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The Paradox of Healing

Have you ever considered that healing can be completely paradoxical? It is about doing both more and less. It is about hope coupled with a positive outlook, and it is about being totally accepting of what is quite simply so in the moment. It is about tapping into our own inner strength, wisdom, and resilience, and it is about asking for and accepting help. Ultimately healing requires both extraordinary selfishness (in the most self-loving sense of the word) and great compassion for both ourselves and others.

Doing More and Doing Less…

When a crisis arises we want to do something… anything… everything. We research and experiment, spending time, money, and energy exploring first one approach, treatment, or strategy and then another. When the crisis is a physical one, often we find the need to try everything—special nutrients, appropriate exercises, healing practices, such as visualization and meditation, and more. Yet our bodies have their own healing rhythm and will not be cajoled or coerced to go beyond their limitations to accommodate endless agendas and expectations. More than anything, what we need to learn is how to be gentle and patient with ourselves as, step by step, we discern our own healing journey.

Hope and Acceptance…

Hope is a survival trait. Without it, we lose heart, and without heart, we become susceptible to despair. When we can no longer see any options, we are liable to give in or give up. To keep hope alive is to hold a positive vision for the future. Yet to be fully present in our own life, we must also be willing to be with what is true in the moment. If we are always waiting for when… when I am stronger, pain-free, thinner, healthier, wealthier, married, divorced, hired, retired, etc… before we can enjoy where we are right now or commit to something we are passionate about or dare to explore something different, then we may never experience newfound joys or reach beyond the status quo.

Self-Reliance and Receptivity…

Our response-ability, that is to say our ability to respond to the circumstances of our lives, is an important key to healing. Ultimately we must each decide for ourselves what is best, most curative, and most nurturing. If not, we give away our power and, with it, our will. Yet none of us is wise enough… resourceful enough… or strong enough alone. The ability to balance self-reliance with being receptive to all manner of help and support is another essential component of the healing process.

Selfishness and Compassion…

Healing is about a commitment to exquisite self-care that grows from a willingness to listen deeply to our own needs, preferences, and inklings and then invest the time and energy needed to fully nurture ourselves. Often this requires saying “No!” to the requests of others in order to conserve our strength and attend to our own process. Yet our own pain can also awaken us more fully to the pain of another, and that awareness often inspires us to reach out and touch someone, to say “I understand” with deep kindness and compassion. The great miracle is that, as we open our hearts to others, we encourage our own healing process as well.

It is important to remember that healing includes becoming more and more authentic and choosing to do more of those things that bring joy into our lives. Much is revealed to us when we pay loving attention to who we are, what really matters to us personally, and how we can make judicious choices that honor our whole self.

Excerpt from Healing is a Journey >>