What is healing? Pretty darned tootin’ big question!

To get some help with this daunting question…I decided to consult with one of my oracles…my magic 8 ball:

Me Magic 8 Ball…can I find a definition for healing that works for everyone?

Magic 8 Ball:  “cannot predict now”

MeHmmmm…fine.  Magic 8 Ball…What is healing anyway?

Magic 8 Ball:  “Ask me later”

MeMagic 8 Ball…you are really not helping here.  Can you help me with this at all?

Magic 8 Ball:  “No”

I realized that my Magic 8 Ball was having trouble with this topic too.  So I asked my Inspiration Magic 8 Ball (you know the one…it’s yellow with a big smiley face on it!)

MeCan I find a definition for healing that works for everyone?

Inspirational Magic 8 Ball:  “People Like You”

MeWell, Magic 8 Ball that doesn’t really answer my question!  Can you stick to the question at hand?

Inspirational Magic 8 Ball:  “You Smell nice”

I wasn’t getting far consulting the great Magic 8 Ball oracles.  The problem with these oracles is that when consulting them the questions have to be stated in a black and white sort of way.   We can’t get to the answer that way.  We can’t even really have a conversation from this “yes/no” model.

Though I think knowing that I smell nice helps! 😉

So maybe I am jumpin ahead a little bit…maybe a better place to start is to chat about times when we think healing has occurred and what was used to assist in that process.

Well, when my boys were little and they got scrapes and bumps, they always felt better when I gave them kisses, hugs, and a nice story while sitting on my lap. :)  These types of things also helped when they felt really sick..I would get them all snuggled in with books and toys and their favorite flavor of popsicle.

Did they still have symptoms?


Did they feel better?


Was healing happening?

I can’t know for sure…but, I am gonna say “yep” to that question as well.  They were soothed.  They were fairly comfortable.  There minds were relaxed and they were open to receiving my love and nurturing. AND when I had to move away to do this and that…they were able to continue to nurture themselves.  Good stuff! :)

Here is another example.  One that is on the opposite extreme…or is it?

My best friend contracted AIDS when we were in our mid 20’s. She was one of the first women to get this diagnosis in the San Francisco Bay Area.  This was at the time when folks were thinking this was a “gay disease.”  Guess not!  Needless to say….ignorance was rampant!

My amazing friend decided that she wanted to make a contribution to the community.  She began speaking on panels that focused on AIDS education.

After her first panel, she called me up and told me that she felt so uplifted to be part of educating folks.  Many people had come up to her asking her all sorts of questions.  She felt very good about offering this kind of support.  She felt like she was contributing to the “cure” for this disease through the education of the masses.

Was this a healing experience for her?

You betcha!

Was her illness still front and center?


That year was filled with many ups and downs.  It was the first time I had the honor of supporting a loved one through the process of death.  We had some amazing conversations about death and what that meant.  We talked about times when we had hurt each other and made peace with these memories.  We talked about all sorts of things.

Was there healing going on during these experiences?

It sure felt like it!

Was she still really sick?


Was I grieving the loosing of this brilliant friend?


Was she still Ill?


Was I still resisting her illness?????

Hell Yes!!!!!   Until her last breath…I held to the hope that she could still find a cure that would work for her.  She did too.

I had the honor of being with her when she died.  I witnessed her spirit leaving her body.  I witnessed the deepest loss and the most grace in one moment…it took my breath away.  I began to understand what the word “bittersweet” meant.

Was her death a healing experience for her?

I don’t know.

I am thinking it was.

Who can say that death is not healing?

Was it a healing experience for me?

Not at the time.  At the time it ripped me wide open…and it shut me right down.  Talk about polarities.  Later I was able to heal from this grief…meaning when I think of her my heart no longer hurts…my heart feels soft, strong and open…tuned into love for her.

So far I have shared two seemingly different experiences.  Both of them filled with healing.  But, the outcomes were very different from each other.

Here is something to ponder~  When did we start thinking that illness, disease, injury and decay were somehow due to wrong thinking?

Think about where this comes from.

Way back when…there were a group of folks who believed that God was showing his approval of them by “making” them wealthy and healthy.  Wealth, success and good health were seen a gifts from God because that person was a good person.  God showed disapproval towards folks by “making” them poor and sick.  Those people were bad people.  Everyone could easily see who God approved of and who he didn’t approve of.  So neat and tidy!!

