to do the work to lighten the burdens we carry around in our bodies, in our hearts and our psyches.
Herbs may be power players in these formulas but I see the ultimate goal as living with a free, happy heart - and that is a gift only you can give yourself.