Last week, I wrote about illness being your body’s way of guiding you back to health, not away from it, but the only way to get there is to listen. This week, in Part 2 of 2 of this blog, I plan to share 3 effective tools that can help guide you to self-healing.
The healing journey is long, just as the journey of sickness and disease is long. We will enter it at different stages of life, with different experiences, and have different challenges. However, whenever my pain and suffering have become too much for me to bear, I have found three guiding principles helpful in connecting with my true yearning to be well, and to heal.
There are three general principles I find useful in the self-healing journey. They are:
- Eliminate “should” – The word “should” is a horrible word and I try to outlaw it as quickly as possible when working with myself, and when working with any of my clients or patients. I don’t want to, and don’t believe any of us desire, to live a life under the yoke of obligation. It is my true belief that we are here on this planet to pursue our own unique purpose, which connects with a higher purpose. Most everyone will agree with this at a core level; that we all want to pursue a deeper meaning of life through our everyday activities. This means that it isn’t a matter of what we “should” do, but rather a matter of what this higher purpose, or our True Self, wants to do. Our True Self is not interested in doing things that are going to hurt us, it only wants what’s truly in our best interest. This is a powerful realization, especially when we begin asking questions like: “do I really want this, or that?” or “what is it that I really want?”
- Overcoming guilt and shame; by cultivating self-love – Guilt and shame go hand in hand with “should.” We “should” ourselves right into feeling guilty, which then leads us to creating an identity consumed by shame. There is a huge difference between these two feelings, and they are important to distinguish, and overcome. Guilt is the idea that “I have done something wrong.” It is a little easier to come to terms with logically, and rationalize ourselves out of. We feel guilty for all kinds of reasons, some of them silly, and some of them really serious. The more serious ones often more directly support our Shame. Shame is the idea that “I am bad, wrong, or unworthy,” and is a deeper wounding than guilt, often as the result of an unresolved and hidden trauma. Shame is an insidious spiritual wound that keeps us locked in suffering. The only way out of it is through self-love. Cultivating, often through some sort of spiritual practice, kindness and compassion for ourselves is the healing of this wound. This is not an intellectual exercise and will be incredibly difficult for some, though it is the route to freedom.
- “Lean into the pain/suffering” – Throughout the journey of self-healing there will be obstacles. It is not an easy endeavor to look into ourselves, to become aware of our guilt and shame. In fact, it is the most difficult journey, and all of the individuals on it I consider the most courageous warriors. We are not courageous because we are fearless. We are courageous because we are gripped by fear, experiencing pain and suffering on a daily basis, AND CHOOSE to continue on. We choose to look our pain and suffering directly in the face and question it, befriend it, and learn all that it has to teach us. You are a warrior not because you are able to defeat your disease, but rather because you are able to heal from (with help from) your disease.
I hope this helps you feel empowered to meet yourself where you are at and fight for your well being. You deserve it.
~ By, Node Smith, ND