Maryanne Zarycka – USA
When you think about healing, what comes to your mind? Healing the body? Healing the mind? Healing the Spirit? The list can go on and on; healing our emotional self, our mental self, our past, our present… our family, our neighbors, our nation, our planet? There is no end to the amount of healing which can and must occur in ourselves and in today’s world. Healing is such a wide and diverse term and it can have so many meanings, so where do we start? As I tried to wrap my mind around this topic of healing and prepared to write this article, I contemplated several approaches to discuss healing. Then I had a ‘week from hell’ and decided that this would be a wonderful way to begin my thoughts and experiences regarding healing. There’s nothing like a good dose of earthly reality to provide me with a healthy ‘wake-up’ call, and an opportunity to share from the heart.
I am blessed with a very spiritual and loving way of life. I pray and meditate every morning for guidance throughout the day, and I end each day with a gratitude prayer and contemplation on how I spent my day. I look for areas in my day where I could have done better, or maybe could have handled a situation in a more loving and effective manner. I avoid ‘beating myself up’ over any mistakes I’ve made, and I remind myself that all my experiences are lessons. As wonderful and utopic as this type of life might sound, it most definitely comes with no guarantees. At times it seems the laws of karma and the laws of nature have other plans.
Occasionally, something will appear to trigger a chain reaction which rocks my world for a period of time and it seems like everything is off track. It may start with a minor disturbance like stubbing my toe, or dropping my cup of coffee, or disgruntled encounter with another person, and then escalate to an earth-shattering week full of what feels like attacks from every direction. That was my week. No matter how hard I tried to stay positive and loving, alert and fully conscious, it seemed like everything and everyone was ganging up on me. From the truck driver with an attitude, to the unhappy customer, to the unexpected changes in my schedule, to the engine light coming on in my car, to the tearful departure of a long time client, and the list went on…day after day for the entire week. Have you ever had a week like that? Exhausting!
The harder I tried to hold it all together, the more it seemed to fall apart until I just threw up my hands and said, “OK…You win!” I felt broken and tired and useless to anyone, especially myself! When a steady stream of imbalance and disharmony disrupts my peace of mind and wellbeing, it usually leaves me feeling wounded, exhausted, and discouraged. I might move into doubt, my faith weakens, I question my abilities, and I become confused regarding my purpose in this lifetime. What a scary place to be for a spiritually minded person.
The comforting message I always fall back on is ‘everything happens for a reason’. Each episode of darkness or despair provides us with the opportunity to commune with our higher self and experience a brighter light than ever before. I know the law of Karma is alive and well, so as I endure the pain and discomfort of an unbalanced day or week, I look hard for the lessons and the messages. There is also that wonderful opportunity for me to make choices on how I will act and react to each person and situation as it materializes. I keep in mind that my thoughts, my actions and my responses will absolutely direct and predict my future. What an amazing opportunity to clean up some old negative karma and hopefully influence gentler future experiences.
As I heal myself through these rough spots with prayer, meditation, and action, I give the gift of demonstrating to others the importance of working through even the toughest times with grace, compassion, and faith. I found this passage in one of my TSA readings which reminds me how important all my experiences are, “Karma is closely connected with reincarnation, for one of the causes of reincarnation is the need to work out the uncompleted consequences of actions in our past lives. Some actions are followed immediately by their results, and then karma is balanced at once. Other actions, however, for various reasons cannot be immediately completed. Their effects may not be worked out for months or years later. In some cases, the effects of our actions may even carry over into a future life."This passage tells me that pain and suffering is necessary for the healing and evolution of my soul.
Each one of us has so many opportunities every single day to help heal the planet and the people on it. It occurred to me after this week of ‘challenges’ that when I am experiencing turmoil in my mind, my body, or my spirit, it's practically impossible for me to make a positive impact on the planet and its people. So my healing must start with me. I must be quick to recognize, process, and work through the lessons so my attention and energy can be directed back to universal healing. I also acknowledge that by committed work to heal all aspects of myself, I am contributing to healing the human race, the whole, because we are all connected.
