Today, we are kicking off a series of healing conversations with members of the Wild Soul Community.
Our first conversation is with Sara Kassem – a healer, therapist, long-time Wild Soul Sacred Body member, Akashic Records + Embodied Healing client, and someone who is now a dear friend.
We got into a vulnerable conversation on humility and self-forgiveness in a spiritual healing journey. Sara opens up about her challenges with relinquishing control while accepting the healing process and shares how she shifted from a self-blaming and self-reliant paradigm to one of self-acceptance and welcoming love and support from others.
Throughout the episode, we explore the relationship between a spiritual connection and accessing humility, how to release your shame, the difference between intention and impact, and why it’s important to embrace mistakes to learn from them. Sara highlights the role of forgiveness and seeking truth in humanity and offers advice for reclaiming your authentic energy – regardless of what those around you may think.
In episode 444 of the Embodied Podcast we discuss:
(1:56) Sara’s healing journey and her background in social work
(7:20) Rephrasing the concept of an internalizer and an externalizer
(13:15) Advice for breaking free from perceptions, embracing messiness, and releasing shame
(21:20) Impact versus intent and why it’s not your responsibility to make others comfortable
(32:35) How to cultivate humility from healing
(38:29) Accessing humility through spiritual connections
(42:16) The undeniable need for titration, integration, and community support in healing
Resources mentioned in the episode:
- Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver
- Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson
- Check out @hannahrowrites on Instagram
Connect with Sara:
- Follow Sara on Instagram: @sara_spiritualguide
- Learn more about Sara: sarakassem.com
- Join “The Lab” Substack
Work with me:
- NEW! The Body Love + Reverence Course is available
Stay in touch:
- NEW! Join our Free Wild Soul Community on Mighty Networks
- Subscribe to my Substack
- Catch the full show notes for episode 444 here
- Email us with questions or feedback
- Don’t miss an episode of The Embodied Podcast
Quotes from this Week’s Episode of the Embodied Podcast:
- You need a certain amount of unpredictability and unplanned interaction to really know how to stay embodied through the waves of life. – Sara
- The difference between an internalizer and an externalizer is where they need the most control. – Sara
- I just can not be responsible for how uncomfortable I make other people. I just won’t do it anymore. – Sara
- Boundaries are one of the most important tools we will ever have in the healing process. – Sara
- With real liberation, you have to be willing to lose everything in service to your integrity. – Sara
- Anytime we are healing exclusively on our own terms, and priming ourselves for what we might be able to expect, then we are not actually healing because we don’t heal or we don’t experience life on our own terms. – Sara
How was this episode for you?
Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below OR share the episode on Instagram, tag me your stories @elizabethdialto, or send me a DM!
About the Embodied Podcast with Elizabeth DiAlto
Since 2013 I’ve been developing a body of work that helps women embody self-love, healing, and wholeness. We do this by focusing on the four levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
In practical terms, this looks like exploring tools and practices to help you tune into the deep wisdom of the body and the knowing of the heart, which I believe are gateways to our souls. Then we cultivate a new relationship with our minds that allows the mind to serve this wisdom and knowledge and soul connection, rather than override it, which is what many of us were taught.
If you’ve been doing self-help or spiritual development work for a while, these are the types of foundational things that often people overlook in pursuit of fancier concepts that often aren’t practical or sustainable. Here, we will focus on building these strong foundations so you can honestly and thoroughly embody self-love. If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussions on Instagram here.
Transcript for Episode 444 “Healing Conversation with Sara Kassem“:
Sara Kassem 00:00
It’s just the amount of of people who really think that healing on their own terms and what they’re prepared for is the key. It’s not you need a certain amount of unpredictability and unplanned interaction, in order to really know how to stay embodied through the waves of life, because life is not on your terms, and neither are your relationships.
Elizabeth DiAlto 00:27
All right, Sara, hello. On the podcast, I’m so excited. This is the first interview in I’m doing a healing interview series. And you’re also episode number 444. For the people who love Angel numbers, which I am one, I know some people will arise at that stuff. But we’re diving into people’s healing journeys over these next couple of episodes. So the first thing I’m asking everyone is, what are you most proud of yourself for healing? For me,
Sara Kassem 00:57
the intimacy peace, and intimacy is like, it’s such a sort of abstract idea. But for me, it’s just been the ways in which I’ve overcome how relationships used to be torture for me. Now, they’re moving into a space of being generative, and delightful. And that, I think, is what I’m most proud of, because it just was such a slog, and you know that you’ve had a front row seat to that. Yeah. All relationships, right? No exception across the board of like, family, friend, community, romantic,
Elizabeth DiAlto 01:32
platonic, all the things,
Sara Kassem 01:33
all relationships, because, I mean, at the end of the day, you know, I say this all the time, it’s kind of like we have these basic needs. There’s nobody’s name on them. So when I say relationship, I mean, my relationship to my own needs, and how I’m willing to go out in the world, and be flexible with getting those met. So for me, there’s no real label about that. Yeah.
