Modern medicine is based upon the notion of battle. We battle germs and fight for life. As soon as we feel pain or discomfort, we immediately try to stop it from happening and look for some way to soothe what we are going through. We feel we must change our illness or problems, overpower them with our expertise.
This orientation leads to a never ending battle with all that impinges upon us. After one illness or problem is conquered, another arises. We live in a state of constant insecurity where there is little room for ease of mind.
Healing from within brings inner peace with it. It arises from a different orientation towards all the experiences of life. We are taught to stop, pay attention and respect all that comes to us. It is as if we were re-focusing a camera, receiving our experience through a different lens.
Usually there is a deep sense that pain is bad, and must be removed at any cost. Pain is not bad. Pain arises from lack of balance and contains much information. It brings many messages along with it. When we see our pain as a messenger and learn how to respect and listen to it, healing begins in all kinds of ways.
The first step in healing from within is to learn how to see pain as an ally, to learn how to “dialogue” with it. For most of us this seems almost unthinkable.
At first this requires a complete turn around. Instead of tensing up and gearing for battle, we learn how to pause and understand there is a lesson that we have to learn. When we do this we find the pain or problem often comes holding a gift in its hands.
Illness often comes when we feel defeated. We may not wish to struggle anymore. Some people become ill when they are overly exhausted. The illness is the only way they can give themselves permission to stop, rest, and make much needed changes in their lives. Each illness has it’s own story. The same is true with psychological or personal problems that grow strong, demanding our attention.
When someone is in physical pain and suddenly understands what is troubling them, the physical pain often subsides. For full healing to take place it may be essential to make changes in one’s total life. Cancer can be suppressed for many years, and then it returns. When it reappears we must ask, “Why not? What is going on in my total life?”
“We become sick becomes we act in sickening ways,”
We are all experts at brushing things under the carpet. Then the carpet begins to roll up at the corners, and we feel we are coming unglued. During illness the body is rebelling. It is demanding that we pay attention to all that has been unattended. We may have been pushing ourselves for too long. Now our body is fed up. Stop and listen to me, it pleads. When we learn how to listen and how to reply, an entirely new life begins. Then pain and illness become an opportunity for vital change.
Learning To Listen
We usually listen only to part of ourselves. The rest is rejected. But no matter what we are rejecting, soon or later we must come up against it and face it straight on.
Rejecting something over and over never makes it go away. In fact, it will come back time and again, just for you to accept it. Everything needs to be loved and accepted, including our illness and pain. The best way is to make friends with the pain. Fighting intensifies it. If we can relax into it for a little while and explore it, many possibilities arise. Natural healing is always available in all situations, but it can be cut off by fighting and fear. When we let go, and allow ourselves to speak to the pain, and to listen to what it has to say, incredible changes can happen.
To do this, we simply close our eyes, stop fighting, and ask our pain what it is saying to us, what does it need from us right now? Then we become very quiet and listen deeply. An answer may not come right away. Patience is needed. As we do this process over and over, fear diminishes and we begin to hear.
Answers come in different ways. Some hear answers within. Others see images, some have dreams. We learn to be open to all that comes and in this openness, we learn.
Look at your illness or problem now. Picture it within and give it some kind of shape. What does it look like to you? Describe or draw it. Now, look more deeply at what the image really means. What is this image saying to you about yourself and the life you are leading? Listen carefully.
Next, ask the image any questions you may have and let it answer you. (Ask what it wants from you and what it would need to go away). See if you can give it what it needs.
This attitude is called making friends with the pain. When we do this illness does not become something foreign and frightening. We become better able to understanding what the true causes are.
For example, if we are sad for too long and have not done enough crying, our bodies may begin to cry for us through the illness we are going through. If we feel that life is meaningless, our bodies can start to express this by shriveling up and dying. If we have held onto difficult attitudes, our bodies will bear the burden of them. Persistent negative attitudes become wounds upon our entire selves.
Our attitudes are messages we give our body. Though we may not be aware of it, if we feel life is a dirty battle, we are telling our body to tense up with shame all day long. Once we begin the crucial work of taking responsibility for and changing our attitudes, our entire body can begin to experience on-going ease instead of dis-ease. We must look at the basic attitudes we live with and ask ourselves if they are conducive to our health, or do they contain the very seeds of pain?
In order to heal from within, it is essential to handle these long standing patterns, to see them and change them to attitudes and patterns that are productive of well-being. Health comes with learning to say “yes” to all of our experience, in being willing to experience it just as it is. Wellness emerges out of the balance and harmony of all parts of ourselves.
When we are well, we feel whole, accepting and in harmony with ourselves and the entire world we live in. Like a fresh water stream flowing, this state of being brings continual refreshment and healing day by day.