ESSAY | SPIRITUALITY

On Healing

How I heal my mind, body and spirit

Photo by William Farlow on Unsplash

Ever since I read Diana C.’s prompt for this week — All things healing — my mind has been abuzz with ponderings, questions, possible answers, and other weird thoughts. This isn’t an unusual process for me; in fact, it is my normal process especially for such a deep topic. Sometimes I will get lucky and words will just pour out of my head and onto the page. Other times, like now, even after thinking about my reply to Diana’s prompt, I am still not sure I have anything organized in my head. So this may be more of a ramble than a coherent answer.

Healing the Body, Mind and Spirit

Since all three are interconnected, I do believe healing needs to occur within all three. Do we need to work on all three at the same time or separate, in stages? If I were to pick an order, I would say begin with the Spirit, then the Mind and finally the Body. If I didn’t believe in something greater than myself, a Divine Intervention, then I would be focused solely upon myself and when depression hits, I wouldn’t care about my mind or body. In fact, many times in my life when I was struggling with Spirit and depression, I hated myself. And as I’ve explained elsewhere, I had a horrible self-image problem and eating disorders.

What began to change for me was defining to myself the meaning of Spirit.

I grew up in a strict Southern Baptist, fire and brimstone family — well, mostly on my mother’s side of the family. I feared God and it made no sense to me how I could love something I feared so deeply. For the first two decades of my life, I bounced around from one Christian sect to another — Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, and the LDS-Mormon church. I came closer and closer to a God I felt I could love, but that initial fear always remained with me. For the next two decades, I completely withdrew from Christianity. I studied paganism, Wicca, New Age Spiritualism, Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism. Eventually, I realized that my own personal belief system aligned more with Ascended Masters, Angels, Buddhism and Taoism, and yes, a belief in a Divine higher power. Spirit became my connection to this Divine Being and the belief that all things on Earth and in the Heavenly Realm were ONE.

This spiritual revelation did not prevent chaos from raging in my mind.

While I felt I had a good handle on Spirit and had healed it by finally defining it, my mind was still chaotic. I have mental health issues — bipolar depression, borderline personality, anxiety, OCD, and a tonne of phobias. I will always have these issues. There is no permanent resolution for my mental illnesses. I can learn to control them through medication, therapy and a set of tools, but I will never be cured. These mind issues also affect my body, and they used to affect me spiritually too.

I was a complete mess until I realized I needed a three-pronged approach to healing.

How I Heal

On days when my mind is raging out of control, I have to cling to every tool I have to keep myself from spiraling into the void:

  1. I remind myself that I am a spiritual being having a human experience.
  2. I call upon the Divine through meditation and mantras.
  3. I do self-care. Sometimes by force, if necessary — get out of bed, eat, shower, etc. or allow myself to sleep if that is what my body needs. I will use Reiki, crystals, and even call out to Archangel Raphael for healing.
  4. I reach out to my therapist and talk it out.
  5. I use writing as a form of therapy — gratitude lists, poetry, nonsensical writing.
  6. I listen to music that lightens my soul — usually classical, smooth jazz, or drumming.
  7. I do for others as a reminder to myself that I am not alone, but interconnected to everyone and everything.

It has taken me about fifteen years to get to this place in my life where I access my tools instead of just descending into the darkness. I have been especially proud of myself for how well I have handled things in the last year — I lost my father in May of 2019, my brother in December of 2019, I reconnected and have been working out our issues with my sister in January of this year, and I recently lost my beloved cat. There have been days when the depression has been quicksand, pulling me under, but I have continued to persevere.

Pushing through has been my new call to action.

In conclusion, I do not believe that one can completely heal Body, Mind and Spirit separately. There has to be a concerted effort to heal them simultaneously. But even that is not enough. We need to remind ourselves that our wounds are also connected to the planet and all the creatures who dwell upon it, as well as the Universe. None of us are separated and when one of us is in pain, we are all in pain. Yes, healing must begin within, but then it needs to expand outward. Only then can we all be completely healed. We still have a lot of work to do.

©2020 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.

Lori Carlson writes poetry, fiction, articles and personal essays. Most of her topics are centered around Relationships, Spirituality, Life Lessons, Mental Health, and the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to writing for Know Thyself, Heal Thyself, Lori writes for sixteen other publications here on Medium. Check out her personal Medium blog — Ravyne’s Nest.

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𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘷𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 & 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘭𝘦𝘥𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴.

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Writing Coach, Poet, Fiction Writer, Essayist, Artist, Dreamer | “Enlightenment is when a wave realizes it is the Ocean” ~Thich Nhat Hanh