As We Heal Ourselves,
We Help to Heal the World

The times we are living in are challenging times, fraught with fear and uncertainly. We are, each one of us, making choices that are influencing the balance of our own well-being - our bodies, minds and spirits - as well as the future of humankind and the earth that supports us. We are so much more powerful than we realize. Every thought we think, every action we take, adds to the collective pool of harmony or chaos. We are constantly influencing that balance and most often without any idea of the power we wield.

According to Gerald Jampolsky, there are only two emotions from which all others arise – love and fear. Love is the foundation of positive emotions, fear is the foundation of negative emotions. When we fear something we tend to develop an unreasonable hatred toward the feared object. So we come to hate and fear. We can see this not only on a personal level but in national and international tensions, where fears have grown into intense hatreds. These hatreds not only hurt us psychologically and spiritually and aggravate world tensions – but such negative concentration tends to attract the very things that we fear.

Love on the other hand, is transformational. It leads to healing. The work of healing ourselves is a noble undertaking that enriches not only ourselves, but the world around us. We have the ability to tap into incredible inner potential and strength that in any situation can help us rise above our fears and move from victim (a recipient of circumstances) to empowered (moving into meaningful action). The difficulties that we see in the world around us - the violence, the inhumanity, the greed - is a reflection of the collective inner situation. As we begin to heal on a personal level, as we take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, as we practice forgiveness and compassion, we are adding to the healing of the world.

All human beings have an inner drive to seek meaning and purpose. In difficult times we are all called to add to the balance and harmony of life around us. If we do nothing we are contributing to the slide toward chaos and destruction. A wonderful opportunity has fallen into our hands, if we choose to take it, to be a part of the stirring and awakening that we might begin to heal on both personal and collective levels.

There is so much that can be done to make a difference in life. The smallest gesture of reaching out can make a big impact on the recipient and in return, although it isn't the motive, have a healing effect on our own immune systems and sense of well-being. The universe is designed to reward compassion and good deeds that are offered without strings or desire of something in return. Give freely, the universe beckons, and you cannot help but receive the real treasures in return - health, happiness, and inner peace.

Very often we hold up barriers to our personal healing by being unaware of the patterns of our thinking or the destructiveness of our attitudes. We may be taking responsibility for our actions but our feelings may be harboring resentment toward the actions of others. Our actions and feelings are the only ones we can ever be responsible for and that is where healing and freedom lie. Our families often provide the ground for our greatest learning and growing. A woman I’ll call Susan came to see me about her feelings of anger and resentment toward her sister. Her sister had stopped talking to her more than three years earlier and this had caused quite a rift during holidays and times when the family gathered. Susan could hardly remember what had caused her sister to stop talking to her but after a series of rejections by her sister, both had come to stubbornly avoid the other.

I talked to Susan about the power of visualization and she was inspired to do a family healing visualization in her meditation each day. She would visualize her family gathering together silently and holding hands. The visualization evolved in her mind as family members began to smile and make eye contact. One early morning, in her visualization, Susan made eye contact with her sister – and her sister gave her a mischievous grin. Susan was inspired to write her sister a letter and she did so quickly before she could change her mind. She told her sister how she missed her. She reminisced about the special times they had spent together and things she admired about her. She ended the letter by saying that life is unpredictable and she would hate to think that something could happen to one of them and they could lose the opportunity to ever be together again.

The sister responded with a phone call within a matter of days, not even mentioning the letter. She simply said that she and her family would be in the area soon and would like to visit. The visit took place and they had a beautiful reconciliation in which they fell into an easy relationship that transcended the time they had spent apart.

A simple restructuring of awareness can turn life into an adventure in healing. Not just of ourselves, although that is surely a result, but of the world around us. We are all capable of being healers. We are helping to heal others when we listen with attentiveness and respect and without judgment. We don't have to find extra time to add meaning and purpose to our lives, we only have to change our focus and intention. As we heal ourselves, we help to heal the world.

Cheryl Canfield, CCHT, 2023