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.
Today 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.