I absolutely must start healing myself and then healing with family, friends, and community, like the ripple effect created by tossing a stone into a pond. Everything I do will affect the environment and the people around me. So healing starts with us as individuals, and moves outward. Madame Blavatsky said “…nothing, therefore, can affect one nation or one man without affecting all other nations and all other men. This is as certain and as obvious as that a stone thrown into a pond will, sooner or later, set in motion every single drop of water therein.” (HPB, The Key to Theosophy p. 39, p. 43)
Does this mean I have to be spiritually perfect (is that even possible?), with a halo over my head illuminating bright white light in order to help someone else? Of course not, but I most definitely have to come from a place of love and compassion to be most effective. So how do I get there? What happens when I move away from there? How do I get back? There is work we must do to prepare ourselves for the task of becoming a healing force in our world, and Mr. Judge explains, “There is, first, our own work, in ourselves, each one….the enlightenment of oneself for the good of others… by unselfish acts, by kind thoughts, by detaching our minds from the allurements of the world.” (W.Q. Judge, Letters that have helped me, Part 2, Letter 2)
It takes self-devotion, self-awareness, and conscious work to live a spiritual life while actively participating in today’s world. Most of us have jobs and families, or other interests and obligations which keep our daily lives and attention incredibly busy. Of course, there are outside environmental distractions including social media, mass media, governments, politics, and endless opportunities for debates and interference to our mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. It is up to us as individuals to monitor and moderate ‘input’ which can cause spiritual imbalance, filter out harmful thoughts and ideas, and to devote plenty of time each day towards our spiritual growth and well-being. Easier said than done, but absolutely possible if we truly want to make a difference in ourselves and the planet.
If we are to be successful in self-healing, we must be willing to work on ourselves. Even if we would rather be doing something else, or it feels uncomfortable, we must put forth the effort every minute of every day to be consciously aware of our intake – physical, mental, emotional – and our output – thoughts, words, and actions. We must be willing to take action when needed, and do the work required to heal ourselves from the inside out. In J. Krishnamurti’s book, At the Feet of the Master, a simple and wonderful guide which gives us basic living instructions, he says “…to look at food and say that it is good will not satisfy a starving man; he must put forth his hand and eat.”
Healing ourselves means finding the truth and gaining knowledge of our experiences through study of ancient wisdom, having conversations with others to broaden our perspectives, and physical and emotional connection with others to teach us more about ourselves. Using meditation and other spiritual means will help us realize our divine self and the interconnectedness of all. Once we have made a start and a commitment to continue working on ourselves it is important for us to spread the message of healing with others. Removing judgment and opening our hearts to a true sense of brotherhood will allow us to see our fellow humankind as one without barriers. We must teach ourselves to be accepting and tolerant of others. When we realize how interconnected we all are – that we all share the same cosmic origin; and our basic deep down need is to be loved and accepted, we are able to reach out to our brothers and sisters with a healing hand and heart. Starting with ourselves, Madame Blavatsky gives us specific instructions and tells us we must practice “absolute unselfishness and unlimited devotion to the interests of others.” (HPB, The New Cycle)
Light on the Pathtalks to us about many aspects of healing. As we heal ourselves we begin to see the smallest light, and with the vision of that smallest light we keep focused on it even though the darkness is so prevalent around us.We reach out our hand to others and help to take them along the path of the light.We use our own darkness to associate and help those who are also in darkness. By relating to our own darkness, we know how our brother feels. The knowledge of our own darkness can help us feel compassion and have the knowledge to be able to help our brother who is also in darkness and who has not seen the light as of yet.
Here is a passage by S. Rinpoche (The Theosophist, May 2001) I found with an interesting view of self-healing first, and then the world:
“Today, this small planet Earth is suffering from a lack of cohesiveness resulting in conflicts, and it sentient beings are subject to untold miseries and fear. This is basically due to the collective black karmic force of living beings, which is not very easy to improve or correct. However, we cannot wait for the transformation of the collective karmic force of society as a whole to solve the problems we are experiencing in our day-to-day lives. Therefore, we must be more attentive to an individual approach, rather than a collective one, in order to regenerate ourselves and the world at large.
The 'stepping out of the stream' method is the only practical and feasible one for individuals in the current situation. When the powerful current of a flood carries someone away, he may not be able to stop or reverse the flow of the flood, but he has the freedom, the ability, and perhaps the responsibility to swim towards the shore and hence step out of the current. Once an individual is able to do this, he or she might be able to help and rescue many others. Today, each one of us, individually, must step out of the current of modern civilization and fulfill his or her Universal responsibility. In this way, each individual can attune himself with the Universe, and also put the Universe in tune with himself.”
Healing ourselves is the beginning of healing the world and helping to lift the heavy burden of karma from the world. One does not have to be completely healed in order to offer help and to heal the planet. Only the slightest amount of healing needs to take place in ourselves before we can reach out our hand and help our brother. Once we have seen the light even if it's only a pin light, we can focus on that light and still reach into the darkness to grab the hand of those who need assistance. Working together as humankind without barriers and boarders will slowly but surely increase the compassion, love, and healing of the planet.
Thank you for helping me heal the planet!