Elizabeth DiAlto 01:56
So when we first officially connected, this is how I phrased this question. When I wrote it down. For people. It’s like multi layered, which will not surprise you. What I want to ask is, what was your stuff in that moment? Like, what were you dealing with? What were you looking for? But I’m also curious what kind of work you had already done. And if to give context this you want to tell people a little bit about yourself, too, because I know for you with a background and therapists social work, I know that all filters and factors into it. Take that from wherever and go wherever you want to go with it. Yeah,
Sara Kassem 02:31
well, it does all go together. Because basically, a lot of what I’ve overcome and like what I said about relationships is this obsession with doing things on my own. And so because I had all of this information about healing and these relational pieces, theoretically, from my own work, because I had been so activated by like, my dark night of the soul, it activated the most of my I’m just gonna do this by myself. And so I did at the urging of a friend let in a really gifted like acupuncturist who had been like walking me through trying to like, move the energy through my body. I had briefly dabbled with a coach to kind of also help me work through things. But mostly I reached a point where I was just so stuck, because I reached that plateau of what I could do by myself. Like there is a plateau and I was starting to feel really unmoored because I’m, like, determined to heal myself. And yet I wouldn’t let anyone meaningful life to help me do that. And what brought me to you, that’s how I’m kind of framing this. I mean, I would say my open ended the soul stuff, I, you know, I had little pieces along the way, but I did it. I did a lot on my own. And I suffered for it. And that phase of my healing in and of itself was super traumatic. But so by the time I got to you, I think I’ve told you this before, but I don’t expect you to remember every detail anyone tells you especially because so many people engage with you and feel super supported by you. But what changed it was you had posted a quote from Tasha Silver’s book that we love as a mantras and it’s somehow I will let love Do for me what I cannot do for myself. And I was so moved, that I booked my first Akashic Records reading from that mantra from that quote, and my records reading that I got filled in so many blanks and sort of like shifted this paradigm for me that maybe I didn’t have all the answers, and I couldn’t do it all myself. And from a healing perspective, nobody had shifted that consciousness for me up until that point of like, okay, I’m probably doing more harm than good. Try To stick this out on my own and figure this out on my own, and heal myself, I mean, my God, I was really obsessively, I obsessively tried to go, I would go home from work every day, and sit and air quotes, process, whatever I felt like I needed to process which was like just disembodied and me more and more stuck in shame and isolation, and more stuck in the paradigm of like, one sign heal, then I can engage with people, once I’m healed, then I’ll have relationships, but I can’t go anywhere until I’ve healed myself. And I can’t connect with people until I’ve healed myself. And that was just me, it was just such a paradigm I was trapped in. So the I will let love Do for me what I cannot do for myself. And then this paradigm shift of getting the kind of support that I was able to embody like, oh, actually help would be a good thing.
Elizabeth DiAlto 05:54
Yeah. And we did. I didn’t look back, I don’t know how many over what year was that was that 2020 2019?
Sara Kassem 06:01
It was 2020. We had our first appointment in the delusional phases of imagining that the pandemic might be a few months long, I
Elizabeth DiAlto 06:08
think it’s two weeks, so they can be like, just weeks. Exactly, exactly. It
Sara Kassem 06:12
was super delusional. But I think it was like March 21, or Wow,
Elizabeth DiAlto 06:16
right up in the beginning. Yeah, that’s wild. So you’ve already been with me through three different homes? Yeah. What was such a joy, though, I will say this, you know, for anyone listening who who’s in a healing process, or who’s been in one or who’s had phases, like Sara was describing, where you’re trying to kind of like, white knuckle it on your own. What was so cool was, I watched her take that level of commitment, but with a softer, more open, approach with yourself and allowed yourself to breathe, have space between things. Right. And the D shaming, you and I have had so many conversations about this. And this is something you know, we love our adult children of emotionally immature parents book, which I’ve mentioned on this podcast several times. And you and I are quite different in that you’re an internalized or I’m an external iser. And by the way, everyone listening will put links to Sara what she does now her substack I love reading her substack. I’m one of your sub sacks. I don’t know, maybe like a month or two ago, you wrote something you kind of re phrase, the concept of internalized or an extra analyzer. Can you explain this, like give people some context for that? Because I want to dig into that with you a little bit more? Yeah, I think
Sara Kassem 07:31
the part that you’re referencing is about like, is it what I said about the locus of control? Yeah. Okay. Let me tell you something, when you identify it as an external analyzer, listen, I have been a social worker for 14 years, I’d actually heard that term in certain contexts. And when I went to go check it out in the book for adult children of emotionally immature children, I was shocked that you were able to identify that label because I found it extremely pathologizing, personally. So I thought, gosh, like this is so incongruent with so many of the externalizes that I really love, who do take a lot of accountability for themselves, and who to really want to work on understanding their part in a system with they just express their difficulties differently. And so I really wanted to write about it in a way that I felt like T pathologized it and made it make more sense for me and the people that I know and love. And so, for me, what it kind of came down to is understanding that like, the difference to me, between an internal iser and an external iser is where do they need the most control. So for me as an internal iser, I’m very passive about what comes into my system, because that’s where I’m most collapsed. Because of my shame. It’s like, Well, I’m just collapsed in this area of like, what comes into my body into my energy field. But I have a high degree of control over what people will see on the outside, a lot of it has been around, just like being silent, not not wanting to, like, have people see my gifts, really keeping the light hidden from what the outside world can see. And that’s how I exercise the most amount of control. That’s where I personally, the immature way take my power back, is to control what people see on the outside. What I found with externalizes and this is something that you helped me understand is, the locus of control is is more about controlling what comes in, it’s less about hiding what people see. And again, like you are very honest about like you’re just out here doing your work. You don’t feel shame, if you need to course correct, necessarily, like that isn’t a thing for you. You’ve never had really, I mean, I don’t wanna put words into your mouth. I’m just this is sort of my interpretation is that it’s not that hard for you to let people see what you can do. But it may be it’s a function of like having more control over what really Holmes in which in the nervous system sense makes a lot of sense in terms of like people who are oriented to the towards the fight response. And people who are oriented more towards the collapse. So, for me it became do you exercise more control over what comes into your system and your field? Or do you exercise more control over what other people will be able to see? And what you put out? I love that. So then okay, then okay, explanation.
