The secret to healing and freedom

grace flower

“Even when muddy your wings sparkle bright wonders that heal broken worlds.” ~ Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams

Of course you know what it is. We all do. It is the scariest thing in the world and the most necessary. It is the thing we mention quickly and confidently when we don’t have to deal with it. It is the thing we do not mention when we actually need to.

Yes, the secret is honesty…that diving beneath the surface of both our pleasure and pain, into a murky realm where light must enter if we are to ever find the true ingredients of our discomfort and thus, permanently remove the obstacles to happiness and freedom.

We all find ourselves in situations where no matter what we do, we’re don’t move forward. Sure, we rise for a bit at a time, we gain insights and moments of peace, but eventually…inevitably…we slide back into the same exact spot we started in. Each time we rise and fall we are wiser perhaps…perhaps stronger. But also weary and confused. Our good deeds and improved habits don’t seem to make enough of a difference.

Of course we blame circumstances, other people, and even point to some of our own shortcomings…usually the easy ones on the surface. We convince ourselves we’re tying to heal and grow beyond our limitations, that we are open and eager. Or else the exact opposite…that we’re stuck and somehow condemned to perpetual limitation.

And it may be true that we are trying. Problem is, what we’re trying to do is an exercise in futility. We’re looking to clean and repair our ‘house’ while keeping all windows and doors closed…avoiding closets, the basement and attic…and dusting lightly all around, adding layers of lemony scented polish on top of dirt and grime.

How are the light and fresh air to enter when most of what needs to be lit and aired out is inaccessible? How is our ‘house’ to ever be truly clean if we never actually clean it? Where is there room for wellness to settle and thrive in such a place?

As someone who was rather convinced of having mastered honesty and authenticity only to discover I was holding the door to the basement closed as if my life depended on it, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about why we are so afraid of completely revealing ourselves. It’s not like there are any witnesses! It’s just us and the Divine…whatever you want to call it. We already know that we’re hiding something that’s not pretty or pleasant (thus our resistance), so what is the big deal?

Do we fear punishment or imagine we may be unable to live with ourselves if we accept full responsibility for deeds we feel are unforgivable? The only punishment we can expect through honesty is forgiveness, healing and freedom….not exactly punishment material.

So then, are we simply guarding our sense of superiority, our illusion of invincibility, self-sufficiency and self-righteousness? Do we need to mask our own sins so that we can condemn those of others and hold on to anger and blame towards those who have hurt us and seem not to have noticed or cared? Are we resisting the responsibility that comes with healing and freedom? Could it be that we don’t actually want to acknowledge we are capable and gifted because it’s easier to lean on excuses…coast through life absorbing sympathy and hopefully sufficient benefits to allow for an enjoyable time with minimal effort or risk for blame?

Yes, yes, yes…all these reasons come on stage. And then there is the shame of having resisted for so long. And THEN there is the plunge into humility…that final, wonderful, cleansing experience that is however, not unlike jumping naked into an icy lake.

Bottom line…if we want to fix or change something for real, we have to know what the problem is and where it is. Throwing prayers, good deeds or sunshine…standing under a rainbow or running away might bring some temporary relief, but will fix or change nothing. We will not forgive or be forgiven, we will not heal, we will not know freedom or happiness.

And, we will always be in prison.

The most wonderful thing about honesty is that by revealing ourselves completely, there is no longer a need to hide again. And if we don’t need to hide, we have no use for fear. There’s a wonderful quote that goes with this: “You feel good not when all your problems are solved, but when you stop being afraid of all your problems.” ~ W. Kanadi

Just because we are finally willing to open all the doors, all the windows and start cleaning our ‘house’ obviously doesn’t mean our challenges are over and we now get to live effortlessly, or problem-free forever after.

But there’s no more fear…that great, paralyzing, terrible fear. It just vanishes. Challenges are now just challenges. There is always going to be doubt and worry, but there is now also room for a lot of confidence and trust. There is room! There is room for wellness to come and settle and grow. There is healing. We are finally free to live, to love, to be ourselves without guilt or shame, to create happiness.

Finally there is room.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Josue Joseph says:

    For a long time it has been known that exercise is very good for our mental health. It is a natural stress reducer and sends the message internally to us that we care about ourselves. So why is it that 60% of people don’t regularly exercise and many don’t exercise at all? Every single day we’re making decisions on what we are going to do and what we are not going to do. So why don’t the majority of us make decisions to do things we know will make us feel better? What is the disconnect and where is our self control?

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  2. Joanna L. says:

    Great point about exercise. Nutrition and rest are very important as well. The approach to wellness is always holistic…it has to be. And many out there focus on those aspects of wellness. What I write about isn’t ‘feeling better’ in a physical sense. We can have a lot of energy, good eating habits and a healthy lifestyle, and not grow emotionally and spiritually. Emotional and spiritual growth, overcoming fear and allowing creativity, living with passion and purpose are my focus here. Thanks for the comment!

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