If you want to move forward towards stronger connection, if you want to participate more fully in the changes now underway, you are going to need to heal. This is because, just like everybody else on the planet, you have been damaged by a Toxic Socialization process.
There is no sense in sugar coating this; a lot of emotional and psychological damage has been done, and healing can be hard work. The Lightning Path HEALING framework is a framework designed to guide and help you heal from the damage caused by Toxic Socialization. The HEALING framework is designed to guide you back to health and full connection.
The HEALING framework is not a magic bullet. Following the HEALING framework will not magically create health and connection. You have to do the hard healing work, but the HEALING framework can guide that work by teaching you what to pay attention to, what to avoid, and how to proceed in the most efficient manner.
To use the framework, simply read through the seven healing planks, think about them, and apply them to your life. The planks are not linear, meaning you can approach them intuitively, in whatever order makes sense. You can use the framework on your own, or you can take it to your therapist/healer and get their help with it.
Therapists: use whatever evidence-based healing modalities you find effective, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Accept Commitment Therapy (A.C.T.), psychoanalysis, or whatever.
- For a definition of toxic socialization and a list of readings demonstrating the extensive damage done, see the SpiritWiki page Toxic Socialization.
- For a quick overview, see our article The damage we’re doing to ourselves and our children.
To add the sophisticated spirituality of the LP to your healing work, read LP Workbooks one through three.
Jumpstart and guide your healing work by exploring the HEALING framework.
H = Help
Our illnesses are rooted in a complex system of Toxic Thought and Toxic Socialization. We are sick because of the way we think about ourselves and the toxic experiences we have had in the world. In the complex and distorted context of toxic thought and toxic experience, healing is not a simple thing.
It is, of course, possible to heal yourself. But given the weight of toxic experience and the depth of toxic thought, it is always wise to seek help if you need it. You can seek help either by reading appropriate resources yourself (self-help) or by engaging with competent therapists and other healing professionals.
When seeking therapeutic assistance, for best effect, services you select should be based on the HEALING framework. Your therapist does not need to be aware of this framework, so long as you guide the therapy. Don’t be afraid to state the direction you want to move in, and the things you want to focus on. For example, if you think you need help with your environment, tell your therapist that. Say “I want help reducing the toxicity in my environment.” A competent therapist will be able to help you with that. Similarly, if you want to work on addictions, find a good addictions therapist or center. Always be in control of the process, even when you are getting help.
LP healing and connection services
- LP Healing Forums – LP community resources and discussions related to the healing journey
- Healing and Connection Guidance – A one on one exploratory session to help identify the main issues, obstacles, and blockages that prevent healing and/or connection.
- LP Healing MAP – A more complete assessment of your life and family situation, along with a guided action plan to help you take positive and efficient steps towards healing and connection.
E = Environment
As many medical professionals will tell you, the recipe for healing physical trauma is simple — dress and protect the wound. If you cut your hand with a knife, if you shred your knee in an accident, the first step towards healing is to clean the wound, prevent bacteria from entering, and protect against additional trauma. It is not rocket science. If you don’t clean the wound, if you don’t protect the wound from bacteria, if you poke at the wound with a stick, if you jump into a dirty pool with a bunch of open wounds, your wounds will never heal. In fact, if you do that, your wounds will probably get worse. It is as simple and straightforward as that.
What goes for physical wounds also goes for psychological and emotional trauma as well. The first step towards healing psychological or emotional healing is to clean the wound. Then, make sure nobody keeps poking at the wound with a stick, Protect the wound from the bacteria of negativity and stay out of toxic environments so your wounds can stay clean and heal. It is as simple as that. If you don’t protect yourself from being hurt again, if you don’t have a safe and non-toxic environment, and if you don’t keep your spaces clean and free of emotional/psychological dirt and grime, your psychological and emotional wounds will never heal. Remember this: Psychological and emotional healing occurs only in safe, clean, non toxic environments.
