Why You Will Never Heal Yourself
Uff, that’s a big title, isn’t it? After all, we are all in the business of healing ourselves or getting enlightened, aren’t we?
Well, at least I have been for the last 15 years or so. And I have come a long way. Really. I used to be depressed, have anxiety attacks, IBS and was overall just not able to play the game of life very well.
AND I really went for it. I tried everything. Therapy, meditation, yoga, entheogens…what else is there?
The truth is that all those things did help. I’m much more embodied, much more grounded, much more confident and I do feel a little wiser and compassionate.
But do I feel healed? Hell, no.
I still experience dissatisfaction and the endless seeking nature of my mind that at times has the power to drive me crazy.
So what is healing anyway?
There are countless ways to define it. And I am sure you have your own. But if I was to put words to it I would say something like: to release traumas, to let go of limiting beliefs and conditioning, to come closer to the truth of who you are, to be able to feel more love and peace, etc.
I actually do believe in that. However, (and that’s a big HOWEVER), there is one flaw in it.
All of healing is based on the idea that there is something wrong with you in the first place.
And of course, from one perspective there really is something wrong if you are suicidal, depressed and maybe a drug addict. Or maybe not wrong but, most would agree that that’s not the desired way of living.
So for sure in those situations, a lot can be healed. The individual experiencing that can get to a point of loving life and being more functional. Absolutely.
But if you are not in a pickle as such, what determines the HEALED state? When do you actually know you are there?
Healing is not the same as Healed
I’m writing this article because I had a realization during meditation today that was a big AHA moment for me. I was sitting as usual ‘allowing everything to be as it is’, ‘leaving it all alone’ and watching my mind trying to figure out how to let go. And then I questioned myself: how do I know that I have let go?
The answer was simple: I would feel different. I would experience some sort of bliss or ease, or peace or …something that was different from what I was experiencing.
And then it dawned on me:
What if that wasn’t true? What if the experience was never going to be different?
That feeling of ‘not good enough’ is so pervasive and subtle, so insidious that one can go on living, thinking one is getting somewhere, and in the end, one has only been running around in circles trying to get away from just that. Still in the same place.
Our idea of what happens to us at the end of ‘healing’, the feelings we are running after are not what healing actually is.
Healing is the letting go of wanting to change.
Which is such a paradox.
Wow. And again it all comes back to the heart. Feeling into loving what is, the infinity of it, the immensity of it…of all of it. It’s overwhelming.
No wonder we shy away from it. No wonder we want one over the other.
Because if we truly surrender, truly surrender into loving what is now, then a whole lot of stories will disappear, right? A whole lot of arguments with reality will just simply evaporate. And then what?
I’m edging myself ever so closer to that realization and it’s scary as fuck.
Really, if there is nothing to fix, nothing ever wrong with anyone, who am I? And what is there left to do?
Then my whole persona based on the identity I’ve created as a healer, as a therapist and coach, it amounts to nothing. And I realize that most of my self-worth is based on that. Of course, I’m terrified of letting that go. After all, it took me some considerable sweat and blood to construct it in the first place!
But this is going very deep and philosophical, let’s bring it back a notch.
Because I have also experienced the other end of the spectrum: Meeting people who are denying their wounds and traumas with the excuse of ‘it’s all perfect and I’m already divine’.
Ever been around someone like that?
And, gosh, don’t you feel like slapping them or something? Ignorance and arrogance combined, one of the things that used to trigger me big time.
So is there healing possible? Of course! But as I’m writing now the point of this article is becoming more and more clear. This is what I’m trying to say:
So much of our confusion (and then suffering) is embedded in our language.
Healing is not only possible but necessary and will continue to happen continuously throughout the whole of our life.
Because ‘healing’ is the removal of layers of ignorance, it’s the increase in our awareness and the mastery of our energies to become more wholesome as we dance with life.
But to be ‘healed’ implies a static state of a job finished where there is nothing left to do.
And somehow our culture has succeeded in making us believe that we can get there, to that mysterious place we call heaven, where we will live happily ever after. It’s the ultimate carrot on the stick that keeps us very well entranced with the ‘healing’ game.
The story of all the things we need to heal is so compelling that it’s almost impossible not to give our full attention to it and then have us going year after year on a merry-go-round of ‘there is something wrong with me’.
Till you get exhausted or bored with it. Or both.
My personal antidote is this: Stay curious. Stay open. And keep your inquiry readily available. (My favorite is Byron Katie’s four questions: Is it true? etc.)
Each time I have a thought of “I need to heal this” (which implies there is something wrong with me). I watch how this thought makes me feel. Is it true? Who am I without that thought?
But beware, because if you don’t do it with utter self-honesty, you will just shoot yourself in the foot.
It might be that you REALLY believe something is wrong. And if that’s the case, then playing an intellectual game with yourself, denying what you feel is just going to be painful.
If I hit some of those core nuggets, I try to access the feeling tone behind it. I try to let my body speak: how does it feel holding this energy inside? I try to let those tears flow. And often I do this with professional help.
Still, remaining open and curious gives me the capacity to bring playfulness into this whole healing business, regardless of the tears that need to flow.
Then I transform from:
I need to heal myself (and the emotional pain that comes with that) into a state of wonder about consciousness and the mystery of life. My face softens and I get in touch with an inner glow that I can only refer to as presence or love.
The first feels like a clenched fist, the latter like an open palm.
And the foundation of that choice between the two is whether we believe in the inherent goodness of life or not. Do you?