One of the greatest miracles in this life is the fact that for the most part, our bodies were designed to heal. But one of the greatest challenges in this life is finding the patience to let it happen. We never know how long something will take to get better and if we don’t surrender to the process in its own time, it takes longer and becomes more painful. A woman who worked out in my gym had a hip replacement and several weeks later, she put on high heels and went dancing. As you can imagine, that didn’t turn out well. Another woman I know had an acupuncture treatment for a sore hip and when she got home, instead of resting her body, she weeded her
garden for the next four hours. Not much healing there either.
Physical and spiritual healing have different components but in the end they need to work together. The ultimate goal of physical healing is to make right what has become broken, to get well
again after an injury for example. The ultimate goal of spiritual healing is for healer and patient to work together to achieve wellness and inner peace. When we allow both processes to work together, each in its own time, the miracles happen. Cuts mend. Sore muscles relax. Bones knit back together. The mind slows down. Our thoughts become more positive and our attitudes become clear.
During the 1980s, I took close to a dozen trips to the Philippines to observe some of the world’s greatest healers. Following the ways of their ancestors, they did “faith healing” or the laying on of hands, as they gently infused healing energy into someone who needed help. It was a beautiful thing to watch but after a short time of going from
healer to healer, I realized that they weren’t all doing what they claimed. Some of them were real and others were putting on a show,
I found that many of them worked in areas where there was extreme poverty, accepting a handful of rice or a chicken as payment. But I also met some who charged a great deal of money and would only work on foreigners who could pay. As with most things, their attitudes were reflected in their results. When a healer was coming from ego and boasting to be all powerful and responsible for someone else’s well-being, there was a heaviness in the atmosphere and people walked away disappointed. But when they were coming from love and encouraged the patient to work with them, there was a lightness and a sense of openness in the atmosphere. I’m not suggesting that people should not get paid for their work. We all have to live. But when money is the main attraction or in some cases, the only attraction and the needy are turned away, a lot of good stuff gets left on the table.
I was constantly amazed and astounded at what I saw in the Philippines, so much so that after my third trip, I wrote my very first book, “Awakening the Healer Within.” I had seen things and been places that very few people in the West had experienced and I
wanted to write about it. I didn’t try to explain what I was seeing in
scientific terms. I couldn’t because I didn’t completely understand it and therefore I had no ability to describe it. What I did write about was what I felt, what I had learned and how much it had changed me.
I was moved by the truth and humility of one of my Philippine teachers when he said: “When someone claims, ‘I can heal
you,’ that isn’t the truth. In my earliest stages, I was caught in an ego trap. I had a few techniques within my grasp and I walked around with a holier-than-though attitude. I justified myself by saying that I was serving humanity, but when I went beyond my ego and looked deeper, I realized I was not enjoying my work and I was tired all the time. I was emotional and goal-oriented until I took on an effortless attitude. I focused my love and caring on the person I was working
with and we both felt free and so much better.”
A few years ago, a female masseuse whom I hadn’t seen in a long time came to have tea with me. I invited her in and as we sat and talked, she grabbed a layer of fat around her belly. “This isn’t mine,” she told me.
“Whose is it?” I asked her.
“It belongs to the patient I was massaging last night.”
I hardly knew what to say so I changed the subject. As she left, she said something about how she needed to go on a diet.
I don’t think she was being arrogant. She just wasn’t getting the point. She hadn’t taken the time to face herself and see that while she worked with other people, she was healing herself. If we leave the ego behind as we engage in what we call “healing,” we see that it’s a personal search and a desire to connect with someone else.
As I traveled to the different islands and cities all over the Philippines for a decade, watching the various faith healers at work, I came away with the understanding that no one can fix anyone else. The best we can do is work together and become mirrors for each other as we both discover how to thrive and become our best selves. When we take a moment to tune into the rhythm of someone else’s breath, we are closing the gap and becoming whole. It takes a whole person to bring out the wholeness in someone else and in this way, we are creating connection instead of separation.