I have often heard of people talk about healing as if it is a destination, a place that if you do the right thing you arrive at it. What is the right thing that we must do to heal? Is there a "right" thing to do? As I often say, "I'm not so sure." There are a number of medical, psychological, and alternative healing modalities that we have access to as human beings. There are different methods used to heal the body all over the world, but maybe there is something we are still missing.
I've picked up riding my bike the passed few weekends and have been enjoying a quick-paced 17.5 mile ride each weekend through some beautiful wooded trails. I stopped for a short break about 7 miles in and as I sat on the bench, I realized that I couldn't believe I did the first 7 and hadn't noticed how far I had actually traveled. I had been so focused on regulating my breathing that I hadn't even noticed where I had arrived. The "light" in my brain flipped on and I realized this is exactly what meditation is like. I was not focused on my destination. I was focused on the moment I was in. I was focused on the feel and rhythm of my breath. I was not concerned with where my destination was, how far I must travel to get there, how fast I was moving, or even how long it would take me to arrive. I was simply in the moment with the breath moving through my own body. I was amazed because I am not an avid bike rider. I actually haven't been on my bike in a good 3 years and here, I not only rode 7 miles without a break, but I went even further to do a 17.5 mile stretch several weekends in a row.
If I had gotten up in the morning and said to myself, "I'm going to ride 17.5 miles to a particular destination and I'm going to arrive in "x" amount to of time, at "x" amount of speed............Would I have accomplished my goal? Maybe. Maybe not. When boundaries are put in place, other types of thoughts come up. I would have started to focus on how far I had been riding and may have started to feel tired. I may have started keeping track of time and feeling a sense of success or failure based on whether I was meeting my own self-inflicted standard or not.
Now back to my original question: Is Healing A Destination? Are we trying to arrive at a specific place, in a specific amount of time, at a specific speed, with a specific goal? Something tells me that if that is the chosen path, then we may find more failure than success in finding "healing".
As far as I can see, "healing" is the journey. The good, the bad, the indifferent. All of it is the journey to healing.
What if we began to welcome the thoughts that come to visit and honor that they are part of our experience, but also a part of our healing? There's a good chance if we begin to do that, that the destination might not matter so much. There's an even better chance that we might start to realize that the destination we thought we were seeking doesn't really exist at all.
I encourage you to look up the poem, "The Guest House" by Rumi. It is the essence of what I am saying to you in this post. Honor that your experience is part of your journey and that healing is something that comes with the realization that there is no destination to arrive at. Your journey is your journey and with that comes many lessons. Lessons that are challenging, heart-breaking, and sometimes maddening, but they are your lessons. Honor them. Don't judge them, as others would. Respect that they are yours. Greet them as you would a guest that comes to visit to share something with you, then re-direct your attention to something that is meaningful to you. See if something changes for you as you begin to adopt a new way of thinking about the things that come up. Don't treat your own thoughts as the intrusive enemy, although they can feel that way. Greet them, then redirect to something meaningful.
Do you hold your own hand on your path to healing?
You are the best companion you could have on your path.