Elizabeth DiAlto 10:27
Yeah, yeah, it’s perfect. And for people who have never read that book, or who aren’t necessarily familiar, all this to summarize, an internal iser is someone who’s literally it’s exactly what it sounds like, right? You’re going to internalize their trauma, what’s happens, and a lot of shame abounds from that. Not that extra analyzers can’t have shame. But an external iser is more likely to make it about the external, what happened out here, and they’re not like taking it in. They’re not like making it about themselves. They’re not doubting it. It’s not necessarily, but like everything, it exists on a spectrum, right? So like you said, the kind of more pathologizing, which I’m also going to call the more uninvolved expression, because everything’s it’s on a spectrum of an extra analyzer is someone who cannot or will not ever look at themselves. Right. But when you know that your tendency is externalize, and then you start looking at yourself, you’re like, oh, look, the way I made that about this, this, this and this, but I have a part two, right? And then so it’s kind of like the opposite. The externanalyzers need to be able to look inward and see what their part wasn’t stuff, the internalizes need to look outward and be like, Oh, that wasn’t all my fault. Or I didn’t do that. That wasn’t even about me. And this is such a beautiful thing to explore. Because you and I have also, you know, since we’ve kind of transitioned about out of being like, client, and person who works with me, and healer type person to just being dear friends who love talking about all the things I have mentioned before, that it’s not that I’ve never dealt with any shame at all of my life. But that’s just not been a primary experience. When they handed out my curriculum. They weren’t like, Oh, this is gonna be one of the biggest things you deal with. They were like, sometimes you’ll deal with this, you know. So you have really helped me to remember that about people, right? Because it’s just not usually a context that I’m just remembering is there for people or can necessarily viscerally relate to which in healing work, a lot of people are relating quite viscerally, because they’re helping people with experiences they’ve been through. So what’s cool, and why I bring this up. And why I share this for people with healing journeys, is because we’ve all worked with people who ultimately didn’t resonate. And sometimes, it’s because we need someone who’s walked through the same fires we have. Sometimes we need someone who either has or hasn’t, but can hold a level of objectivity of being like, you could do this. Because sometimes people who have been through it might be a little coddling or oversensitive to it. Again, I’m using the word sometimes, very, very frequently here, because so many variables. So for you, where are you now with that in your process? Where am I with which parts right? The internalize are the locus of control of that experience? Where are you with that now?
Sara Kassem 13:15
Well, I think the reason that I have always resonated with you so much is because even though we both express our trauma differently, and we both you know, we both are oriented to kind of different worlds is that like, for me, above all else, I value integrity. And I value people who can lead based on their values. And it is a time in the world right now that I’m finding that I care less about controlling what people see. And I care more about my values. And so as the stakes get higher, as my heartbreaks more as my values become completely non negotiable. That is shifting my priorities. I’m like, really a lot less concerned personally, with controlling so much of what people see. Because the stakes are so high, it just starts to melt away the importance of needing to control a story. Like I don’t really care what people see anymore, because I have other stuff to worry about. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, I have other stuff to worry about. So for me, you know, while it has been a journey of like, allowing myself to be seen, be messier, stop controlling what people see, stop managing other people’s perceptions of me because, you know, it’s this again, it’s the difference between self blame and blaming others. I just can not be responsible for how uncomfortable I make other people. Yeah, I just won’t do it anymore. Yeah, I just won’t do it anymore. And so much of my controlling what other people saw was such a deep, deep Shame about how uncomfortable I make them. And guess what, I made them uncomfortable for all the right reasons. And I’m just gonna go with it.