Who were these people?  The Calvinists.

I guess we have not come very far from that sort of thinking…but, now instead of a cultural belief that says God is showing approval or disapproval…we have turned it around on our selves.  I have actually heard in the recent past someone saying that if the person could just change their thoughts…they would “get better.”  I am guessing they are meaning that the person would stop having symptoms.

Polarity alert!  We do feel better when we think softer thoughts.  When we can tune into places where we feel soothed.  When we can tune into positive expectations.  But, there is a fine line here…

I have even heard people say that some people are still ill because they want to be.  Hmmmmmmm….so, now we are blaming the person?

I want to say here that I believe that healing looks like a lot of things.

Let me repeat that.

Healing looks like a lot of things.

I want to bring up one more point.  Think of our world.  Of our global eco system.  Here in Colorado we have a bunch of beetles munching away on the pine trees.  Those pine trees are dying…soon they will be gone.  Is this because the trees are thinking wrong thoughts?  I just don’t think so.  It is part of global system…the natural checks and balances system.  Some things die off so that the new can come in.  There are seasons…plants and trees loose their leaves in the fall, go dormant in the winter and come back refreshed and renewed in the spring.

There are natural rhythms, there are seasons, there is birth and life…there is decay and death.  When there is illness or decay or death that does not mean something is inherently wrong with the system!

Okay….one more time…Healing looks like a lot of different things.

This conversation is not done.  There is so much more to explore.  I would love to hear your thoughts about this tender topic~

11 Responses to “What is healing anyway?”

  1. wow…what an apt time for me to read this.
    thank you, thinking…..t

  2. Hey Tara…I would love to hear more when this integrates a bit more:)

  3. Awesome, Lynne! You touched me deeply, brought me to tears. I love how you gently bring us to huge insights! You are brilliant.

  4. Hi there Christine~ Thanks for the feedback. I love bringing people to tears 😉
    I brought myself to tears writing this…and I cracked myself up too. Love that both can happen in the same post!

  5. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant…and so needed. Moving, tender,and oh so true. Love your writing, your thinking and love you my friend. Hope to tune into your radio show Monday on this topic, that I am so thankful you are addressing.

    The trees in our forests here have the beetles eating away at them too. We went to our favorite lake this summer. Instead of all foresty and green around the lake, it looked like a high desert. I feel like we are losing dear friends in those trees, and that we’ve already lost many…feel a sense of grieving. Not once though did the thought “What negative thoughts are these sick trees thinking?” enter my head.

    What a funny species us humans are to have such negative ideas about the vulnerable state of being human…shit happens…to us all (and all living species).

  6. Hey there Kerry~ Glad that you liked this. I hope you can make it to the show…you have so much to contribute to this conversation. It is big and it the time it ripe for it:)
    Love ya my friend!

  7. Hi Lynne: Your outfit is nice:-)

  8. Hey Sheryl….you smell nice :)

  9. Great post, Lynne!

    Your Magic 8 Ball was actually more helpful than some doctors we’ve been to. At least Dr. 8 Ball doesn’t mis-diagnose you or send you for a psyche eval!

  10. Thanks Mr Peg :) The Magic 8 ball is wise 😉

    Dontcha just love when doctors don’t know about something…so, to cover their tracks…they send ya for a psyche eval??? Great!

    Talk to you soon~

  11. I echo the sentiments above! WOW! You never cease to amaze me with your intelligence, compassion, and real approach to what is truly going on in and around us! Thank you for sharing your brilliance with us through your blogs!

    On a side note, I just got off the phone with my 91 yr. gma and she suffers from horrible leg pains. She was always on the go, and I see so much of her in me. Her wise advice about healing…”Some days are better than others. But, the pains are real. I am thankful for that.” This is a very pious woman, who could have said, I thank God for this day and what still works. And yes, she does say that, but today…her reply really opened my 33 yr old eyes.

    How often are we appreciative of the painful, dark, yucky, despondent moments? No, they aren’t fun. But, I think they do heal us in some way when we make peace, accept, or learn from them. And even if we don’t do any of those things…yes, they are what they are. And, for the optimist in me, I like to think that the no good very bad days are not all the same. To me, that’s a good thing, a new breath of air, a darker shade o gray or black. And thank you Lynne for helping me learn that it’s ok to feel the gray days…I am indeed living a new adventure, even if I was in the same clothes for the past 2 days at that time. SMILES! E

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