Q&A #1: What is Healing?
A few days ago, a patient told me that he preferred to think of "health" instead of "healing," because he felt that "healing" implied being sick. It was interesting to hear this perspective, and it led me to reflect. I sensed that, to me, healing is integral to life. The body is constantly repairing and regenerating itself, to balance the damage and dying of cells that naturally occurs everyday. Everything that is created also comes to an end.
But why?, he asked. Perhaps because we reach the end of one phase of learning, and it is time to look back on what has happened, and choose where we will go for the next phase of the journey. In this sense, healing is not so much a matter of "getting well" - rather, it is an ongoing process of transformation and evolution, learning and growth. It is a momentum that brings us ever into alignment with an eternal sense of being - what one may experience as truth, harmony, wholeness, profound peacefulness, unconditional love, innocence, hope, and joy.
So how does one get to experience or undergo healing? In western culture, or modern culture, we are accustomed to being proactive, and accomplishing goals through effort. Yet, healing is much less about "doing," as it is about reconnecting with an innate sense of trust, and finding a way to allow a natural process to unfold, in its own time and way.
Nature simultaneously creates and destroys - whatever arises, also falls apart, returning to the space of potential and creativity. As long as we are alive, the body and mind are constantly working to maintain homeostasis, or inner balance - this is part of the program of survival. Often as we go through life, we observe, learn and repeat certain patterns of thought, emotion, action and reaction, that also influence cycles within the physical body. We sense these cycles - of neurotransmitters, hormones, immune response, muscle contraction, and more - as our experience of health. And sometimes it can happen that we get stuck repeating a pattern that no longer supports us, and we experience a sense of illness, or imbalance. Fortunately, the soul guides us via the voice of awareness, which tells us when something is not working - most commonly through the sensation of pain - and this realization leads us once again to observe, learn, and allow the necessary change and growth to occur. This is the cycle of healing that is inherent to life.
Everything we experience is part of the journey of healing: our pain, sorrow, and suffering - as well as our joy and compassion. Within each experience, we come to learn, accept, forgive and transform. Healing is allowing ourselves to flow in dynamic harmony as part of Nature. It is supporting the body and mind to adapt along with the learning - and growth, both physical and spiritual. Healing is learning to befriend the parts of ourselves that we feel ashamed of or guilty about. It is letting go of something that was once comfortable but is now stagnant - to embark on an adventure that is the essence of being alive. It is coming to know and trust, in the core and totality of our being, that through it all, we are Love and Beloved.