Elizabeth DiAlto 15:08
Yeah, this is something else we have in common. And for people listening, I always want to remind folks, you don’t have to have a platform, you don’t have to be like active on social media, be a healer or a coach or anyone, like, we’re all about the way we’re built. And some of us really are. Our presence alone makes other people uncomfortable. And something I have been passionate about for years, is I am not intimidating. People are intimidated. Right. And one of the reasons I really started to anchor into that many years ago, when I started people seeing people talking about it, because I used to feel not shame but guilt. Right, and I love Brene Brown isn’t the be all end all. But sometimes, her quick little definitions of things are quite helpful. referenceable I once heard her describe shame is I am bad guilt is I did something bad. And so I would feel guilt, about people feeling intimidated by me all the time. And I would also just be fucking agitated. Because I know I’m a human Carebear I’m like, I am literally one of the most loving people ever meet, sometimes, you know, people will be sent me that gift, the Intensive Care Bear, where it’s like slamming a wrench into its hands and has a little grubby, like, listen, a fierce but ultimately, I’m a Carebear. Ultimately, I want everyone to feel safe and comfortable and be as them as humanly possible. I’m just not going to be like quiet, shy, demure, or whatever, about helping people get there. So people would often feel quite intimidated by me, people are always often intimidated as well by people have boundaries. And I know that wasn’t the case for you. Before it used to be like, I think you have described it as boundary lists at certain points, right? Which I was always a person who kind of have boundaries, but I didn’t do them. Well, I was, again, all these spectrums that exist, right? People could be boundary lists, or people could be like over boundaries and kind of harsh about it, which in my 20s Forget it. But I bring this up, because I know there are people listening, this is the too much people, right? That either people feel intimidated by you, or you’re just such a big feeler, and people can’t handle your feelings, which you know, sometimes it’s because you kind of need to be better regulating and containing your own feelings. But I want to talk about that. How did you get from caring so much to being like, I can’t care about this
Sara Kassem 17:28
anymore. Oh, my gosh. Well, like, like you said, I mean, bound to me. I mean, boundaries are one of the most important tools we will ever have at all in the healing process. And I think, for me, my intimacy stuff was a lot about because I didn’t have the boundaries. And I know you’ve talked about this before, because I didn’t have the boundaries, I had to create the barriers. So for me, I was always disappearing, because I didn’t know how to set the boundaries in the moment. So I have to take off before it gets to a place where I’m gonna have to protect myself because my capacity to protect myself in a healthy way was so collapsed. So for me, a lot of it was having the boundaries and boundaries ultimately are just acknowledgement of I am separate and distinct from you. So this response you’re having really has nothing to do with me. But that’s always a work in progress to see people as separate and distinct. I mean, we’re always working through that, like on multiple layers. And for me, I think recently, what’s really helps me is understanding that, like, I am a mirror, and not everyone likes to look in the mirror because they don’t like what they see. You know, and this is a very, I’m a fifth line in human design. For people who are injured or not, it doesn’t, you don’t need to be into it to know that like, and that’s what the fifth lines are, they’re mirrors and I am a mirror for people. And guess what happens when people don’t like their own reflection, they punish me for it. And I’m over that I’m over it, if you feel uncomfortable with what you see in the mirror that’s on you. Right? And so part of it is again, the boundaries of understanding like, this isn’t my work to manage how you feel about me? And also I know why you feel so uncomfortable. Because looking in the mirror is really really hard. Yeah, and so it’s just a combination of of having the skills and having the context for like, why that would be that people might feel uncomfortable around me and to a degree does that really matter? No, because the boundaries are the ultimate sort of guide that like whatever people feel it’s not about me which is also what the shame you know, that also is has helped me walk that line of shame where everything was my fault and I was to blame for everything to slowly but surely layer at a time realizing this actually isn’t about me. This is your your separate into stinked for me, you have your own world happening inside of you. And I’m, I’m not even part of that. So the boundaries to me are just like the thing. I don’t necessarily think you need to know why you make people feel uncomfortable in the beginning to in order to say like, this isn’t my problem. But for me contextualize thing, the mirror aspect, and why people might be so bothered by me, and why would have gone to such lengths to like, crack that mirror?
Elizabeth DiAlto 20:30
Yeah. And I think, you know, for people who are so rooted in truth, right, because there’s different mirrors. I love Mariam Hoskins says, yeah, like, everyone is a reflection, everyone is a mirror. But some people are funhouse mirrors, you know. So everyone’s mirror, we’re all here to reflect things back to each other. But not everyone is going to be reflecting something that is, like, accurate or true, or whatever. Like, I think each mirror has its own flavor. And definition, based on what you said earlier is your values. So when someone values truth as much as you and I do, when people are looking in our mirrors, that’s what they’re seeing. And that’s what makes people so freakin uncomfortable. So that’s interesting. And that’s complex. And obviously, you know, I’m so happy whenever someone mentions context, because that matters for everyone. So this is interesting, because this is related to something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately around the concept of impact versus intense, because I feel like since I don’t know, probably the last seven or eight years, that frame has come more into the mainstream. And again, everything existing on a spectrum, you have people who get it, who are like integrated people who have done a bunch of their own work and are continuing to do their own work, and know when to use that phrase. And then there’s people who will slap it down to weaponize it when they don’t feel like when they want to blame you for something that they are kind of generating within themselves, or at least amplifying themselves. So in the context of looking at impact versus intent, this piece of no longer carrying that we make people uncomfortable, when is it our responsibility? When have you found or what’s that distinction? Or just sermon for you around when you’re like, I don’t care. And this part is actually mine to clean
Sara Kassem 22:26
up? You know, I think we all have a responsibility individually, also to be reflecting on what is it projection? And what is a real response. Right? Like if I say something, and someone respond, if I say something careless, right. Like, it’s also the or again, the origin point of the energy to me is what I’m always most interested in. So the origin point of my energy is carelessness. And I can own that. And what I said landed in a way that I’m like, That’s not great, then I’m knowing okay, this person is responding in real time. Because that’s the thing is like a trigger, before it got kind of CO opted a trigger was to reference, like having a real experience from the past, in the present. Right. And I think it got back out weaponized, because it’s like, then there are people out here having like real responses to a relational rupture. If that’s not a trigger, that’s like in this present moment, you’ve transgressed and we need a repair on this present moment. But if I say something that triggers someone, and they project something from their past, onto that moment, that I have nothing to do with, then I have to trust that people are going to be working on their own stuff. It’s just very delicate in that way. And again, listen, the more I heal, the more I’m like, shit, the line between helpful and harmful things is actually quite thin. It is so thin. It’s it’s blowing my mind apart, to be honest with you. But it’s like, again, like, I want to trust that people are going to be working on their own triggers. They’re going to be having some self reflection too. Although if in the present moment, there was a response to something careless that I did and I have caused a rupture, then that’s why I want to talk about
Elizabeth DiAlto 24:29
Yeah, thank you, for you. So you said two things there, that I want to come back and just re emphasize one of my actual greatest pet peeves, about like Insta therapy and like tick tock psychology is how most of the time there’s a handful of words that people are almost never using correctly anymore. Trigger is one of them. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and she was implying that I was triggered about something and I was like, let me ask you a question. What’s the difference between being triggered about something and just not fucking liking Something I like because I am not triggered about this. I just can’t stand it.
