Contrary to popular opinion, you’re not here to heal anybody.


I tend to say this often because I’m part of a community of scholars, educators, and coaches who do emotional justice for social justice. There are lots of opportunities to develop a savior complex in this line of work. It’s really easy to do, especially for a number of women who have a particular background with t/Terror.


For instance, a woman in the Supreme Love Project Facebook group recently shared a post about her concern over her ex-husband’s well-being. She was worried that, after their separation, he wasn’t doing well. She blamed herself and was shaming herself for not doing more for him ::: giving more time, more money, more energy, more conversation, more sex, more understanding, more investments of herself for his benefit (even if the investments would be to her detriment). ::: She had been a devoted wife and managed multiple indiscretions and heartache during the relationship. Her husband had been diagnosed as suffering from narcissistic personality disorder and there was a debate, in the community, about how much she needed to help him through the breakup and next steps. Many of the women in the community question the humanity of people who suffer from NPD, noting that psychology calls them “shells” that are run by a “false self.” As I aspire to be a Supreme Lover, I rail against this idea.


Here’s my response to her. I’ll call her Keliyah:

Thank you for your post, Keliyah.

You’ve hit on a very important point, in reflecting on this message, and what good can come of it. I need to say that there actually is humanity in people who suffer from NPD, or other disorders. We’re all on a spectrum. People who suffer in this way are not necessarily different from us, they are just distinct from us.


We are all bearing the oneness of humanity, we just manifest that oneness in distinctly unique and responsive or reactionary ways. This truth is one reason why I strive to maintain the highest standard of communication and reflection in this space. I do this not because I want to police anyone or inhibit opportunities for venting and outrage or despair (there is, of course, plenty of room for that and that is so necessary).


I strive to maintain the highest standard of communication and reflection in this space so as not to further engender power to erasure and separation, which are two key component illusions of supremacist patriarchal ideologies (which, I think have a lot to do with giving birth to some of the disorders and most of the terrors we are discussing here).


Remembering that there is, in fact, humanity (however distinctly broken) in people who suffer from various behavioral, perceptual, personality, or emotional disorders is a powerful key to healing. Refusing to diminish, dismiss, or dehumanize anyone, even when they’ve acted inhumanely, is a sign of Supreme Loving. This does not mean condoning relational or social t/Terrors. It does not mean condoning any type of relational or social microaggression or macroaggression.


Rather, it means staying vigilant and true to the call of dismantling the ideology, the language systems, the beliefs, the behaviors that signify the presence of dis-ease and dis-order. We need to do this so that people can stay in the scope of humanity (where we all need to remain). We need to do this so that these terrors don’t subversively get their hooks into the ones who are healing, in effect, making US the abusers, the bashers, the terroristic people who malign and dismember other members of our group (which is all of humanity).


This vigilance is inherent to Supreme Loving. It doesn’t mean we have to stick around for bad treatment or even be healers or saviors for those who are sick (especially when we’re not able or capable of retaining our ease and order in relation to them). No. It means we uphold our creed to honor Supreme Love, and be Supreme Lovers, no matter what.


Does that mean distancing ourselves from danger, toxicities, atrocities, spin cycles of abuse, and psychological mania that trigger our wounds and cause us to revert to manufactured, reactionary patterns of dis-ease and dis-order? YES.

Does that mean criticizing and disparaging other human beings? NO.


  • It means pointing to the pain of those human beings, the dis-ease, dis-order, and dis-memberment they carry and harbor. It means recognizing, continually, the form and function of that dis-ease, dis-order, and dis-memberment.
  • It means being steadfast in our efforts to maintain peace and Supreme Love in our interior and exterior spaces.
  • It means distinguishing between the abuse and abuser and recognizing that it’s the abuse we need to bring to light so that it can no longer hide in the shadows, constantly morphing and twisting itself into barely recognizable things.
  • It means recognizing how the abuse perverts a human being into becoming an abuser (while we do no contact with the abuser) and coming to terms with, absolute peace with, the truth: that one of the reasons we are here is to heal ourselves and the world, NOT each other.

We are here to heal ourselves and the world, not each other.

We are here to heal ourselves and the world, not each other.

When we heal ourselves (each of us taking responsibility for our interior and exterior spaces) we heal the world. Other people need to do this same thing (including narcissistic people….whether they forfeit the responsibility or not is up to them; they are on their own journey).

Other people are here to heal themselves, and in so doing, heal the world.

Other people are here to heal themselves, and in so doing, heal the world.

When we heal ourselves and heal the world, we have to stay focused.

When we are not focused, we do more damage by dehumanizing – especially those who have committed heinous acts. Instead, we have to recognize the ways that t/Terrors and aggressions have annihilated members of humanity so much that false selves have been constructed. This recognition is key.

  • Then, we can assume a higher awareness, a greater capacity, and a supernatural vantage point.
  • Then, we can cultivate dynamic perspective, pity, and uncommon compassion where hate and venom would simmer and take hold.
  • Then, we can walk away, create distance, do no contact, and continue to heal ourselves and heal the world, knowing why we must do these things and how. This knowing can come in the greater scheme of things, in the scheme of the universe. This greater scheme is all a part of the Divine Plan, working its way into fruition one person at a time and, therefore, into all of humanity.
  • Then we can know new realms of peace on our own and with others…finding healthier friends….being healthier people…in a healthier world…blessing less healthy people without superiority or delusions. Do you see? This can happen because we’re not different. Just distinct. And we’re here to heal ourselves and the world, NOT other people. Remember this bottom line and save yourself a lot of trouble: 

You’re not here to heal anybody. You’re here to heal yourself and heal the world.


#SupremeLoveTaughtMeThis #SupremeLoveIsBiggerThanSelfLove  #GetSome #LetsAllGetFree

#SupremeLoversUnite  #Amen


Jeanine Staples is Associate Professor of Literacy and Language, African American Studies, & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her book, The Revelations of Asher: Toward Supreme Love in Self, is an endarkened, feminist, new literacies event (Peter Lang, 2016). In it, she explores Black women’s t/Terror in love. She produces research-based courses and methodologies that enable marginalized girls and women to realize internal revelations that fuel external revolutions.

Dr. Staples’ next book details the evolution of her acclaimed undergraduate course, The Philadelphia Urban Seminar. In it, she explores Supreme Love in schools. She shows how she generates curriculum and methodologies that incite anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist pedagogical stances among teachers interested in urban education and equity for all people in schools and society.


Click here to join the Supreme Love Project group to ask Jeanine questions and comment on the blog.