“Healing in its fullest sense requires looking into our heart and expanding our awareness of who we are.” ~ Mitchell L. Gaynor, Healing Essence …
Who am I? Do I take the time to ask myself questions and listen to the answers from within? For many of us, self-knowledge is frightening, and therefore, healing can be frightening. This is one of the main reasons we tend to enjoy entertainment in our lives–because it allows us to pass time without having to reflect on who or what we are, what we want, and what we believe. Movies, sports, video games, Facebook… they all have one major thing in common–they allow us to not have to reflect so we do not have to look inside our hearts… our souls… our very being.
One reason for which others are frightened by the thought of “expanding our awareness of who we are,” is that they are afraid that as they learn more about themselves, they will lose much of what they now find comfortable. For me, as I have grown in my life, I have given up a number of things that I had previously treated as a necessity, that, in reality, were more of a distraction. I even know quite a few individuals who are unwilling to give up any unnecessary comforts they have in their lives right now–over-consumption of alcohol, using others for personal gains or satisfaction, and gambling into debt are a few of the things that easily come to mind.
If my heart or spirit has been broken, the only way that I can heal is to get in touch with how I really feel inside. Similar to healing a broken bone, we need to know where the pain is located, what caused the break, and what shape the bone is in right now. If I have done something that has hurt me deeply, like causing another person pain or doing something that violates my moral principles, then I need to look inside and find the source of my discomfort, and then deal with it on its terms, not necessarily those that are the easiest for me to handle.
The truth is that we are all hurting in our own ways. But healing does not necessarily come from a prescription or a trip to the doctor’s office–much of our healing comes from looking inside and recognizing the stress, the negative feelings and attitudes, the sorrow, the shame, the pain, and the hopelessness that we keep locked up inside ourselves and that continues to gnaw away at us from the inside, causing much of our physical pain and discomfort. We need to heal our spirit by knowing our spirit, and then our bodies will follow suit.
Make time today to reflect upon who you are inside. For deeper reflection, do so while looking at yourself in the mirror.
Questions to consider:
If entertainment keeps us from knowing ourselves by keeping us distracted, then how is it helping us?
What kinds of pain and sorrow are still inside of you, things with which you have not yet dealt clearly?
From where have we gotten the idea that healing has to come from outside, from a doctor or nurse or spiritual leader, instead of from ourselves?
For further thought:
“Healing is the journey. The destination is yourself. The full recognition of all the different aspects of yourself–our joy, your sorrow, your pain, your pleasure–all lead you to the source of who you are. Only by having intimate contact with this source can you experience the fullness of your life. Only by fearlessly looking within can you embrace the landscape of your life and open yourself completely to all the love and compassion that lives inside you.” ~ Philip M. Berk, Letting the Light In