Healing: Admitting Curiosity

If you’ve ever been in prolonged physical pain and/or discomfort, you know how hard it can be to feel a connection to the non-physical (Spirit, God etc) from within that. How hard it can be to find that point of peace. The physical sensations are overwhelming. The mental and emotional weight is incredible.

plant paperToday I’m heartbroken that people I’ve recently met who are having this sort of experience have an added burden: they’re judged by others and by themselves in the name of energy and spirit.

People in pain – physical or emotional – are so often judged by western cultural programming on an all but unconscious/base belief level. Sick people did something to deserve it (they’re reaping what they’ve sown: bad things don’t happen to good people). It’s their own fault (they didn’t eat right, exercise, keep their mind in the Right Space). They should know better (they’re not as smart as we are, and get what they deserve).

Based on that deep cultural programming, our own anxieties about pain and illness can make us uncomfortable, influencing our choice of words, our demeanor, the energy we emanate. On a base level, unconscious or subconscious, people who are ill or in pain can be perceived as a threat to our peace of mind, a frightening reflection of our own vulnerability, a source of embarrassment for our own inadequacies in expressing compassion and curiosity. Sometimes we communicate those judgments without even realizing we’re doing it. The person in pain often picks up on it, though. 

The so-called New Age perspectives are often no better. Many of those messages are equally narrow and judgmental: you created the experience (you screwed up; there’s something wrong with you); you can heal yourself (so if you don’t you’re a failure).

These judgments are not useful. More than that, they aren’t true.

What if every single human experience is valid and valuable, whether it’s an experience of joy or one of pain and despair? I think it’s true: Every single human experience is valid and valuable.

Instead of judging someone by a set of beliefs about the way we think energy or the All That Is (God, Spirit, Allah, The Force, whatever) works, what if we admit that we don’t know it all?

What if instead of judgment – and let’s include diagnosis – what if instead of judgment and diagnosis, we apply curiosity? What if we assume that what someone else is experiencing is on behalf of all of existence no matter what the experience is, and from there consider that we might be being offered an opportunity to deepen and expand ourselves and our understanding of reality.

What if we each asked, “What is the terrible beauty of what they’re experiencing, and what is its gift?”

What if we asked ourselves, “What is this soul doing? I wonder what this person knows that I don’t know, going through this experience?”

What if we admired the daring of people experiencing no healing – of people who choose not to heal their physical bodies or emotional lives, of people who are seemingly “unable” to heal. What if we assume that their decisions, choices, experiences and even their attitude toward what they’re experiencing is right and valuable to their Whole Selves, and may be an act of service for others – for us?

What if we set aside all judgment and simply admire the fortitude that it takes a soul to even imagine exploring whatever it is they’re exploring? What if we set aside all judgment and simply surrender to our own pain at seeing them in pain, experiencing our own compassion?

What if we thank them?

What if we thanked individuals who are hurting, physically or emotionally, for providing us with the opportunity to release judgments and fears that we didn’t know we had or that we didn’t have the guts to call up out of the shadows on our own?

What if we thanked these people for giving us the invaluable opportunity to express and deepen our capacity for and expression of compassion, and co-passion?

We create our own reality has layers of meaning and truth … it’s so simple and can seem so complicated. What if sometimes creating our own reality means surrendering to the wisdom of a wholeness of self that sees beyond our present personality’s experience or understanding. Even when we see deeply, perhaps we ought to remain aware that seeing deeply may not mean seeing all, and that feeling connected to spirit and wisdom might not mean that there’s not more depth of connection and wisdom to gain.

We create our own reality isn’t an excuse or a justification for diagnosis and judgment, self righteousness and critical attacks – critical attacks against others or against ourselves. It’s not a demand to be perfect. We can be such deluded perfectionists … we can assume such a narrow, discriminating idea of perfection. Here’s what I suspect though, and try to remind myself must be true: perfection is infinite. Illness and dis-ease are included. Every single human experience is valid and valuable.

Healing rarely happens in an atmosphere of criticism and judgment – wielded against the self or others. Healing happens most often within acceptance, within moving into and through What Is.

And healing can take many forms. What if healing the physical body would rob someone of a more valuable form of healing? What if the definition of healing includes, for instance, finding the peace of surrender, of allowing?

My Aunt Ginger, who suffered from lupus for many, many years, had this to say: I think that the only real prayer is the prayer of acceptance.

By admitting curiosity through the door, into those places that we think we’ve got locked down as fact, perhaps another layer of understanding and wisdom gets revealed. Maybe we can heal people’s hearts by sharing a little love, respect, and acceptance, even if neither they nor we can’t heal their bodies. Maybe through grace and compassion we can be that little touch of the spirit in their lives at a time when they feel as if they can’t quite find it directly on their own.