Sara Kassem 25:08
Exactly. And it’s you is used to silence healthy anger. Like it’s such a dismissal, right? Because also nobody wants to be triggered. And it’s sort of like, oh, this is about something that happened before that I have no part in. I know like that
Elizabeth DiAlto 25:25
to not take responsibility on one either side, right? Instead of like, this
Sara Kassem 25:29
is healthy anger that I’m like responding to an intrusion. Yeah, it’s just like, used to dismiss that, like, oh, because something difficult happens you before you can’t actually accurately assess what’s happening in front of you. Yeah. And I resent.
Elizabeth DiAlto 25:43
Yeah. And then the other thing, is, you saying that I wrote it down, you’re most interested in the origin point of the energy. This is actually why intent does matter. Right, because some people like to take the topic of intent versus impact and be like, All that matters is impact. That is not true. It’s not true. If you’re trying to be relational with people, right? You actually do need to consider people’s intent, because then when you have a conversation, someone can see like, Oh, damn, got it. This was my intent. And I was so far off. That’s not how it landed. And I could see like, what was the breakdown between what I was going for? It’s funny, I don’t need to get all into this. But I recently had someone pull that phrase out on me about something. And I was like, No, this was exactly. This was exactly what I was going for on a level because there was a boundary violation, you know. So like, people also similar to the trigger thing, I feel like people like to toss impact at people to make the responsibility of the impact on the person who did the thing that they didn’t like, meanwhile, they’re getting themselves all hyped up about how and why they didn’t like it, which I can really relate to, because I do that.
Sara Kassem 26:55
Well, and listen, I personally am I’m always invested in humanity. And I think it’s really dehumanizing. Like, you know that I am intimately familiar with shame, I made an agreement, on some level somewhere to be familiar with it. And we live in a culture that feels so much shame about making mistakes, that they dehumanize themselves. So when I say that the origin point of the energy was good intention. And it landed in a way that really sucked. That’s just called a mistake. And that is our humanity. That’s why it irritates me to kind of like, paint this with a huge brush about intention over impact, because our humanity is having good intentions and still failing, you know, but there’s so much shame in the collective about making mistakes. And I just really, it just really bothers me again, like when intention is used to silence people. I’m not okay with that. But like, I do think intention matters from a humanity standpoint, because we’re gonna have lots of good intentions, and they’re not going to land. And we just need to have permission to be like, yes, good intentions and mistakes. Be alexan. And what we’re not okay with this is using intentions to silence people, you know, but we have to be as a collective again, the shame about making mistakes is just, it’s honestly, oh, God, it’s it’s just keeping so much from moving forward. So that’s why I’m going to be an advocate for the intentions matter, because even if it doesn’t land, well, we will we just call that a mistake. Yeah. And we all need to face. Yeah, we all need to embrace that a bit more than something that really does come with the intentions of lots of people. Lots of people don’t have good intentions for you.
Elizabeth DiAlto 28:50
Yeah, where they think they do. And you know, and this is one of the things again, that makes them like you working with someone like you such a joy, again, your commitment to truth, and like being in the truth. There are lots of times and you know, you have been, you said social worker therapists for a very long time. So you know, this, it’s a whole different beast when you are working with someone who’s completely deluding themselves, about who and how they are, and not necessarily seeking the truth because the truth makes them so uncomfortable, and literally doing everything they can do to avoid the actual truth and the reality of the situation in their wall. But you are someone who is relentless about what is actually my part, what is actually the truth here. And even regardless of any shame, absolutely willing to take responsibility, if anything over inclined to take over responsibility, including the part that was not yours to do. So what’s it like now to not be taken over responsibility for people so much? Ah, gosh, it honestly told us a lot actually. Totally, you know, like,
Sara Kassem 29:56
I really have been thinking about this a lot. In the current climate, and I just I just want to mention this about what you said, because what I’ve been coming to realize is that I think real liberation, you have to be willing to lose everything in service to your integrity. That is why it’s so radical, you have got to be willing to lose everything to serve that value. And because I value truth, I have lost a lot. I have lost relationships, I have lost family, I have lost institutions, I’ve lost communities. I’ve lost places to live that I’ve called my home, I am willing to lose everything and service to the truth. And a lot of people have mental agendas for what the truth is. Yeah. Right. But that’s not what happened when when you serve a divine value. You have to have the humility to be like, alright, this isn’t the answer I wanted. This isn’t the answer my mind wanted. But if I serve the truth, and this is what it’s gonna have to be, I think you and I’ve talked about this before, like, I’ve probably dreaded every single move I’ve had to make. I get answers all the time that I’m like, God, please no, tell me that’s not what it is. I’ll do anything for a different answer. And it’s like, no, you asked for the truth. You did not ask us to reinforce your agenda.
