We are all accustomed to hearing about the healing journey, spiritual healing, energy healing, Reiki healing etc but what exactly does ‘healing’ mean? The term ‘healing’ means becoming whole, ie. being aware of yourself on all levels (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually) and accepting, expressing and integrating all that you are. It is not denying aspects of yourself and living your life according to the expectations and needs of others but loving yourself enough to be who you really are.
The word energy is derived from the Greek words ‘en’ meaning in or inside and ‘ergon’ meaning work, force, power or effort. Healing energy can therefore be interpreted as doing our inner work so that we can become whole.
We have all had aches and pains, cuts and bruises, infection and illnesses. We may have needed antibiotics, stitches or painkillers to help and taken time out to rest and recuperate but essentially our bodies heal themselves.
We have all suffered emotional pain and injuries too. We have all experienced unpleasant painful feelings such as anger, fear, sadness, loneliness and rejection. Our natural response is to deny these feelings as we are too ashamed to admit to them. After all, emotional pain is harder to see and therefore easier to ignore. However when these feelings are suppressed in the subconscious mind, the body always responds in some way – muscular tension, pain and stiffness, and the autonomic nervous system floods the body with anxiety-stimulating stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol.
We learn through experience that society does not deem it appropriate to express painful emotions and we even call them ‘negative’ to reinforce the idea that they are unwanted. However, when these emotions are not expressed, they become stored in our body, energy system and unconscious mind. When painful emotions are suppressed or denied, the act of suppression leads to anxiety, worry or depression, physical illness or addition. People usually turn to painkillers, medication or self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.
Pain from the past continues to affect the present. It can take years to even acknowledge that painful emotions exist. But until we can finally admit to ourselves that something is wrong, we will find it very difficult to heal. We remain in this pattern of suppression and denial until we are ready to release and transform.
Becoming whole means being in good health and balance of all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Wholeness involves acknowledging and accepting all that we are. First it is necessary to discover and accept the more ‘negative’ aspects of our character and all the painful emotions we carry.
Few people genuinely love or understand themselves enough. It is so much easier to judge ourselves and find ourselves lacking in some way, not being worthy enough or lovable enough. Understanding is key: understanding where those painful emotions came from and the beliefs we have around them. We must forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made and we must also forgive others for the mistakes they have made towards us. If you cannot forgive, you must at least learn to detach from the pain and let it go. It is the only way to heal, the only way to set yourself free from the pain of the past.
The best way to develop love, understanding and forgiveness is through a spiritual practice such as meditation; a form of healing such as spiritual, energy or Reiki healing; healing meditation connecting with the energy of love; or even counselling. Meditation helps you enter the witness state of detachment from thoughts and feelings and experience stillness and clarity of mind. Healing treatments can help you connect with the divine energy of source, make you aware of what’s in your heart and fully experience your feelings. Counselling can help you identify painful emotions and explore their origin. By making the connection with your heart, the soul is more able to connect with the body and infuse the body with more light, or soul energy, that helps you release and move forward. I do believe that the body wants to heal itself; we just need to get out of the way and let it happen.
A Life-long Process
Healing is a life-long process. It involves learning about ourselves and being willing to change. I believe that meditation is one of the most profound methods of self-healing we can do and is something that can be practiced regularly by everyone. You can meditate upon your thoughts and emotions and discover where they came from. Vipassana Meditation teaches you how to choose and master your thoughts, thereby influencing your moods and feelings, which has a direct bearing on the physical body. If you practice healing meditation, you can direct a beam of bright white light into areas of tension, pain or illness and visualise the body healing itself. By being willing to change, accept and integrate all parts of ourselves, we can all lead healthier and happier lives.
Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. For further information about her courses, workshops and therapies, please visit her website at http://helenshortland.com.