What is healing?

davMy whole motivation for my blog is to write about healing, so I thought I would take the opportunity to explore what I understand healing to be.

Many years ago, when grappling with the weight of CFS/ME and trying with all my might to make it go away, I believed that healing was an end goal that would be achieved with a lot of concentrated effort. There were times when my pursuit of health through many healing techniques became almost like self flagellation because I wasn’t always doing things in a loving way towards my body. It was more push, push, push. I used to think eventually I would achieve health and then I would be ‘sorted’. As if health was some sort of fixed entity. It seems ridiculous to me now. For a long time I focused on healing my body by eating “perfectly” and using naturopathic techniques and acupuncture. Gradually, finding which foods were nurturing to me and which were not, did help me to improve my health a great deal. So did naturopathy and acupuncture but what slowed down my progress was the push,push, push attitude I had.

It took me a long time before I realised that doing anything obsessively is not healthy. It had inevitably created a lot of stress, which is counterproductive to healing. My Mum used to suggest that I put away the stick I was beating myself with. There was a lot of self hatred and frustration directed at myself because of a belief that I had that my condition was somehow my own fault.  I suspect the origin of this goes back to the early days of ME/CFS when I was only 9 and I was treated as though my illness wasn’t real by medical professionals, who advised my parents to send me to school despite my obvious distress. I also spent many weeks in hospital. It was a very traumatic time, which over time made me feel like there was something really ‘wrong’ with me and I found it very difficult to trust myself and certainly didn’t trust other people either.

Nowadays, I have a completely different understanding of what healing is. I accept that I will probably never be 100% healed, like everyone else, as there will always be more to work through, sit with, nurture or cleanse. I can accept this now because I have a clearer picture of how the mind, body and spirit all work together. Something might come up emotionally that may then have an effect physically in my body. The seasons will always change and there will always be seasonal illnesses. The moon phases will always increase my sensitivity. There will always be stress in life, regardless of what I do but I can remind myself to focus inwards and open myself up to guidance on what may be helpful at that time. Sometimes the best I can do is have a really good cry and just sit with whatever is causing distress. Sometimes a solution appears later, or often all that is needed is to accept where I am right now. Warts and all. Healing can come just by letting go and allowing myself to feel it all. The body has much more of a chance to do its amazing job of renewing cells when you stop fighting it. My new mantra of late is “thank you for this learning experience” and I find this really helpful. A challenging situation seems less menacing when I take the attitude towards it that I am learning something. It makes me feel more empowered and strong.

So, what I understand healing to be, ultimately, is what happens magically when you practice self acceptance, letting go, allowing and taking care of yourself in a way that is kind to yourself and not full of striving.




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