I’m not a healer, a doctor, a trainer or a psychiatrist. My formal knowledge on healing is quite limited to what my biology textbooks taught me in 10th grade. You know, something about how your eyes become all red when they get infected because more blood with antibodies is being sent to that region to combat the infection? Or something along those lines anyway. It’s been five years since I’ve seen the face of that blessed textbook so excuse me if all I remember is that mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Of course, I’m not here to talk about healing eye infections and cell structures- though I’m sure both can be great topics of interest to some of you. I want to talk about something which is very close to my heart, especially off late- healing the soul.
We face injury, breakdown and pain on a regular basis nowadays. Most of these pains can be seen growing steadily in the background, which we ignore or fail to notice as we keep at our routine tasks. And suddenly, they catch you unaware and stab you in the back like that so-called friend from high school. It’s that pain which drives poets to write their best works; which hits you as you’re listening to your favourite song while driving on a rainy evening; which leaves a pit in your stomach and fills it with a stone that weighs you down while the walls around you seem to be rising and closing in. But without quite realising it, eventually, those best works get rewarded; the rains feel romantic and you find the strength to break the walls around you and build a new life using the rubble it leaves behind as the foundation. And then you know you’ve healed. Words can weave magic and the whole healing process sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? But what we fail to recognise is the in-between, the transition period- the effort, perseverance and patience. It’s what is put in between the pain and the reconciliation that facilitates the healing. The body deploys its army of soldiers to repair physical wounds. Similarly, the mind must be willing to fight and win a few battles in order to be able to hoist its flag of victory.The poetry doesn’t write itself; the rain is an intricate lover and the walls need you to run them over with a bulldozer more often than not. And it is this effort and the knowledge that one is capable of such effort in their darkest hours that lets one emerge recovered and healed. And just like our body, the mind builds a resistance, if not total immunity, and we will not be affected by the same pain with the same intensity again.
Healing is a constant process much like pain is a constant presence. There’s always something that requires healing because there’s always something that’s hurting us. Sometimes, or most times, as we humans would like to believe, this hurt comes from the external forces we interact with. Sometimes we put people on a pedestal only for them to walk away from it and push the structure towards us to leave us to bruise black and blue. It is hard to gauge the true cause of the pain- the ditching or the bruising. And other times, the pain is so consistent that we fail to notice it completely- like the usual brain-ache from a hard day’s work. The freshness you feel in the morning, ready to take on a new task? After having thrown the initial tantrum of not wanting to get out of bed, obviously. That’s the brain having healed. And with a little more time and effort, the bruise marks fade too. And sometimes, we have to heal from the wounds we inflict on ourselves. Remember that time you were too hard on yourself? That has more caused injury and pain than any external force is capable of. Because that’s what those forces are- external. They come, wreck havoc and move on. But your mind? You have to live with it your whole life. And a negative thought or a degrading remark you subject yourself to will stay with you longer and have a impact that reaches further than anyone or anything else will. We are our harshest critics. But we still manage to live with and love ourselves to the fullest, don’t we? We love ourselves to the point of selfishness- a fault we all plead guilty to. It is this massive healing power which lets us live with ourselves. We are hurt and we are healed.
To say that healing is restorative would be undermining its true potential. It makes you stronger, wiser and more patient. It may take a while depending on the gravity of the injury but the end result is always favourable. And the healed mind may present itself in many forms- the ability to think clearly, laugh openly, speak liberally. They’re all the signs of a healed mind. We notice that with each passing day we’re able to laugh more openly or speak more liberally- because we’re healing every day. Pain is a curse; pain is a blessing. Without pain, we cannot heal. And without healing, we cannot grow. The little effort we put into healing goes a long, long way. It’s worth the push.
So whatever might be hurting you or going wrong- you will heal. People recover from failures and nations recover from crisis’. In the scheme of things, what is an individual soul? Our rate of recovery is much faster and more focused. We will heal. Every day and soon enough.