Sunday, December 1, 2013

Healing Happens

Imagine the following~~
A smile slowly spreads across the face of a woman whose abuse began as a toddler as she realizes, at last, that she is precious.
Two individuals, followers of religions with conflicting creeds, each find release into a similar experience of peace or ecstatic union.
An atheist contemplates a color-composite image of the NGC 300 galaxy, seven million light years from Earth, and is spontaneously lifted from a depression that had convinced him of life’s futility.
A young mother, rushing through a chaotic morning, stops at a red light. The silhouette of an old cottonwood backlit by the morning sun breaks through her agitation and peace fills her.
These are only a few examples of a phenomenon that most of us have experienced. One moment, life is struggle. The next we are liberated and, even if it lasts for only a moment, we are changed.
As a psychotherapist, I’ve long been fascinated by the question of how such healing occurs. When I was new to this work, I thought it took great effort and studied my craft hard, believing the lion’s share of change was up to me. Now, 30~plus years later, I know otherwise. I have learned, quite simply, that healing happens. 

Whether it’s recovering from trauma or our human proclivity to become bogged down in the particulars of our lives, grace is always here, waiting to assist us. The same force that set the NGC 300 galaxy into motion pulses through every molecule of these stardust bodies of ours and fuels each action we take. It is ever present, always available, so close that it often breaks through on its own, suddenly, gloriously. Other times, we must clear a path.
When someone comes to me for therapy, the way has already been opened. Grace has been welcomed in and is free to move. Our task is to not impede the flow, opening again and again as we allow healing to unfold and marvel as layers fall away.
Life is often painful, with wounds coming in various flavors and from many sources. Self~protection is a normal response. But shields developed for protection become thicker with each subsequent hurt, until they, too, do us harm by preventing a full experience of living. Or perhaps our wound is of the rushing too fast to notice variety, and busyness itself is our shield. There seem any number of ways we can restrict the flow. Regardless of the particulars, life’s luster is diminished or seems always just beyond our reach.
There is another choice. We can open to grace and allow it to move through us, letting it dissolve our world~hardened edges. We can willingly place ourselves into hands larger and more capable than our own,  trusting the guidance and the pacing of the healing that will come. We can, in a word, surrender.
We are like infinitesimally small icy particles enveloped by a warm and luminous sea. Our task is to allow both the buoying currents and the crashing waves to melt us. Then we will know that luminosity is all.
Yes, healing happens. And on a weekend dedicated to the celebration of gratitude, that’s something to be thankful for.

So let us be thankful, my friends. And while we're at it, let's melt a bit more, too!

Love and gratitude for your presence in this world,

Loanne Marie

And for a view of the NGC 300, click here.


Rena said...

Thank you. I am grateful that healing happens in my life, too!

Loanne Marie said...

We're in intense times, indeed. It seems that there's a whole lotta healing happening these days AND a whole lotta people who are struggling more intensely. I'm holding the belief that struggling is what healing~in~action often looks like, so whether it's pretty or not, healing IS happening. That is my prayer. Amen

Anonymous said...

After almost two months in bed, or in my nightgown if I made it out of bed - I am more than thankful for my new medications and the life I can lead now!

Loanne Marie said...

You are certainly one of the people my comment above referred to...struggling as healing~in~action. Grace takes many forms, and for you it seems to have appeared in the guise of medication. I am thrilled for you that things have begun to turn. Congratulations, and thanks for reading and for writing.

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Leia Marie