Unless you live by yourself, establishing this kind of Right Environment can difficult. Indeed, when you add family, friendships, and other relationships, ensuring safe, clean, non-toxic environments can become a major challenge. In order to help shift your realities, we recommend a commitment to non-violence in your life. Non-violence means that no violence is allowed. In a non-violent environment, there is no yelling, no name calling, no emotional assault, no physical violence, and no aggression of any kind. Committing to non-violence provides an easy to understand, rock solid foundation upon which to build healthy environments where healing and connection can occur.
Given how emotionally and psychologically violent our modern societies and families can be, achieving non-violence can be a challenge and can take some time. LP self-assessments help you take an honest look at the toxicity and violence in your life. LP workbooks and resources provide additional guidance on how to improve and achieve Right Environment.
- Toxic Socialization – a summary of the deleterious effects of toxic environments.
- Teen suicide is on the rise – the tragic impact of toxic socialization
- The damage we are doing to ourselves and our children – the deleterious impact of toxic socialization
- Toxic Socialization thread in the LP forums.
You can assess the level of toxicity in your environment using three LP instruments, all available on the self-assessment page.
A = Addictions
An addiction is anything upon which you have a psychological or emotional dependency. We can be addicted to drugs (heroin, cocaine, fentanyl), shopping, exercise, sex, tobacco, Facebook, and even, as illustrated in this LP video, money.
Addictions happen when we don’t feel good about ourselves, or our life. Addictions start because the substance or thing we are addicted to gives us a much-needed dopamine/pleasure hit that distracts us, or relieves (at least temporarily) our anxiety and pain. The more toxic and hurtful our upbringing our current living spaces are, the more susceptible we are to that dopamine hit. Addictions help distract and numb the pain. If you’re drunk all the time, if you’re on social media all the time, if you spend all your time shopping in malls, or gambling in bars, you don’t have the time to feel the pain. With addictions, you numb and distract so you can avoid feeling the pain.
You can break free from your addictions. Your first step is to change your environments, to establish Right Environment as we say in the LP Workbooks. This is important. Unless you change your environment and relationships so these stop delivering you pain, you will have a hard time breaking free, and there will always be a danger than an addiction will return, or just be traded for something else. You may give up smoking only to become addicted to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. You may give up Facebook only to become addicted to something else.
Your second step to breaking free of addictions is to follow them back to their source. Explore, with a therapist if you need, the pain, suffering, and ideology into which they are rooted. When you have located the sources (toxic parents, violent childhoods, neglect, and other aspects of our Toxic Socialization practices), then, resolve that pain and suffering. Continue to work on your environment to reduce toxicity so you can deal with and resolve, break (or place strict emotional/psychological boundaries around) any relationships that cause you pain and anguish, and process whatever negative emotions remain. It does take work, and it will take time, but it does have to be done.
Note, being addiction free doesn’t necessarily mean giving things up, it just means breaking the addiction. You might be addicted to shopping, for example; however, when you break this addiction, you will still shop, you will just be in control. The same thing goes for some of the other addictions people have, like alcohol. As long as you are in control, occasional use is fine. If you can’t gain control, however, or if the substance is simply too dangerous (e.g. opioids like Fentanyl), total abstinence may be the only option.
L = Lies
As humans, we are trained to lie. As children, our parents punish us when we speak uncomfortable truths. As adolescents, we watch the “adults” around us constantly construct fantasy presentations, hiding the toxicity in their homes while presenting a pleasant “face” to strangers, coworkers, and friends. Sometimes adolescents rebel against the hypocrisy, but by and large, people all eventually “grow up,” which in this context simply means they’ve learned lie to themselves about the realities in their life. Adults have learned to “go along to get along.” We grow up and we learn to lie that everything is OK. By the time we are “adults,” our capacity for lying is so well developed that we fool everybody, even ourselves!
Unfortunately, we have some bad news for you. If you want to move forward, if you want to heal, awaken, activate, connect, and express your full human potential, you can’t lie, to yourself, or others. If you want to move forward, you have to face the truth, no matter what that happens to be. If you were traumatized by toxic parents as a child, you are going to have to face that truth so you can mend and heal. If you are a toxic parent, you are going to have to face that truth so you can heal yourself and help your kids. If you’re an addict, you’re going to have to face that so you can stop distracting and avoiding. If you’re a callous bully, hurting from an extremely toxic childhood, you’re going to have to face that as well. If you want to move forward, then you are going to have to face whatever it is you are hiding from yourself.
