What Is Healing Really?
I was sent this picture by a friend who often sends me quotes and pictures for my blog but it also triggered a memory and I realized it was just the quote I needed for my blog. Healing is something we all search for whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally.
Healing means to restore. There are times we are hurt so badly by others and pray for our hearts to heal. We use the phrase our hearts are broken. I have had people ask me how to heal a broken relationship, how to heal a friendship, how to heal from trauma or devastation, how to heal physically from an illness or accident and how to heal our faith. If you replace healing with restore in all of those it seems to broaden what people are asking such as how to restore a relationship.
I think the problem comes in that when something is “broken” or damaged, people just do not seem to grasp that it will never be the same again. That does not mean it can not be good. It simply means that if we spend our time trying to restore what once was, we will be disappointed time and again.
Being chronically ill and physically disabled, healing is very important. I think many go into this quest wanting to be what they were before they became chronically ill or disabled and it will not happen. We can improve but our age and our bodies have changed through the sickness so we have to be sure and realize that healing does not mean be made perfect. It means to restore. It does not mean that the damage done will disappear but that we become restored in the sense of accepting our limitations and embracing life in a new way.
I have spent too many years fighting to be “whole” again and then a few years back it hit me that all the time and energy I had poured into what is not possible could have been spent with my loved ones and doing things in a little different way than what I could 34 plus years ago. I have fought my way back up to something like what I was but the damage that was done will always bring me back down if I push too hard.
I discovered that one of the biggest factors in healing is forgiveness, This includes forgiveness of others, forgiveness of ourselves, forgiveness of our bodies, etc. With forgiveness comes acceptance and with acceptance comes healing or a restoring of what is the part that truly makes us the person we are.
I can remember being angry at being so sick in the prime of my life and angry that my body would not do what I wanted. And it was about that time that I learned about grieving. When something needs healing or restoring, it means we have lost something…lost a loved one, a friendship, a partner or spouse, lost the ability to do, lost our strength, lost our health, etc.
When we learn how to forgive what a freeing thing that is. It takes the weight of the problem off of us and helps us look at things with compassion and understanding. This old vessel of mine has been broken and cracked and mended and patched and the biggest thing it needs is acceptance and love and understanding.
I have worked hard to get back on my feet again. In the past few months I have gotten to where I can sit in my power chair again without being in such agony that I could not stand it. And I got there from doing what my godfather taught me which was to forgive my failing body and to treat it like I would treat my dearest friend…with love, compassion and understanding so that I could restore my self. I needed to bring harmony to my heart and my body so that even though the damage is still there my heart, mind and body were working together.
I had to decide what was it that I really wanted? Did I want to be thirty again? Were looks more important than healing? Did I want to be exactly like I was before I first got sick? And the answer is no to all. What I truly wanted was to be able to enjoy my sons and grand baby and my family and loved ones. I will never be thirty again and I do not want to be. I like the me that I am inside. And evidently something is working right for me now and has been restored because people I see face to face tell me that they do not even see me as sick or chronically ill. They say my personality and my heart shine through so brightly that they do not see the hospital bed, power chair or forearm crutches or even the oxygen hose on my face.
The healing that had occurred was of my heart and soul so that I had finally reached acceptance of how I am. I quit letting my health and chronic illness control my life. I took control and like the words from the song “Live Strong” that inspires me so much, I told my health that it might take my body but it would never take my soul…my faith…my heart.
.If people are always searching for what they once had before things were broken then they spend their lives unhappy and always looking for that elusive healing that does not come. We can not go back in age. Oh yeah, we can have surgeries to make us look younger and do things that enhance our looks but the body does not lie. We are still the age we are and will never be the age we were before we got sick and our bodies know it. I see people who are always searching for the relationship to be like it was before the breakup, the health to be like it was before the illness, for a complete restoring to what it was and that will never be. And in this state, they will forever feel discontented and will miss out on the real healing that comes with forgiveness, compassion and acceptance..
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