In session yesterday, the question came from a client:
What exactly IS healing?
We often talk about healing as though it is the process of reaching a certain state outside of yourself. A process of cleansing, of leaving behind those parts of you that make you sick or dirty or injured, and instead finding some magical idea of wholeness, and if you could just pull this idea of wholeness into your body you would be healed. We think of healing as moving away from our current state and into some ideal state of peace or ease. But these states often feel unreachable because, let’s face it, when we are in pain or crisis those ideals sound just about as real as rainbow-colored unicorns carrying bowls of sorbet in dream-cooled buckets that arrive the instant your tongue longs for a cooling treat. Those ideas of states of peace and ease often seem ridiculous and unreachable compared to our currents state of crisis.
I remember when I was in pain day in and day out. I couldn’t remember what not being in pain felt like. To be able to imagine life without pain was incomprehensible; it was like trying to imagine life without other things I’d become used to, like tap-water or the internet or big earrings. I could kind of imagine it, but it didn’t seem real. So visualizing healing in this way was extremely difficult.
But here’s the deal — healing isn’t the process of moving out of where you are and into a new state. Healing is the process of returning the Soul to Itself. And so health is the state of Soul in union with Itself. It is Union. It is Yoga (to yolk = union of mind, body and spirit). So healing, really, is the process of reuniting with the self.
When people come to me in order to heal, we don’t try to get them to quantum leap into new states of being. Rather, we enter into a process (not unlike the one described here) of removing the gunk that is in the way of them relaxing into the freedom of their deepest self. We begin a process of homecoming. The “gunk” that I mentioned often takes the form of old or outdated belief systems, outside “shoulds” they’ve accepted that aren’t in integrity with their essential self, stuck emotions, family or cultural programming, and self-punishment or self-sabotage cycles. All of these things pile up in the aura and/or body and act as barriers to uniting with ourselves. And when can’t connect with ourselves, we can’t connect as well to friends, loved ones, and to Source. We forget that our true nature is spirit and we get caught up in the dramas of the physical world.
Healing, then, is really the process of becoming established in the Self. As Ayurveda defines it, health is Svastha – establishment in the self (the mind, body, ego and self-esteem) and the Self (soul or consciousness). Healing is simply clearing out the clutter so that we can establish our connection.
Healing is just a pathway, and the destination is within you.