19 thoughts on “Healing: Admitting Curiosity

  1. Natalie these words have made me really emotional this morning the resonate so deeply without me. I have just come through my own cancer journey and from beginning too ended all I experienced was peace and curiosity. I was surrounded by love and kindness and for me it was an amazing opportunity to be on the receiving end of compassion and kindness. New here I am shortly after getting the all clear sitting in the emergency room with my day who has recently been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and again I find that I am being presented with such an amazing opportunity to experience my own depth if compassion. I see beauty all around, even in the chaos and the drama. I truly love this post. Truly ♡

    1. Beautiful, thanks Debbie. I was lucky enough to be surrounded with support and love all through my recovery too, and wish so fervently that everyone could have that experience. xo

      (My phone also has a mind of its own 😉 )

  2. Great post and I totally agree. I have a chronic illness and have tried very hard to get better despite the majority of people’s beliefs that brought this upon myself. Now I accept where I am and feel more compassionate towards myself as a result. Its refreshing to see views like yours.

    1. “… Tried to get better despite the majority of people’s beliefs …” That’s how it feels, isn’t it – “despite” which implies a struggle against something … of “with the support of compassion and kindness.” So glad you’ve found that for yourself.

  3. “what someone else is experiencing is on behalf of all of existence no matter what the experience is, and from there consider that we might be being offered an opportunity to deepen and expand ourselves and our understanding of reality.

    What if we each asked, “What is the terrible beauty of what they’re experiencing, and what is its gift?”

    That every single person’s experience is on behalf of all existence is the kernal thought here and this one goes in my notebook. Super important to remember… thank you Natalie.

  4. Natalie

    What a beautiful articulated thought and essay. Brava.

    I first got an inkling of this concept of which you speak “The terrible beauty” when my brother was killed suddenly, and apparently senselessly in 1989. In the throes of grief and shock I had a glimpse of this beauty and have been “curious” about that revelation ever since that time.

    Now working with QHHT (Dolores Cannon’s method of quantum healing) these thoughts are absolutely something that is considered and brought to light for the client and the practitioner. Not all “healing” is the disappearance or resolution of a physical problem, or even, emotional pain and suffering. Many times it is profound understanding or acceptance that is the gift of the session to “know” one’s own soul’s ideas or plan when considering our human incarnation.

    Sometimes we learn that “suffering” can be a perfectly acceptable situation as far as the soul is concerned. It often is the shortest road to assist in its growth.

    Natalie. I look forward to more lovely and in depth writings from you!

    Thank you…


    1. Thanks, Candace. That’s beautiful that you had that thought within grief for your brother … Like a little beacon of comfort and truth. Wow.

    2. … and an example that we don’t have to have nde’s to have deep insights that shift perception and heal.

      Am looking forward to the QHHT session in a week or so!

  5. Oh Natalie…thank you. I felt my way through this piece as if wondering and wandering along a mobias strip, seeing familiar attitudes and presumptions from changed perspectives, weights and leanings. Such a beautiful and gracious opening for reflection and growth. I so appreciate your well crafted thoughtfulnesses! xx

  6. Anne’s comment forces my hand – reading and reflecting on this fine passage, the metaphor of a mobius strip came to me as well, so I take it as a sign that I should share this. Many years ago, events led me, alone, to a hospital in an unfamiliar city where I underwent major surgery in the aftermath of a serious accident. After the operation, I was wheeled into a bare room and the door was shut behind me. Time passed, I had been forgotten, and the residual effect of the surgical anesthetic or any other drugs that might have been delivered were soon gone. I remember the afternoon sun moving across the floor, but time soon stopped altogether, and I learned that pain could be something very pure and different from what I had previously understood it to be, By the time a nurse with a clipboard finally opened the door, stared at me in goggle eyed horror and said “Oh God” before rushing out for help, I was thoroughly transformed into something entirely other, a wraith of the air, a ghostly Christ on the cross, a confirmed denizen of some new place that was well beyond the simple notion of suffering.

    A few years later, I experienced a different kind of pain, an intense sense of emotional sadness and ineffable loss that I shared with someone who was very dear to me, like nothing I had ever felt before. But I prefer to leave it at that.

    I recall these two experiences and find a commonality. It’s as if they were written along a twisting mobius strip, on which something equally present, but hidden, exist right on the other side of this common fabric. And if the pain is sufficiently intense and clarity is achieved, that fabric starts to burn though and that which is written on the other side begins to be revealed. And strangely enough, what’s on the other side is a profound peace, a mysteriously subtle intimation of infinite joy. But words are clumsy. I am sorry I can’t really convey this.

    1. On the contrary, I’m familiar with that place, and think you’ve expressed this very simply, powerfully and eloquently. I gave this a minute of silence after reading it. Thank you, Brian.

  7. You guys are very kind. but 99.9 percent of the time, I’m actually totally lost and clueless. Thank goodness for that other .01 percent though….
    : )

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