Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dynamics of Healing



Caroline Casey, astrologer and (I'll concede) genius, likes to say: "Got a problem? Make it worse." I mean really, as if anyone needs to make a problem worse! For heaven's sake.

When it comes to healing, though, I see her point.** Sometimes the only way out of a rut is to dig in deeper. In order to reach the light at the end of a tunnel, you have to go all the way through the tunnel, as unpleasant and/or scary as that might be. It's a core human story, the struggle that precedes triumph.

The pneumonia I suffered from earlier this fall was a truly life-changing healing crisis. In many ways, that bout of illness cured me. It changed the way I eat and what I eat so that, for the first time in my life, my stomach doesn't hurt. The illness and the antibiotics helped me slough off a bunch of old crud physically and emotionally. While I was sick, there was nothing to do but lay in bed and think about things, a condition that helped me shed a number of unhealthy connections to people and ideas.

Of course while I was sick it was not possible for me to understand any of the benefits. In the midst of it, the only things I experienced were fear and suffering. But I was working through something big. And so it goes during the process of healing. Flop around for awhile. Afterwards, reap the rewards.

Every day at work I put my hands on people who are struggling, mucking their way through tunnels of physical, emotional and spiritual issues. Sitting with them as they wrestle with their demons is an honor and a privilege. In spite of all our weaknesses, flaws, and misconceptions, as a species we are, by and large, so brave.

Got a problem? Face it, work with it, explore it and learn something you don't already know about the problem as well as about yourself. There are riches in problems for those who are willing to take them on, riches that can only be found at the end of tunnels sometimes, but riches nonetheless.

But ... make it worse? Oh God, try not to, okay? OK!

**The trickster in her takes it way too far, in my opinion.

16 comments:

Robert said...

Nicely put. Thanks for this. I couldn't have agreed with you more! Sometimes, it is the fire that we seek!

Reya Mellicker said...

I don't seek it! But if it's there, I'll walk through it.

Well .... most of the time!

ArtSparker said...

Great images.

"Trouble, you can't fool me
I see you behind that tree"

-Ry Cooder (or may be an old blues song that he covered)

Jake looks like the dog sage in the second photo

Cyndy said...

I can totally relate to what you are saying and the fire references in the first two comments were certainly an interesting coincidence! I lost my home, one of my cats, and nearly all of my possessions in a house fire over three years ago. We still haven't moved back in so it's been a very prolonged state of limbo.

But now we are almost through the tunnel and I can definitely see the light at the end of it. I am so looking forward to that fresh start!

Bad experiences make it possible to more fully appreciate the good changes that they bring about eventually. Unfortunately that's sometimes the only way to get there!

willow said...

I experienced a nasty few years some time back and it seemed an eternity. Also a prolonged state of limbo and agony. But now that I look back on it, I did dig down and make it to the light on the other end. I never thought of it like that before. Interesting concept.

tut-tut said...

It's hard to go through that tunnel unless you're forced to! Although, in retrospect, I've forced myself to deal with situations that I was glad I did afterward, but certainly not during.

IntangibleArts said...

"TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP"

it seems oddly meaningful on about six hundred levels....

Pod said...

hello! glad you are seeing the process. even though phlegm is so miserable i always try to see it as a major clear-out. perhaps in a sense you were also 'feeling' the nation? i'm now not sure i'll be able to make it there next year due to the crap ozzie dollar.....
boo hoo

lettuce said...

hmmmm

this has been true for me recently


wish i was there walking with you and jake!

Val said...

dear Reya - thank you for this. it is so relevant to my stuff..tho in some ways it feels i have beenin the tunnel for too long and not making any progress. there are periods of light in the tunnel but its still the same tunnel so i guess its not natural light?
how clever and brave you are!

tam said...

Love the post, and both photos - the dragon and the not stopping traffic. Oh yeah, I'm so grateful for my tunnel experiences, but only ever much later.

Angela said...

I had my tunnel early in life and saw every day after, out in the open, as a fabulous gift. I literally sometimes jump up and down and run and sing for this beautiful life, can you imagine? This is what I wish you all, my dears, Reya especially who always writes such beautiful posts - a bit of happy jumping up and down!

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm jumping, Angela! And laughing, too. Life is good and I am grateful.

Adrianne said...

I couldn't agree with you more on this one -- especially in light of all the things that have happened to me during the last week!

Steve said...

My Zen teacher says this is what we do with meditation. We don't run from issues. We breathe into them, really experience them fully, and that helps us move beyond them.

All_The_Stars said...

I Love your perception of things.... and your insight on life and the flowing of the river of time. I enjoy your blog. Thank you very much