One of my patients sent me the following teaching on healing. It resonated with me and is what I strive to learn and teach.
Healing is a journey, not a destination.
When we go towards and lean into the pain, is truly when we start to heal it. In society, we are taught to run away from the pain or to get rid of it. People take medication so they don't feel their pain or have surgery to cut it out. Now, there is definitely a time and place for medication and surgery, I'm not saying there isn't. What I do advocate for is to learn from your pain. Step into it and see what your body is trying to tell you.
When I was in labour with my 2nd child and the contractions were intensifying, I did not think that I could go on without medication. My doula then said to me: "What if you stop fighting the pain and embrace it?" That made a world of difference. Instead of wishing the contractions away, I welcomed them because I would get to meet my baby sooner. Each contraction symbolized my body hugging and guiding my baby out to meet me. The pain, though still intense, decreased significantly and allowed me to birth naturally, without medications or any medical intervention, which was my desire.
Welcome the pain and embrace it as a part of yourself that needs healing.
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation
Healing is being situated in love. Healing is not just the courage to love, but to be loved. It is the courage to want to be happy not just for others, but for ourselves as well. It is interrogating our bodies as an artifact of accumulated traumas and doing the work of processing that trauma by developing the capacity to notice and be with our pain. If we are to heal, then we must allow our awareness to settle into and integrate with the pain and discomfort that has been habitually avoided. We cannot medicate the pain away. We embrace it, and in so doing establish a new relationship with the experience. We must see that there is something that must be befriended. This is the true nature of our experience, and in finally approaching this experience we contact basic sanity. . . .
Healing is movement and work toward wholeness. Healing is never a definite location but something in process. It is the basic ordinary work of staying engaged with our own hurt and limitations. Healing does not mean forgiveness either, though it is a result of it. Healing is knowing our woundedness; it is developing an intimacy with the ways in which we suffer. Healing is learning to love the wound because love draws us into relationship with it instead of avoiding feeling the discomfort.
Healing means we are holding the space for our woundedness and allowing it to open our hearts to the reality that we are not the only people who are hurt, lonely, angry, or frustrated. We must also release the habitual aggression that characterizes our avoidance of trauma or any discomfort. My goal is to befriend my pain, to relate to it intimately as a means to end the suffering of desperately trying to avoid it. Opening our hearts to woundedness helps us to understand that everyone else around us carries around the same woundedness. . . .
Perhaps what I have come to understand, finally, is that somehow I have become the one I have always wanted. This is why I do the things that I do. There is a fierce love that wakes me up every morning, that makes me tell my stories, refuses to let me apologize for my being here, blesses me with the capacity to be silent, alone, and grieving when I most need to be. You have to understand that this is what I mean when I say healing.
May all beings be seen, held kindly, and loved. May we all one day surrender to the weight of being healed.
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Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization Chiropractic in Ottawa, Canada.