Elizabeth DiAlto 31:29
I won’t reveal what it was about. Unless you feel like sharing. I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about. You know, I don’t always remember what happened in people’s readings. But I do remember one time, you asked a question, and you clearly wanted a certain answer. And that’s not what happened.
Sara Kassem 31:42
Ah, anyway. Totally. And that was exactly I was like, I was definitely I was devastated that it didn’t reinforce what I wanted to hear. Yeah, you know, there’s been lots of records readings that I that I have won best questions or go to because I’m like, Oh, God, I’m so scared. I’m gonna get an answer. I’m not going to. And like, eventually I go, because I served the truth. Yeah. I am, at the end of the day, willing to lose everything. Yeah, laureate. And I think that’s what’s so radical. And that’s what’s so uncomfortable for people. And that is what’s coming into my field and my vision lately, now more than ever, is you have to be willing to lose everything you’ve ever known
Elizabeth DiAlto 32:24
totally. Yeah, liberation has to be more important to you than comfort for sure. And there’s a lot of people who, when rubber meets the road, they will I will absolutely say choose comfort. I want to ask you, where do you think, because you use the word humility, which has become one of my favorite words, and one of my favorite qualities, not of the like, again, everything on a spectrum. So not the shadowy, self deprecating, humiliating aspect of it, not the aspect that makes people make choices to avoid being humiliated at all costs, but like genuine, the humility that softens you, when you are facing a truth that you didn’t want to face, and go, alright, well, if this is the truth, I’ll do it. I didn’t want it. Where did that humility, you had that you had to cultivate that, that was alchemize and transmuted from something else you healed. Because I find this quality, this is a pinnacle quality in real deep lasting, sustainable, integrated healing. And a lot of people have trouble accessing it.
Sara Kassem 33:29
Where jurists come from, I’m so glad you asked this question, because this is I think, we’re gonna get to a lot of like, juicy things here. So this is sort of like my frame of reference. I haven’t quite worked this out for the external advisors. And maybe you’ll have some thoughts on this. But I can tell you what, how I feel as an internalized or what I’ve seen just observationally is that, and I learned this from Dr. Lawrence Heller that when we have shame is so detrimental to the energy to the psyche, like we will do anything to compensate for that shame. And we often do it with the opposite, which is pride and arrogance. And so when we feel shame about our own humanity, shame about I’m just gonna say nature because this also applies to capitalism. So when we feel shame about our natural orientation, our natural selves, the things that come naturally to us, we will compensate with an arrogance and a pride. This is where my shame about needing help and meeting people turn into an arrogance about I’m going to do it all myself. Okay. We’re living in a world with this is the arrogance and like the toxic pride that we see because we’ve, we’ve felt so much shame about our needs, because they don’t suit a capitalist machine. And they don’t suit a patriarchal machine. So when we feel that shame about those needs, and we call it to compensate with something else that’s going to make us feel better about ourselves and The only solution for that is a boundary. No, you can’t endlessly go here. Yes, you have limits. And so this is what happens when you. And this is like with surrender. And when you let the divine set boundaries with you and put you in your place and humble you. So it’s sort of like, yeah, these boundaries with the divine that are like, actually, you can’t go endlessly there. You can’t do that, like, that’s too much. And so, for me, I think I am extremely proud of my humility. And I think the only reason I got there was to go from shame, to arrogance, boundaries, and humility. Like, it’s just sort of, I don’t know if this is coming across verbally as well as I’d like.
Elizabeth DiAlto 35:48
Absolutely, yes. Because you know, I love a framework, and you just gave us a framework. And I hope you go back and listen and take your own framework and maybe write a substack about it, because it’s very important.
Elizabeth DiAlto 35:58
Let me and you know, I’m excited, I knew I had a feeling we would do this, this is, this is a conversation about your healing journey, but you are also a healing professional.
Elizabeth DiAlto 36:05
So there are things here we’re getting to just talk about, like peers and colleagues, like a regular podcast interview. And especially I love that we’re able to ping back and forth from the internalize ethics perspective, the external as a perspective, I will say, for me, I might not have a framework like you just gave, but forgiveness work was everything. Forgiveness work was everything. Because as an extra analyzer, you’re looking at all the shit people have done, that you have been so affected by. And so forgiveness work, which takes your energy back. Now you’re not living, they’re not living rent free, in your head, or in your energy fields. You’re not feeling victimized, you’re like, Damn, that brings, it brings humility in the form of seeing that if anyone if other people are capable of things like that, of course, so am I. And I probably have done like, and for me, as I started doing more forgiveness work, which first began with forgiving others, then I was like, Well, I probably have a lot of self forgiveness work to do. And then when I started unpacking what was my side of ship? Or where have I been, like the oppressor, or the offender or the perpetrator, whatever, that’s what was humbling being like, wow, none of us are above any of this kind of stuff. That’s where it came from. For me,
Sara Kassem 37:19
I love that because at the end of the day, humility is about maybe I don’t know everything. Correct? Maybe I don’t know, everything and infinite externalize there’s looking outside to be like, this is the problem. And only this is the problem. And then the how to have the humility to be like, well, maybe there’s things I’m not seeing, and things I can’t see. Never will see or maybe never get to understand and feel how am I going to move on from this? If I never get to know? Can I still move on? Exactly. And even for both of us in our separate spaces, the core is like is how do I shift from this place of I know everything or I am in destructable? Or whatever? Like, there’s probably a lot that I don’t know. Like, there’s more that I don’t know that I do know, probably, you know, like, really. And that’s what the difference between the self deprecation is like, we can own what we know, I have no problem owning what I know, I know a lot, actually. But I also have an equal amount of ease being like, well, I don’t know, totally wrong, you know, like, I’m fully okay with saying I could be wrong. And I’m equally okay with telling you what I know. Yeah.
