How do you define the word healing?
What’s your perception of healing?
How often do you use this word?
I’ve read as many articles as possible to get a more profound understanding of how scholars and researchers define and use the word “heal.” I must say, that I got to learn so many valuable things.
But as a linguaphile, I always start my research with some etymology. The word originates from the Old English word hælan; which means “cure; save and make whole.” From a metaphorical point of view, it is also referred to as the restoration of the soul; in other words, spiritual harmony.
How do we heal? When do we use this word? Why do we need healing in our lives more often?
There are so many things that can be said regarding this. The fact that we face various kinds of internal and external situations creates the need for healing. When I look back, I realise that I happened to use this word not knowing the feelings it could evoke within me.
Healing has become more like an end of a beginning to me.
First, I met pilates; then came yoga, and these two followed by my ultimate guide, meditation. Now, I’m studying Reiki as well. So, for me it has been such a long journey. I have experienced different methods in terms of creating, opening, and discovering an inner channel that could show me the true meaning of being me. All those methods had one thing in common: when we act in accordance with the spirit of the universe, the rest will follow.
This had been my motto for a long time.
However, what I experienced a few weeks ago made me notice that something was not okay with me and I couldn’t quite tell what that was. Although I was practising my meditation on a regular basis, I was abruptly feeling an instant connection with some sort of pain that I could not familiarise myself with.
One night, I woke up to a terrible headache. And with that headache, I was familiar. The headache was the symbol of my suppressed feelings, the headache was the proof that I wasn’t healing my wounds; instead, I was simply walking around them in circles. The headache was my passive roaring.
Before meditation and pilates, I was mentally lost in my own head; and having headaches had become no different than having breakfast. It was a painful routine and I somehow managed to soothe it. Just like all grown-ups, I had my own monsters to fight against. Through morning meditations, I had learned how to build my own devices to overcome them, or at least, I thought so.
From the very beginning of my inner journey, I always believed that I was on the right path for myself. However, something was missing. Something caught me spiritually prepared, yet mentally scattered. My mind was elsewhere, or everywhere. I was so unfocused that it was impossible for me to get down to the root of the problem. I was so disappointed in myself.
My father once said, “mistakes and disappointments; they will help you grow.” He was right. But what if your heart gets broken by your hero? Is that a mistake, too? Is that disappointment, too?
I guess so. It seems so.
My father used to be my hero, just like every other child. It seemed to me that he could overcome anyone and anything. Knowing that I was safe when he was around, I used to think I was unbreakable and untouchable.
Days passed by and my headaches got even more frequent. Was it a typical PMS headache? Was it because I had an iron deficiency? Neither of them was my case. All I knew was I was having such heavy nightmares that were very vivid, and made me feel extremely exhausted as soon as I opened my eyes.
Two days ago, something unusual happened. I was dreaming but this time, I felt as if I was somewhere between being awake and sleeping. As soon as I woke up, I felt both the excitement of remembering my dream and the shock of what I saw.
I was trying to deal with someone whose face was more than familiar. I was talking and he was standing right in front of me. His eyes, his face; my father was staring at me very calmly. His calmness seemed to be the very reason I was in such an intense rush. I spoke until I realised that my words could not be heard by him.
I had spent my days wondering. Finally, I had got the answer I was looking for.
My feelings were muted. So were my thoughts. It was no one else but me who muted them. Because I was almost certain that they were worthless in my father’s eyes.
So, I chose to stay angry at him. I was so angry that I did not even bother to understand the reason why our communication was poor, or why he was not happy when he was around. I wanted him to be there with us when he had that faraway look on his face. When I was busy thinking that he was a hero, he was only a young man who was trying to figure out who he really was in this big world. Back then I did not know that before being “us,” one first needs to discover the freeing power of being “me.”
How come we have never been told the difference between suppressing, and getting over (embracing and moving on)?
After all this, I did take a dip into my subconscious for a while. All this time, it was in front of me. I could not notice the magic word, past. Time passes by as we convince ourselves that we’re moving on. Letting go of the past was the key. But I think it is easy to type these words; whereas, applying it to our daily lives requires so much effort and empathy.
I learned a lot from my hero. I learned that in order for us to solve issues, we may choose not to talk. Sometimes it is best to not say anything at all. Sometimes it is best not to try perfecting things, but letting them stay as they are. I learned that heroes can make mistakes; that they are allowed to have flaws. I learned that we should not degrade the existence of our loved ones to certain titles such as father, mother, husband or brother. After all, they are human beings who are trying to be somebody in their own right.
My father had every right to be unhappy and feel unhappy. He was someone. He was a man. And he was a husband and a father.
But was that all? Who was he? Did we really know? But most of all, did he really know?
Perhaps he wanted to do things better, but could not for some reason. Perhaps where we wanted him to be was not where he wanted to be.
The moment my soul made peace with this situation, I had a revelation that set me free from these ongoing sequels of headaches. I learned to love my father the way he was; the way he has always been; and the way he is.
That being said, the way we idealise people is so dangerous. It causes the deepest wounds. And these are the kind of wounds that take even longer to heal.
It is known that headaches are very likely to be related to past anger, pain, or any other forms of emotional transition or disturbance. With the help of meditation and facing my bitter memories, I had finally met the power of accepting things, and people, as they are. My attachment to past moments has been stealing from my present and future days.
At the age of 32, I learned one more thing through meditation. Mindful meditation had shown me how to concentrate on moments and positive vibes. This time, it was going to help me uncover my past frustrations so that I would be able to use any pain as a tool to discover myself better.
The moment we stop hiding our past disappointments is the moment we welcome growth into our lives.
Thanks to meditation, I now know why it matters so much that instead of resisting pain, I should let it sit with me. I should let it get me out of my comfort zone. I should let it serve me through this journey which is known as self-discovery. Every pain has a purpose.
There is a quote that I like to remind myself of from time to time:
Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside. And something else takes its place.
When we accept life as it is, when we accept people as they are, we simply let life take care of the rest of the story. This is the only way to heal.
So try detaching from your past emotions; face them, and be thankful that they made you go through tough times. Because without them, could you be who you are and where you are now?
Have you ever heard of the Japanese art form Kintsugi? The word “kin” translates to “golden,” while “tsugi” means to “repair.”
This unusual art is based on broken items being repaired using silver, gold, or platinum. It relies on such a unique idea that after repaired, items will be more beautiful and more precious.
Embrace the things you consider to be flaws or imperfections; and let them be the reminders of your inner growth.