What is healing? How do we respond when someone says they are sick or implies they have a problem in need of healing?
Gosh these questions have disturbed me since I was a child and the answer was a spoonful of pink sugary amoxicillin or some pill to swallow, amidst still unhappy circumstances.
What is healing? How is it we can have entire medical systems that fail to answer, or even ask, this fundamental question?
Is healing even our goal? And what does it look like?
1. curing or curative; prescribed or helping to heal.
2. growing sound; getting well; mending.
3. the act or process of regaining health:
a new drug to accelerate healing.
Healing is also a verb. We are in the process of healing, perhaps, though many people do not feel they are healing, but rather becoming more fragmented, hidden, fearful, resentful, alienated, in pain, etc. as they move through the world, as the years go by and there’s more burden on the organs in their bodies and the systems that function (or fail to) outside of themselves.
Does it make sense to have entire systems of medicine, government, education, and even religion of people who don’t have common mindsets, goals or even definitions of basic words like “healing”?
I can hardly remember a time when I trusted the general population or even most of those around me, instinctively. I’ve felt levels of trust for individuals, and even more so at times for mt life path, or life itself, but this has required a certain, often large, level of retreat from the “outside world”.
Healing is not simple, or linear. To demand healing happen in a linear fashion is to be as aggressive as what caused the injury.
Anger implies caring, it implies investment in the world, a relationship, something.
Apathy, on the other hand, implies detachment, disinterest, not caring, not investing, and perhaps there is a well of anger underneath, anger that has lost hope, anger that has been lost, drifted away at sea, let go of, because the world doesn’t seem worth investing in. Because things are too far gone: relationships are beyond repair, health problems are beyond reversibility, the earth has been too disregarded, the feminine has no voice, the child no space or place or protection or freedom. There’s no real “help” anywhere.
Now, I’m one who has long said, “Anything’s possible.” This has been my *healing* mantra, if you will. I still believe it when I contemplate deeply; I still believe that with proper intentions, belief and healing, relationships, the earth, our bodies, society can all be transformed and restored.
But as time goes on, as I grow in years and life experiences, some possibilities seem so unlikely to me that I naturally discount their potential. We all do this everyday and call it sanity, though it is only half sane and only a limited idea of what sanity could be.
Ultimately it becomes less and less sane if less and less seems possible and we are severely limited by what we think our own and other’s potential is on a daily basis.
If “healing” means fitting in or blending with a social order I hate, I will resist healing, I will choose to be sick. In fact I would prefer to be home “sick” many days over out there in our current culture.
Sick or healthy or *healing* I often prefer solitude or very specific gatherings to the random chaos of life in an aggressive society I despise. (Yes, I am using words like hate and despise more freely than I have before.)
My body reflects this hatred, this lack of trust, this feeling unsafe, this sense of limitation, this feeling of aloneness, this growing apathy inside of me.
My face reflects something else.
Often when I look at my face, I’m surprised to see it looks quite nice, like a “healing” person, like a healer, like someone with medicine.
The body doesn’t lie in either case. I am distraught and beyond hope or anger or investment in this world most of the time, which I feel in my body, and I do transform this disconnection into a mysterious medicine every day, which my face shows.
Part of “being” medicine (a.k.a healing) is that you offer something beautiful because you have composted a lot of pain, a lot of falsity, a lot of bullshit, aggression, apathy, power imbalances, and so much more. You’ve sifted through it all daily.
You’ve sat with it, mixed it all up in your mixing bowl and now it’s food, it’s pretty, it’s nourishing even to look at because you’ve made space for the medicine.
I don’t know if what I do could rightfully be called “inner work”; I think of it more like retreating and making space for medicine to manufacture through me, inside of me.
So I make medicine and I am a healer, not exactly out of any process of formal education, but straight from the source of medicine- the working through of what disturbs me most, the alchemizing of my hatred, apathy, disinterest, even victimization, sense of being abused, oppressed and unfairly judged.
I do carry a certain healing frequency at times, a lightness, a holding of complexity, an open channel, a clear seeing awareness. This is simultaneously the hardest and easiest thing about being me: a kind medicinal face with insides that are often collapsing with agony.
Enter at your own risk. Heal in your own way. Make your own medicine; healers need healing too.