Day 25: I am grateful for those who heal others.
People are suffering untold varieties of illnesses in every town and every city, all over the world. When there is physical pain, if there is medical care available, people may experience relief and some improvement, but when there is psychological and even mental pain and anguish, there is rarely enough that can be done to create or restore a person to wholeness. There are certainly no quick fixes.
At dinner tonight I saw a young adult male leave the restaurant he entered with his mother to stand outside pacing, his hands full of tremors, his gaze locked, not well. He sucked on his pipe as if to draw sustenance, hope, renewal, strength…pacing as he smoked, never looking up or away. I wondered about his birth story. I worried about his mother’s health, her worries. My husband said it was good that she was making an effort to feed her son. I knew, despite the irony, that the boy and the mother were lucky to have each other.
It is hard to eat one’s meal knowing the mental anguish many suffer–so many people–through absolutely no fault of their own. These people who were born this way, in this world that covets success where, by definition, they are foreign, outcasts, and often seen as failures. When we take these positions, we add to the problem; we don’t solve it. We all can be healers in small ways, if not big. One way is align oneself with those who care about those who are less fortunate.
We do not know enough about the brain and its functions, about personality and anxiety disorders or any mental illness. What we know is generalized, often eclipsed by stigma, stereotype, anger, ignorance, and fear. In the name of prevention, even with our best intentions, we often experience more mistakes than we do successes. Some of these mistakes turn into tragedies that dismantle even the strongest of psyches. If you have ever known a mother who lost a son to suicide, you understand something of what I mean.
Spiritual healers and religious leaders offer comfort, prayer and hope, along with social workers and psychologists, psychiatrists, grief counselors, and even supportive friends and organizations. But this is never enough when someone suffers the consequences of true mental illness, or when families suffer the loss of a loved one from suicide. We long for answers of how we can help, what we can do, and always we remain baffled and defeated. We need to understand, or someone needs to teach us how to heal, how to offer healing. We need real solutions that make long overdue sense and progress.
Many of us have the love, yet still we need so much more enlightenment. Somehow, we need to conjure the illumination necessary–the brilliance it will take, to serve and to heal our mentally ill.
One thing we can do is to be witness to these neurological maladies. If you know someone who suffers, do not panic. Stay calm, and be present. Do not make assumptions. Hold loving thoughts of hope and healing. Live a life of peaceful meditation, and pray for miracles. Even if you don’t believe in either prayers or miracles, it is certainly not going to hurt anything to hope for them. If you can take action, make sure it is a simple gentle gesture, such as an “Hello;” but above all, always be kind and always be loving. You don’t have to say or do anything; you must, however, begin by at least caring and not judging.
Today, I am grateful for all those who offer healing to anyone who suffers.
Who are the healers in your life?
How can you be a source of healing for others?
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