Thursday, 9 March 2017

Healing = Wholeness = Holiness

I recently read Jeanne Achterberg’s book, Woman as Healer, and was struck by the list of concepts that she believed were essential to a balanced view of healing. 

I know that it is not as simple as ‘curing’ oneself, but is an ongoing process of growth and transformation, of coming into balance and finding wholeness and insight—whether illness remains or not. But sometimes I forget, and need to be reminded again.

There is, importantly, an etymological relationship between the words heal, health, whole and holy. Such connections are never coincidental.

I share Achterberg's list here in the hope that it might inspire you as it has inspired me.

1. Healing is a lifelong journey towards wholeness.
2. Healing is remembering what has been forgotten about connection, and unity and interdependence among all things living and nonliving.
3. Healing is embracing what is most feared.
4. Healing is opening what has been closed, softening what has hardened into obstruction.
5. Healing is entering into the transcendent, timeless moment when one experiences the divine.
6. Healing is creativity and passion and love.
7. Healing is seeking and expressing self in its fullness, its light and shadow, its male and female.
8. Healing is learning to trust life.

(Jeanne Achterberg, Woman as Healer, Shambhala: Boston, 1990, p. 194)

A medieval manuscript image, perhaps depicting Trotula of Salerno, a woman healer who was said to practice at the medical university of Salerno (founded around the year 1000, and shut down by Napoleon's decree in 1811), one of the most famous medical institutions in Europe.
(Source: Wikimedia)

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