Elizabeth DiAlto 38:32
And I think that’s really important. Because I think where people perform humility is being like, I know nothing. That’s not true. You know, plenty of damn things. Just acknowledge when you don’t acknowledge when you do. Like the podcast I recorded yesterday, I got a little ranty, which is, at the time we’re having this conversation. It’ll literally be the episode right before this episode number 443. And I was reading people about how some people are handling and spewing their energy and emotions on social media around what’s going on in the world right
Elizabeth DiAlto 39:02
now. And I’m like, That’s not helpful. I’m like, stop that. You have your feelings, please your energy. But if you’re not a person directly affected, that’s not helping for you to add to the pool of so I was like, but this is what I know. That is what I know. There’s a lot of shit going on right now that I don’t know. And I’m not the person to turn to you for the information, but the emotional regulation and energetic shirt.
Elizabeth DiAlto 39:26
That is definitely what I know. I have another question related to humility, because I really do think I think this is such a core thing to healing, which is why a lot of people don’t heal. Do you think people need some kind of spiritual connection or practice to access humility? And I specifically asked you as a person who’s been through Divinity School and has intense spiritual practice, and also is a therapist. So I know I’m sure you work with all kinds of secular non spiritual, maybe even atheist folks who don’t have a spiritual connection.
Sara Kassem 40:00
Yeah, I do in the sense that again, it’s really for anyone who’s willing to admit that, that they didn’t know something. Yeah. Like, for example, I’ve heard someone talking about someone who was a journalist who, in the beginning stages of their career, when their editor would send back all their drafts with like, your marked up and like all these corrections. And they spoke about how that was really, that took them to humility, because I guess it doesn’t necessarily have to be the divine, but someone is saying you don’t know everything. Yeah, you have to be willing to take feedback, you have to be willing to own what you don’t know about this thing in order to provide in this case, something with journalistic integrity. So that is an experience of going from sort of toxic pride and arrogance, to real humility. And even in something like journalism, where you do have to do go through fact checking, and like edits and stuff like that. I’m not saying this creates, like, a total humility of like, you know, I’m not saying that this doesn’t lead to other problems in other areas of life, I’m just saying, that’s a real life example of how you might have to expand your mind into a zone of like, I don’t know everything. There’s stuff here that I probably need help with. I can’t do it all myself. Somebody knows more than I do about this. Like, that’s just one example I’m thinking of. And again, you have an eye, you don’t get this far without meeting people who have difficulty integrating all parts of themselves. And so they might have humility, professionally, but they don’t have the ability. Yes, say says, but I’m just saying that’s one sort of everyday example of how you might alchemize an arrogance and a toxic pride into humility that has nothing to do with
Elizabeth DiAlto 41:47
spirituality. It’s reality. Right? Yeah. Thank you. And I asked that because I know again, we have listeners who are all over the spectrum on their connection to the divine or not skeptical? Not. Alright, I have one more question. Can you go like a few minutes over? Or you have a hard stop at two? Yes. Okay, great. This kind of came up throughout the course of the conversation. So I know, I’m not the only practitioner you’ve worked with, you’ve worked with other people, you have been a practitioner, for people, and you continue to expand and develop your own work in that way. Anything that you could share, to help illuminate for folks about approaches to healing, just the need for these three things that in a way, go hand in hand titration integration, and then community in whatever way community is going to look for people, community, all I’m really saying is not not doing everything on your own. So the three things again, we’re just things that we need undeniably at different points in our journeys, titration integration, and community slash support from others?
Sara Kassem 42:48
Yeah, okay. Well, what I will say about titration, is that often what happens is when we’re on our healing path, and we start to have new things eliminated from our shadow that we did not think was possible, we can often trigger a shame response of like, I have to fix this as soon as possible. And I spent years in that space, where if I realized I was hurting someone or doing something that was outside of my values, a massive shame response would be triggered. And I would go on an absolute tear, to fix it as soon as possible so that I could be good, right? A shame at the core is like, I am bad. I was like, I need to fix this. So I can be good. And that forced me into healing at places that I would not recommend, and that are not healthy. And so if you feel an urgency to heal big and quickly, I would flag that as a shame response. That often happens when something new has been an illuminated for us because it is hard to come to terms with these places in which, first of all, it is really scary to realize things were happening in your life that you couldn’t see. Yeah, like that was really destabilizing. And that’s what freaks people out. If that could have been happening without my conscious awareness. What else is going on? Like it’s just really scary to be in a position of starting to be more conscious about what you’ve been doing, when it’s been completely in the dark for you your whole life and like, that is just a destabilizing place to be. And it’s really scary in and of itself, but the shame response will drive you to fix it fast and big, so that you can get to goodness. Yeah, we are always inherently good. I mean, I don’t work in binaries. But I think you get what I’m saying. Like, I think there is an inherent goodness that we need to trust enough to do Do what like the nervous system just it just responds to small changes so much better. Those are the ways that we actually integrate. Because in order to integrate, we need recovery. Yeah, we need a period to integrate. And this is what they talk about in terms of like productive stress versus unproductive stress. Productive stress is how we grow. But what happens is unproductive stress, we have time to recover from the stress. Yeah, so that is why in order to be the most integrated with our healing, it has to be titrated has to go slow so that we can recover from the stress that we experienced fully.
