It’s quite a bold statement, ‘Healing is possible for everyone!’ Many may be sceptical, but bare with me and I’ll show you how this is true. I think we can agree that all of us want to be healed in some way. There may be moments in our lives that are wracked with both physical or mental illness, when healing is really all we can think about. Or, there may be old wounds, festering in our subconscious that just won’t go away; that affect our daily lives in many ways. I think you’ll also agree that a journey of healing can often be demoralising, frustrating and downright confusing at times.
So let me try to set the record straight. In this article I will seek to debunk some of the myths around healing. I’m also going to show you how you can heal yourself, but maybe not in the way that you expect to be healed. By the end, I hope you will come away with a clearer picture of what healing means to you, and how you can heal yourself in your daily life.
The First Step: Unlearning
The first thing is to forget all your preconceptions about what healing actually is. At this point I’m not going to give you a definition of healing, because I fear it would either be far too broad, as to not really give you anything, or too narrow. Healing is one of those things that will be different for everyone – it will simply be what they need at the time (not necessarily what they want.
This forgetting of preconceptions is not only important for the flow of this article, but also on any healing journey. Most people go into a journey of healing with an idea or goal of what their healing will look like; no more cancer, being able to walk again, being able to function in society, going back to work. Or, when they realise that there’s no hope of these things, there’s the feeling that healing has somehow eluded them, that it’s no longer possible. However, healing can be found in the most unlikely and unlooked for ways.
Here are a few of the major false expectations that taint a healing journey:
- Healing is only physical – There are a myriad of different ways to heal ourselves. Physical healing is just one aspect. So, let’s remember that we are complete beings and not just physical ones, who require healing on all levels; physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual.
- To heal you just need to take away the pain – Pain has a great function. It’s there to tell us that there’s something wrong. However, pain itself is not the problem – it’s what is causing the pain that’s the problem. Many people will disable their journey of healing by seeking to take away the pain with medicatiLion or distraction. However, to really heal we must journey through our pain to the source, dealing with whatever that may be and coming out the other side a changed person.
- ‘Listen to the experts, they always know best’ – When you put all your faith in the experts, such as doctors, you not only make them responsible for something that belongs to you, but you also take away all your self empowerment. Yes, it’s always recommended to consult with people in the know, whether it be doctors, psychiatrists or alternative healers. However, it’s very important to realise that the driver along your healing journey is you. Never accept something blindly if it doesn’t sit right with you, and never transfer responsibility for you illness onto someone else. It’s not fair on them or you. Remember, it’s your journey.
And here’s the number one, bestselling myth out there, that almost everybody will believe at some point in their healing journeys:
‘If I don’t beat this illness, I haven’t healed’
It can be a huge blow for people when they discover that they won’t recover from the illness or infliction that they have. They will likely experience some form of grief and likely some loss of identity. However, healing on some level is always possible. You may even find that through accepting and even embracing your illness, you change in a very positive way. Thus, often the illness is the tool used for healing.
Stephen Levine recounts in his book, ‘Healing into Life and Death’;
‘A friend very ill with advanced cancer, visited a highly respected Zen Master, hoping for some answers to her questions about healing. After explaining her circumstances, she asked, “Do I need to take on some spiritual path in order to be healed?” The Zen Master smiled, leaned forward, pointing directly to her heart, and whispered, “you are the path.”‘