Healing defined

letting goWhen initially approaching a holistic or spiritual practice in search of healing, there is often a desire for that healing to be a complete restoration in the situation of concern. This is entirely understandable, but it represents a misunderstanding of the nature of healing.

Healing is sought to restore the circumstance to wholeness: broken relationships, dire financial situations, disease processes, and reduced function after illness or injury are sought to be restored to the previous state or to a state of “perfection” but this allows for only a very narrow healing experience.

True healing is a larger process – one of returning to wholeness, and wholeness comes in many sizes, shapes and formats.

Healing in a relationship that has broken may mean a restoration of the bond between people, or it may mean that the separation facilitates a new respect, understanding and growth of one or more of the parties involved.

Healing in the case of a disease may not mean a return to full function, or even a cure but may come in an acceptance of the self as they are, or the “new normal” that is now a part of their life. There is always spiritual growth and expansion that occurs when we move beyond the more youthful insistence that we get things our way, and open ourselves to a deeper wisdom – the wisdom of acceptance.

Some people find a new voice, while others find new activities. Think about the amazing “Sci-Fi” prosthetics emerging from university research to help amputees continue post-injury or surgery. While no one would choose to lose an arm or a leg, many have found new perspectives on life after their surgery – perspectives they may have never had the chance to explore outside of the incident that left them with an alternate circumstance.

Perhaps instead of a reset to what existed before; healing becomes that space where the new paradigm joins with the peace of acceptance, and a heart that is open to the new path that lies ahead.

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