What a great word! When I say it or think about it, I feel warm inside, as though I just ate a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.
Our opportunities to find healing are all around us, just waiting for us to reach out. We can let the passage of time take its own course by hoping, hoping, hoping that healing feelings will eventually wash over us or we can act on trying to heal our inner selves when we feel ready to face the sad or traumatic feelings that we carry in our hearts. Feeling the pain and talking about the conflicting feelings are usually the last thing that we want to do because it makes us vulnerable but it also helps us create a healthier life.
To find healing in your life, you have to explore ways that help you let go of your expectations.
As singer-songwriter Tori Amos aptly wrote, “Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.”
In our best of times and worst of times, the most powerful kind of healing is what we decide to do for ourselves, by our own thoughts and action, by the way we live. Healing can be a series of positive choices that we make when we know we want something different in our lives; when we are ready to openly try and figure out what may be causing the conflicting feelings from that that life crisis that happened to us.
By consciously deciding that you are a precious being and that you want to be whole and healthy again you have taken step one towards renewing yourself and finding healing. It may start out as a small thought in the back of your head or it may start as good feeling that you get when you do something and discover that it takes you out of yourself and your troubles.
Healing is an ongoing, fluid process that can stay within us our whole lives if we want it too. Sometimes it’s in high gear and working all the time and then other times it can be dormant as we struggle with problems of one sort or another. But through it all, I believe our ability to find self-healing is always in us.
I think all of us yearn to be healed; from our pain, our hurts, our problems, our stresses, our emotional baggage that we finally get tired of dragging around. How we arrive at our places of healing are as different as the millions of beautiful people who live on this amazing planet of ours; laughing and crying, crying and laughing; all of us trying so hard to find the sacred space where healing can happen in our own way and in our own time.
You may already do small things every day that put you on a healing road. I bet there are already positive things that you do or deliberately think about that calm you down and help you feel more at peace with yourself. Your might initially think that drugs, alcohol, sex, overeating or gambling could be things that might deliver a healing feeling to you; after all they do make us feel good for a short time but that is a dangerous road, not a healing one. I have seen people try to take this route and it never brings healing to your tender soul.
When I need to heal my fractured feelings, I try to mix up things up. Sometimes I go to Starbuck’s for my favorite skinny iced mocha, sometimes I try to meditate and other times, I go for a long walk.
Just like crying and laughing , I was curious about things that other people do to help them feel comforted. I had a good time talking to lots of people about healing. It’s a subject people want to discuss and are open to hearing suggestions about what works from other people. My favorite was the person who said that if it’s after 5pm, she drinks wine to heal!
So without further ado, here are the results of my informal survey as I offer to you what I hope is a helpful list of 5 fabulous things (in no particular order) that you can do to help you find healing:
— Music: Most people said music right away but everyone had their own idea of the kinds of music that helped them feel better. Some said yoga music while others said they always play a favorite song that reminds them of good times and puts them in a positive mood. Other people said that sometimes they need to just rock out and play something loud and energetic to help rid them of stressful and frustrating emotions. Music has proven healing powers and has been used to reduce physical and emotional pain and change the quality of life in medical and psychiatric hospitals as well as rehab facilities. I use music to put my mind in another place, to help it calm down and change focus. Sometimes I play Irish music, other times I play dance music. I go through phases of constantly playing Frank Sinatra but recently I have discovered the wonderful music of Miranda Lambert.
— Connecting With Nature: A long walk or run along a trail in your neighborhood can go a long way to strengthening your mental and physical outlook on life. Some people said they have a regular routine set up to walk or run with a buddy and others said they prefer to let their mind clear by walking or running solo. Besides the simple fact that being outdoors just makes you feel 100 times better, a lot of people said the outdoors gave them a chance to unplug from the surrounding noise and the constant pull of electronics whether it was their phone or a laptop. Nature simply gives you time and space to breath and reflect. I never underestimate the healing powers of Mother Nature and have depended on her many times when the going got tough.
— Mani/Pedi: Think self indulgence and relaxation as someone makes your hands and feet feel and look like new again. This is not just for women. Men also enjoy the beauty and health benefits of taking a break and feeling pampered. Getting a manicure and pedicure is an emotional boost and a healing treat to yourself. My favorite part of a pedi is soaking my feet in the warm bubbling water.
— Praying: Talking and praying to a Higher Being helps us feel less alone in our desire to heal. Whether you are in a church holding a rosary or meditating in your house, knowing that a Higher Being is watching over us can give us strength to go on with our lives. One woman who told me she prays to seek healing for herself said that it is not always to ask for something to happen in her life. “Praying may seem dull to some people but the repetition of a prayer over and over helps me get lost in the goodness of praying which makes me feel part of the larger universe,” she said. I like her wise thought and agree that praying is not always about asking for something to happen. Sometimes you pray because you are full of gratitude that you have good health or have a job or more importantly, that you have family or friends.
— Creating Art: Painting, drawing, and crafting of any sort was a popular outlet for healing. Adult coloring books are popular these days and lots of people use them to de-stress and relax. Some people said that coloring for 10 minutes or more brought them to a place of humming to themselves and feeling as though they lowered their blood pressure and heart rate. There is something magical about creating something with your own hands even if it didn’t turn out as you planned. You let your imagination go where it wants and the resulting art allows you to express your feelings and promote healing. One’s art can say things that one cannot or will not verbalize but leaves you with a better understanding of your feelings.