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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Healing - A Spiral Path to Wellbeing

The road to recovery from issues in our lives that have hampered our happiness and wellbeing can be a long and perplexing path. Often it will seem to go in circles endlessly and never seems to get anywhere. Even more perplexing is that when we finally reach one of those special moments when we can finally acknowledge we have made it a new road emerges ahead of us and we must continue to pursue our path of healing. The spiral path to wellbeing describes the manner in which we may heal from our hurts and recover happiness in our lives once more.

Healing - A Spiral Path to Wellbeing

We may all have gotten into the bad habit, at one time or another, of holding on to painful emotions like anger, jealousy, self-pity, malice and so forth. We may often make the mistake of allowing these emotions to control our lives, rather than choosing to take responsibility for what we think and feel. Very often other bad habits become tied into maintaining the repetitive cycles in which we burden ourselves with bad feelings. We may neglect our health, fail to exercise, have a poor diet, and generally neglect to care for ourselves or our loved ones; we may even engage in other reckless behavior such as speeding or venting our anger toward people or picking fights.

None of this is good for us or for our family, friends, neighbors or coworkers. Some of us internalize our pain and wall it off within our hearts where it festers and rarely gets an opportunity to heal. We keep it at a distance from ourselves and try to ignore it or suppress it but our efforts to escape our pain in this manner have the ironic consequence of binding us to our pain more firmly. The more energy we invest in denying our pain the more intimately we become bound to it, making it seem inescapable.

Self help books abound with the advice to recognize our repetitive negative thoughts, to acknowledge them, and then to change them. And this is very sound advice. Unfortunately no one can tell us how to best go about doing this for ourselves, and no one can do it for us. But while we must do this for ourselves to free ourselves from addictive self-destructive thoughts or feelings, we don’t have to go it alone.

Aside from the guidance and companionship a good self help book can introduce to our
lives, there are internet sites catering to every sort of issue imaginable and we may easily find a supportive community of people who share our needs. Many of these people will have been down the same self destructive path we are now trying to escape from and their experience may help us to understand the changes that we must make within ourselves to open our hearts and begin to heal.

Another shop-worn piece of advice which we must take to heart and follow in order to heal ourselves is to love our selves. The message that we may only love other people when we have learned to love ourselves may have been heard before many times, but until we literally take this lesson to heart and learn to truly love and accept ourselves for who we are right now, we will never be able to be well.

Finally, we must remain true to ourselves at all times. We must not seek outside of ourselves for affirmations of our self worth. We are the only ones who know the true measure of our own worth, and no amount of praise from others will satisfy us if we do not hold our self worth in the highest regard within ourselves.

To come to love ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are at this moment we must forgive ourselves for any mistakes we have made in the past that have hurt us or someone else whom we love. We made those mistakes when we were less knowledgeable, less secure, and generally less fit to make good decisions about how to manage our lives and our relationships with other people. But by now we have come to recognize some of the mistakes we have made in the past, and by now we will have also learned how to make better decisions. The trick is then to break the habit of perpetuating our mistakes and negative thoughts or feelings so that we may begin to heal from the wounds we have created in our lives which can rob us of our happiness.

The first step is to recognize the repetitive manner in which bad thoughts and feelings arise in our lives. We must recognize when these bad thoughts and feelings are beginning to overwhelm us and then step back and say to ourselves: “I am in control of my thoughts and feelings. I can choose not engage myself with these particular thoughts and feelings.”

And then we must take control and release our bad thoughts and feelings; we must simply stop thinking them and stop attaching ourselves to those painful emotions that repeat themselves on a cyclical basis.

No, this is not easy at first. We may try to do this and a minute later we may discover ourselves re-engaging with our bad thoughts and feelings. So we must do it again. And then we must do it yet again.

We must keep doing this until it becomes our habitual response to disengage from any negative thoughts or feelings as quickly as we may become aware of them. We must develop our self awareness to the level where these bad thoughts and feelings can not sneak up on us and re-enter our hearts or minds when we are distracted, tired or have had a bad day.

When we make this a habit in our lives we will break out of the circle of our repeating bad thoughts and feelings and begin to heal. This is where the spiral path begins.

We are all creatures of habit, and no matter how vigilant we may be, our habits of entertaining negative thoughts and feelings will return and bad thoughts and feelings will show up again. Except that each time we encounter them they will have less force in our lives and it will become easier to banish our bad thoughts and feelings.

As the pain and suffering that we have inflicted upon ourselves with our bad thoughts and our bad feelings diminishes we will discover that we are more in control of our lives. We will become free to engage ourselves in pleasant activities and our encounters with other people will become more rewarding.

This is a spiral path because we are leaving the repetitious and endless circle of our bad habits and moving closer and closer to the center of our being. But we continue to circle around as we approach our center so our path turns from an endlessly spinning wheel into a spiral that steadily brings us closer to our centered state of being within our hearts.

Once we have become centered within our hearts the world expands around us and opportunity and new potentials appear. As we take up our new lives we become filled with joy and relief at having finally escaped our self destructive tendencies.

At the point where we become filled with joy from the realization that we have freed ourselves from a terrible burden which we may have tied to ourselves for many years we become clearer, stronger, healthier and more ready and capable of taking on new challenges.

In this higher exalted state we may be full of joy and our tears may flow. These ‘tears of joy’ are wept in response to pains in our heart which still need to be healed. Once one cycle of healing is completed it is often time to immediately begin on a new cycle of healing. Old pains and bad thought or feelings we have long ago forgotten may arise to fill the power vacuum of negativity that is created when we have let go of a set of our bad thoughts and feelings.

But, armed with our recent success in escaping from our old negativity, we may quickly learn the nature of our new bad thoughts and bad feelings which have arisen from some old wound which we have made ourselves unaware of at some time in our past.

Now we will be better prepared to recognize the repetitive nature of these bad thoughts and bad feelings and we will more easily escape their repetitive circular trap. Once more we will embark upon a spiral path to our wellbeing. But now that the path has become familiar to us we may walk it more quickly with more confidence.

Warm regards to you dear reader from Greg