Of course, we understand how difficult this can be. The repressed pain and anguish, the white washed guilt and shame, and the profound self delusion, can feel, as they begin to break through the thin surface, like psychological earthquakes and result in emotional tsunamis. If, at any point in the process, you are feeling overwhelmed, slow down, take some deep breathes, remember the HEALING framework, and get help if you need it. If you need to, face the truth a baby step at a time. Process as slow as you need to and get as much professional help as required. Just don’t stop. If you stop facing the truth, you stop moving forward.
- [Insert LP Workbooks]
- [Insert forum referal]
I = Ideology
Ideology is false belief. Ideology is direct and indirect lie and deception, especially when intended, deliberate, and harmful to you and the ones you love.
Ideology can be extremely difficult to identify and sort out, because our lives are dripping with it. From the moment your parents hit you and then justify it like it is good for you (“what doesn’t kill you…” or “spare the rod…”), you are a victim of ideology, i.e., a victim of a lie intended to deceive, and that causes you harm. The truth is, acting violently towards children damages them severely. The truth is, telling children violence is good for them is a lie. It is told to justify and excuse the bad behavior, and assuage guilt and shame. It is ideology that blames the victim, causes psychological depression, and encourages passive acceptance.
From your initial exposure and throughout your childhood and adult life, like a web, ideology is constructed, with more or less conscious awareness. Employers seeking to exploit gives their workers ideology. Governments seeking compliance give their citizens ideology. Corporations seeking profit give society ideology. Parents give it out. Priests give it out. Teachers give it out. Marketers give it out, etc., ad nauseum. It is everywhere.
How to overcome ideology? That’s complicated. Overcoming ideology is part education, part connection. Education gives you a grounding for knowing what’s truth and what’s not, and connection allows you to draw insight and enlightenment from your own power Self.
The Lightning Path helps you with both education and connection. The LP’s Rocket Science books are designed to give you a solid foundation in key topics. In addition, our online forums are a great resource on additional information, filtered to emphasize key LP topics. As regards connection, follow the Path as laid out on this website. Start with healing and then move forward with connection study and practice.
- [RSGDISD] student only
- The Conversation, and similiar outlets.
If you want to develop into a strong and healthy person, and if you want to heal any damage done as a consequence of Toxic Socialization, you need to take care of yourself. Establishing a non-toxic environment (i.e. Right Environment) is part of that, but you also have to make sure your needs are taken care of. You will have a hard time healing and growing if you are hungry, lack shelter, are desperate for love and belonging, and so on.
Human development and healing depend on the complete satisfaction of all human needs. As noted in this article, human needs are complex and range from the “basic” needs for sustenance and safety to the “middle” needs for truth and understanding, to the “higher” more spiritual needs of self-actualization and even connection/transcendence. Healthy development and efficient healing focus on and meet all our human needs. For a complete rundown of all your human needs, read this article.
If you are a dependent child or adolescent, your needs are supposed to be met by your mother, father, school, and society at large. If you are an adult, you have more control over need satisfaction, but you are still highly dependent on others. For example, you cannot meet your need for self-esteem without a lover or friend who says nice things about you. You cannot meet your need for belonging without a healthy family or group to belong to.
To move past healing and move towards growth and realization of your full human potential, you will need to take steps to meet all your physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs. Meeting your needs means doing what you can to take care of yourself, and also taking a critical look at your relationships to see which ones are healthy and which ones are not. Healthy relationships involve mutual needs satisfaction. Unhealthy relationships are empty and meaningless, or one-sided and draining (i.e. they take and take from you). To speed your healing and connection process, a) pay attention to your needs and b) eliminate meaningless, unhealthy, and one-sided relationships that waste your time and drain your energy.
G = Growth
Life is not a static process. All life is a process of continual expansion and growth. A healthy person is never static, always growing. By default, an organism that is not growing is dying. Therefore,
To meet your full human potential, and to stay healthy, you must commit to an endless cycle of learning and growth, the core of the life process.