Spiritual wellness means being connected to the source. All things can look good on the surface – our appearance, our status, our relationships – but when we drift too far from our inner feeling core, we get ill. Then all else erodes around us. To live out of integrity, out of touch, or out of reach inevitably adds up to a malaise that easily manifests as physical woe.
Healing our inner lives, or spiritual healing, is important because the body follows that which is in the heart and mind. Why wait for the tree to collapse to discover the importance of being connected? Heed the warning signs before it’s too late.
At the core we humans are peaceful, happy, and artful, like a free spirited child full of natural curiosity and joie de vivre. As long as we remain aligned with our nature, everything about us shines from that inner light. But when we disconnect from feelings and shroud ourselves in sophisticated “adult” pursuits we easily get lost, and end up making bad choices that serve our limited concepts of reality, losing sight of the big picture. Uprooted from the ground of our being we forget our origins, ignore our mortality, and unwittingly find ourselves living an inauthentic life, making huge mistakes with our lifestyle, our morals, or our pursuits.
Unconsciousness leads to error and illness, and that’s why consciousness is the cure; it points to the good and to healing. The truth shall set you free. Anchor that tree before the wind wrecks everything.
Spiritual healing is a reality that can be brought about and even quickened, and the process starts by telling the truth. There are three levels of truth: first the facts, then how I feel about the facts, and thirdly where I stand in relation to the facts. Expressing the truth, especially at the feeling and relational levels brings us closer to a reality aligned with wellness.
I’m convinced that being real lies central to healing and getting well. Being true to our real nature means letting go of all the tensions, blocks, and false mind-sets that hinder the natural state. Telling the truth at the deepest levels means confessing, reconciling, expressing remorse, and also forgiving. At Hippocrates we see this sort of transformation in our guests over and over again as they heal their lives. And as “staff” we know it in our own lives too.
As a spiritual community we become intimately involved in each other’s healing – as witnesses, helpers, sympathizers, and friends. We create an atmosphere where being authentic is the norm and is valued. People exhale at Hippocrates. And then of course, we inhale. After the initial discomfort, being real at deep levels feels good – the kind of good that does a body good. It’s not milk; it’s love and being real that do a body good.
A young female Hippocrates guest dealing with cancer changed her self-ingratiating, accommodating style of never complaining or standing up for herself by speaking up to her husband and family about her real needs; after an especially emotional therapy session, she reported an instant 50 percent reduction in her physical pain! Now that’s the mind-body connection! The corporate magnate guest with prostate cancer who had ignored his children and spouse to make his fortune finally showed them his remorse, wept his regret, and genuinely reached out to forge new loving connections. He reported a deep sense of relief and renewal. “I feel right in my skin now,” he said. The supermodel who showed up at Hippocrates’ door with eating disorders and a deep-seated sense of isolation realized that although she lived a life of bounty and ease because of her beautiful external appearance, she had actually spent most of her years being haughty and distant to people in general, and downright mean to her boyfriends and family. With a little help from the mirroring of others she came face to face with the inner emptiness of a life devoid of kindness and charity. “I’m really ugly!” she wailed in one therapy session, and her healing then began in earnest. (Hey, the truth shall set you free, but it might just make you uncomfortable for a while.)
Let’s talk about prayer for a moment. Years ago I lived in a rural spiritual community in southern Georgia. We tried to live by Biblical values. We shared our cars and lawn mowers. We helped our neighbors. We ate meals together. One evening a wandering Christian minstrel family stopped by, in their converted Greyhound bus, to put on a show for us. As they played their guitars and electric piano and sang of faith and prayer, the leader with the microphone shouted out, “Is there anyone here in need of a healing? Praise Jesus!”
The music crescendoed as he made his plea, but nobody spoke up. Being the wise guy that I am, and wanting to ridicule these troubadours’ provincial simplicity, I stood up and said, “I do.” And they all focused on me, eager to heighten the fervor. I, of course, just hoped to catch them in my net of judgment and sarcasm.
“I have a wart right here on my finger,” I proclaimed theatrically, holding up my digit for all to see. But instead of feeling like fools, they didn’t skip a beat and barraged me with “Thank you, Jesus. Heal this man’s ailment. Thank you, Jesus!” It was over the top. I was embarrassed… for myself, for them.
Later, after the show, I reflected that even though their presentation seemed hokey to me, I couldn’t deny their sincerity, and I felt bad about my arrogance and sarcastic tone. I went to bed feeling like an idiot. The next morning I woke up to find no wart. That’s right, the wart was gone. I believe in the power of prayer and loving intent. It’s way bigger than our ideas. Andy’s ego: zero; Andy’s humility: one.
Spiritual healing means waking up to the big picture, and being gracious about it. Lord knows, we could beat ourselves up forever for all the mistakes we’ve made and pain we’ve caused, and maybe on some level, our unconsciousness deserves that. But isn’t it more refreshing to see Scrooge transformed from being mean, self-absorbed, and greedy, rather than punished for it?
I say ignorance is its own punishment. I say we’ve all already done our time. Let’s let this bird that was made to fly, fly, and help each other fly free too. Let’s unleash our hearts to do what they were meant to do – focus in on life, without distractions or the blinders of too much ego, and manifest, through simple gestures in everyday life, our deepest intent to help and to heal ourselves and the world. Let’s get on with the innate kindness of life, and evoke bountiful health because it’s our birthright.
Spiritual healing isn’t reserved for the saints. It doesn’t mean asking for or expecting special favors from life, but is more like accepting an inheritance from loving parents. Spiritual healing means saying yes to nature, and yes to ourselves as part of nature. Spiritual healing means looking Life in the eye and expressing “please” and “thank you” from the deepest regions of the heart. Spiritual healing means reconnecting our roots to the source within and finally, finally receiving the goods. For real!
Andy Bernay-Roman, a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor, has served as a mind-body psychotherapist at Hippocrates for the last seventeen years. If you’re interested in learning more about his deep feeling ap-proach to wellness, or want to read more Hippocrates transformation stories, get his book, Deep Feeling, Deep Healing: The Heart, Mind, and Soul of Getting Well (Spec-trum Healing Press, ISBN 0-9708662-0-8) available from the HHI store.)
Vol 27 Issue 2 Page 40