Back in the nineteen eighties, I took ten trips to the Philippines to research the legendary psychic surgeons. I became intrigued with
one healer in particular, Alex Orbito, who was well known by both native Filipinos and visitors from all over the world. One of his assistants told me that when Alex was fourteen, he placed his hands on a paralyzed woman’s legs and she got up and walked. Word got out and people began lining up at his door. Alex was terribly upset. He didn’t want to be a healer. He wanted to be a photographer so
he snuck away to live in another province. It didn’t go well. In a short time, he was falsely imprisoned for stealing camera equipment, he became ill with a fever and as he stared at the filthy walls of his cell, he realized that healing was his destiny. Within an hour, the police found the real thief and freed Alex from jail. When he got back home, his fever lifted and he devoted himself to helping people. So the story goes.

Whether or not that tale is exaggerated, I don’t know, but
it didn’t matter when I had the good fortune to meet this inspiring man. I found him to be humble and unassuming. He took money for his work if someone offered it. If they didn’t, he took a fish or a cup of rice. No one was ever turned away. Alex’s life story as well as his healing powers and methods may be controversial but that’s not what this blog is about. It’s about the way Alex healed himself.

Each morning, his back yard chapel filled up with people who
needed help. After a reverend led everyone in prayers for about thirty minutes, Alex worked on them one by one in a room with glass windows so others could observe. After a couple of hours of non-stop healing, when he began to looked exhausted and drained, he stopped, went into his house, he prayed, drank water, spoke to the spirits and after about twenty minutes he emerged from his home
looking refreshed and radiant and he started all over again. That was my most valuable lesson.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves is learning how to comfort
and make friends with ourselves. I often talk about the workshops I attended that were led by Death and Dying specialist, Stephen Levine, and his wife, Ondrea. They had moved to the outskirts of Northern New Mexico to be alone and pray and meditate when Stephen died of a long illness. Ondrea said, “I lived far away from my family and friends and I had to learn to hold my own hand.”

I want to be able to do the same thing and I’m still working on it. It helps to remember whether we’re alone or not, we all feel lonely and
isolated sometimes. The quarantine is loosening in some places but we still have to learn to comfort ourselves because sometimes, no one else is around to do the job. My cat is pretty good at it, I make phone calls to check in with friends, but in the end, I am here for myself which takes a lot of practice and dedication. And I make a point of being there for others who reach out. 

I got an email yesterday from a long time Filipino friend, a renowned researcher of psychic phenomena. He always appeared self-sufficient and strong, but for the first time in decades, he admitted to being sad and depressed. I was so glad he wrote to me. There is great power in accepting ourselves as we are and reaching out for help. I wrote back right away and reminded him that when he is
depressed and lonely, the solution is not to chase it away. That’s common behavior among us human beings. We don’t like to hurt. But I’ve learned over the years that the only way out is in. Everything changes, we know that for sure, so if we commit to feel our feelings fully, hold our own hands and stay in the truth of the moment, ultimately we can heal ourselves.