Healing means to be made whole. When we talk about healing, we talk about feeling better in our bodies, our minds, and our hearts. Some say that healing spiritually will heal a person at many levels, including physically. It’s a philosophy I’ve grappled with a lot and one that I’ve seen happen in my life and read about in others. Anita Moorjani, an author and teacher I greatly admire, was healed of cancer in her NDE experience by reconnecting to God, and writes bravely and beautifully about her experiences.
I’ve also seen the opposite, where I’ve had illnesses that couldn’t possibly have been healed without medicine. I needed medicine to get better, and I was grateful for modern medicine’s advances. I have friends on both sides of this philosophy, and some, like me, rest somewhere in the middle. Prayer, energy healing, and changing one’s thoughts can be a powerful impetus for healing, and at the same time, western medicine can be life-saving. I think the difficulty comes in choosing one philosophy exclusively.
I was raised to only take medicine and had ample access to all kinds of prescriptions and medical care as a child of a physician, but I never knew how to take my spiritual state into account when I was healing. Eventually, in my quest to heal, and having exhausted the western medical model, I began exploring the spiritual side of life, and found many practices that truly helped me heal. I learned to heal my energy, how to eat a healthier diet, and practices to restore my heart to light and to love, which I believe healed my endometriosis, anxiety and insomnia.
That was a big departure from my childhood and one that I’m truly grateful for. But that doesn’t mean that western medicine has no place in healing! It must be a balance. I truly believe that.
What are your favorite healing practices? Where do you fall on the spectrum?
Perhaps you are longing for an experience of the other side, or maybe you’ve had one already. Perhaps it was quite by accident, or maybe you’ve been yearning for years for confirmation of your highest hopes and dreams. A spiritual experience will likely be the most peaceful feeling you’ve ever had, followed by, if you are like me, complete fear and panic.
When I first saw the light, I became extremely afraid. I felt complete distress. I knew, at a deep level, that I was not living in congruence with my heart, and I could feel that this light saw my soul. I was afraid of being seen. I don’t know what the light was, but I believe it’s all I could see of an angel with my earthly eyes. When it spoke to me, I felt total peace and love, yet again, following my experience, I became full of fear. I knew I wasn’t supposed to have an experience like that. I felt I must be crazy.
It took many years and lots of conversations with trusted folks to help me integrate these experiences and learn that I was safe and okay. I eventually learned that I wasn’t crazy. It was just an awakening to another side of life- something that I hope you have experienced or will experience in the way that is perfect for you.
You are not your body or your mind. You are your soul, and your soul’s connection to God. If you happen to encounter something in this world that reminds you of that, it’s okay to be afraid, but you don’t have to be.
When I first had my spiritual experiences, I truly believed I was schizophrenic. I was raised in a skeptical household by a doctor and a psychologist. The spiritual realm did not exist in my world. Seeing or hearing things, even very beautiful things, meant one was crazy. I spent long hours and years talking with people and grappling with whether I was schizophrenic.
It was a long bridge to cross to believing in the spiritual world, but at the same time it was quite easy. We are spiritual beings. It only requires unlearning the attitudes we may have been given as children. Mine were very deeply learned because of the way I was raised, but they were not impossible to move past. It happened over time and after lots of questioning. It happened when I accepted my own experiences.
It helped to speak with people who were raised in different worlds that accepted a spiritual mindset, especially my stepfather, who came from a First People’s medicine tradition. For him, having an experience of God was a beautiful thing because it was the true nature of life. Listening to dreams was totally acceptable because dreams had meaning. Spirits and signs were all around us, communicating with us from the Great Spirit. His example and the example of others on the path were extremely helpful. In that way, I started to think of my connecting to a spiritual realm as a form of decolonizing myself and my mind.
What is the difference between schizophrenia and spirituality? One of my healers told me that people who are labeled “schizophrenic” have the door to the other side wide open and let anything in, be they positive or negative entities. People who are “spiritual” have developed practices around the other side to help them connect in a positive and helpful way. Many do so not for themselves, but in order to help others heal.
It’s ok to not be sure what to believe. It’s ok to work it out for yourself. It’s ok to question things you’ve been taught. It’s excellent to honor your own experiences.