Elizabeth DiAlto 45:37
I grabbed my phone because it reminded me what you were saying reminded me of a poem I literally screenshotted yesterday, that is short, I just want to read it to people real quick. This is by Hannah roe writes on Instagram. And it says until I thought of myself as the See, I used to separate good days from bad until I thought of myself as an ocean. I used to split times I felt strong from when I felt weak, until I imagined myself as the sea calm and Rocky, wild and soft still and powerful and vast and more than any one thing in the ocean, it’s hard to divorce one mood from another one way from the next. Now on my worst days, I think of how good life is to how I can still great joy while swimming through grief, how fragile strength feels, how I’m not any one thing in any one moment on any one day. I’m all of it. And all of it is me. To me, this is like ultimate integration, right? To me, this is like what you were saying, when you’re having a shame storm or spiral or whatever some wants to call it. You could also remember that you’re also amazing, right? And there’s another side, like you are an ocean and I love the metaphor as an ocean. Some people will do metaphors like rooms in a house, but then that separates the things the ocean is like, it’s all here, in the same place swimming around at the same time. Right next to each other always.
Sara Kassem 46:58
I love that. I completely agree. And just like giving ourselves space to be as complex as the ocean, the ocean can give life and it can take it away, you know, like the ocean, like you just tried to put the ocean in a box about like, in terms of like what it does, it does so much. It’s so multi dimensional. I think that’s ultimately also what we’re here to give ourselves permission to be is like multi dimensional and, and not easy to define. And that’s what happens when people go on the shame spiral was like, this thing defines me. And it’s like, no, we’re not easy to define, like, you know, in that way. So.
Elizabeth DiAlto 47:34
So titration integration, what about, you spoke to the support piece. But I’m still curious anything else you want to share about finally letting other people in or as I know, we’ve talked about letting anyone mother you or letting anyone like, sister you?
Sara Kassem 47:53
Yeah, and I’m glad we’re getting here, because it always takes me a while to warm up. So don’t think I said this in the beginning. And it’s really important to me. Every plateau that I have reached in my healing has been because of a deprivation of enough relationships and community, like I will die on this hill that like so many of the plateaus that people reach in their healing is because they are not integrating a community aspect, when you could do one on one therapy for the rest of your life. And if you aren’t dealing with community, it is incomplete. It’s absolutely incomplete. And this is why we sit like I see this all the time, like people will do their diligent one on one healing work. But the problem is anytime that we are healing exclusively on our own terms, and priming ourselves for what we might be able to expect, then we are not actually healing because we don’t heal or we don’t experience life on our own terms. We don’t experience relationships anywhere on our own terms. So it’s like you have to be willing to put yourself in this dynamic that is constantly shifting. And that asks you to be unprepared of that and think and stay embodied when you have not been able to decide the terms. Yeah, that I believe is for me, my experience in Divinity School, which asked me to transmute a lot of my relational stuff, but a lot of my accountability in relationship stuff because I was having to show up every week for a call a community call that I dreaded every week for months, because I couldn’t plan out what everyone else was going to say. And I therefore couldn’t plan out my own answers. I couldn’t stay safe by anticipating what would happen and then figuring out all my solutions. I had to show up unprepared and vulnerable. Right like that’s what vulnerability is it’s it’s experiencing A moment that you weren’t prepared for. So, yeah, it’s this, it says it’s just the amount of, of people who really think that healing on their own terms and what they’re prepared for is the key. It’s not you need a certain amount of unpredictability and unplanned interaction, in order to really know how to stay embodied through the waves of life, because life is not on your terms, and neither are your relationships. I love this and I will die on that hill,
Elizabeth DiAlto 50:29
I will I will die on that hill right next to you. Because let me tell you something. And it’s funny because on my end, I’m not a person, I don’t need to be prepared. I don’t care about that. But kind of go back to the external iser thing. One of the things I can’t stand about groups is like if I have to fucking sit through listening to people talk about shit, that I just like, don’t I don’t want to listen to this, you know, and I think some of it comes from doing healing work professionally. When I joined a group or something for me, I need there to be enough there for me that I could justify being in the space. Does that make sense? So it’s just funny. So one of the things I learned about myself over the years is exactly that part. Like, I have to participate in community and group stuff sometimes. But I also need to be discerning that the group is at a place or at a level, where I’m not like sitting there listening to people’s like, one on one. I just started my healing journey stuff. Like we still always need discernment. But that that was cracking me up, because it’s just the thing. The thing. Thank you so much. Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’re like, damn, I didn’t get to say this. I would love to say this.
Sara Kassem 51:40
I think I’m good with everything. I love talking to you about this stuff. It’s so fun. We
Elizabeth DiAlto 51:46
I don’t doubt we could go on for a whole other hour. But I’m like, should we co host a podcast? I’m dying to find someone who wants to like co host with me sometimes. So seed planted, but thank you so much. Links to Sara her substack or website, everything she’s got going on. We’ll be over there in case you were like, damn, I like some of that stuff. She was saying what else is she doing? I love you. I’m so proud of you. Thank you so much for being here and sharing such a joy.
Sara Kassem 52:11
Thank you. Thank you for having me. I love you.
Elizabeth DiAlto 52:14
I see you later.