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Wounding in Nature
by Joanne Saleeba

The Earth hurts; it needs healing;
And it speaks the loudest through the most sensitive of us
Sarah Conn, Ecospychologist

Both physically and psychologically I share in the pain of global environmental destruction. On a physical level I suffer as a consequence of the way on which modern society operates and the impacts it has on the environment. I am sensitive to the constant barrage of noise, pollution in our air and water and toxins in our food.

On a psychological level I suffer with nature from being devalued. The modern worldview has resulted in a very narrow understanding of value which has led to dis-ease and destruction both in nature and myself. Perhaps I can best illustrate this with a story.

When earth was young she was beautiful and perfect. She was loved and appreciated by people. She had so much potential and so much to give. Earth was very happy and loved these people in return.
Over time people lost their connection with Earth. She was no longer important to them. Nonetheless they made more and more demands on Earth. Earth struggled to meet these demands. But still this was not enough. They were not happy; they wanted more.

Earth became unhappy. However she continued to meet all the demands made of her and continued to accept all the crap and muck that people put on her. Earth was unable to say stop. She blames herself. Surely all these people could not be wrong. Maybe somehow she deserved this.

People no longer saw the beauty and intrinsic value in Earthl. They only saw her as a resource to be exploitted. Earth felt unworthy – after all she had limited ‘market value’. She lost her sense of value, her self-esteem. She became depressed and considered giving up the fight.

Whether as a consequence of society in general or a demanding father in particular, the result of this type of devaluation is devastating. However, future is not necessarily bleak. Both nature and I have the ability to be healed and to heal. My healing work is healing work for nature and nature’s healing work is healing for me. We are one and the same and we are perfect.

…loving herself and loving the Earth are the same practice.
(G. Reiss: Process Work)