All roads lead to Rome. Anyone looking for God, eventually realises that there is nothing to search for, and that everything is inside.
Healing, too. One may take help from others, but eventually only one person can heal you – you.
My previous article on Healing Space was just a starter – I was exploring something new, I’m still learning. And as I learn, I realise – the most profound healing space one can provide is for oneself. As for others, a deep silence is the best thing you can offer them to assist their healing; the rest happens automatically.
So what is this healing space? In my current understanding, it is merely a complete acceptance of one’s current state. We are so conditioned by our past lives, parents and the society that we have to live by stereotypes. Among the people I meet, I see this at its worst – people trying to live upto the stereotypes of what they believe are spiritual people.
When we live with stereotypes in mind, we have a set of qualities and behaviours we expect from ourselves and people of a certain category. For example, ‘I am an honest person’, ‘I am intelligent’, ‘Spiritual people are not interested in material things’, ‘Rich people live in big houses and buy expensive things’. We classify ourselves too, and when we violate those stereotypes, there can be one of two reactions – either panic, or denial. Both are not very conducive to healing, and both lead to another problem – difficulty in loving oneself. So as you can imagine, it leads to a downward spiral, as a lack of love toward oneself further leads to panic and denial, and make more mistakes.
Let go of stereotypes. Its all ok. It is ok to be a ‘bad’ person. No matter what you do, you are still lovable. We’re taught from childhood consciously and subconsciously that actions make a person worthy of being loved. This belief prevents us from loving our dear ones as well as ourselves completely – because we perceive actions and intentions as good or bad, and judge a person from our very limited perspective. As Mahatma Gandhi used to say, ‘hate the sin, not the sinner’.
So how do we begin healing ourselves? Obviously observeration is a pre-requisite. The simplest thing is to observe ourselves when we make judgments about others. Negative judgments are always nothing but a reflection of something inside us. When we feel negatively about a person, we can try putting ourselves in their position, and ask ourselves if we would still love ourselves if we were that person. It is a good idea to write down our feelings at this point, and take it deeper from there, asking again and again what is the feeling beneath the feeling we have just identified.
The next step would be to watch out for any sudden reaction. The moment we find ourselves resisting something, arguing too hard, or trying not to think of something, we know we’ve hit pay dirt. No matter how uneasy it makes us feel, it is wonderful if we can take a deep look at what we are trying to avoid. We start with acceptance of the action or feeling, that it is perfectly ok to have done something or felt a particular way. Then we explore that emotion deeper, and start toying with it. What are we really feeling? What is the feeling beneath this feeling? Does this feeling invoke any memories? Meditate on it. Irrespective of how far we get, our work is to merely observe. There is no good or bad and we do not make judgments about what comes up.
Obviously, one gets much better with practice, and once we’re good at helping ourselves, helping others do the same becomes markedly easier.