As I grow older, it seems like it takes longer to get over a strained back or other aches. Dealing with this change is sometimes a bit difficult. I accept it and try not to grumble and gripe about it. I “man up” and deal with minor injuries as they happen.
A pain in the back, or neck, or wherever seems like a new beginning of sorts. The mental focus shifts towards building strength and healing. I write these sentences this morning, a morning when I’m feeling no pain. I feel grateful for days when pain is absent and the mind is alert.
I’ve been fortunate to have never been seriously injured nor ill enough to require hospitalization. So many of my friends and family members haven’t been so lucky. I’ve observed that they require a lot of time to rest, in order to recuperate. Naturally, there have been others who never did heal. Even with my relatively mild injuries it has taken many years to fully understand the necessity of patience during the healing process.
The processes of healing don’t conform to our busy schedules. Healing doesn’t consult a day-planner nor glance at a wristwatch. The blood delivers nourishment and strength throughout its natural timespan. The various cells are replaced at their own pace. We heal more completely when we allow plenty of time for these processes to occur.
There are other forms of hurt that happen as a normal result of living. We have heartbreak and grief. These pains require certain amounts of time and contemplation in order for us to carry on “normal” thinking and activity.
The first time I experienced the need for plenty of time to heal from grief was after the death of my mother. Because I was relatively young and in the prime of my career, I believed that I could bounce back within the company-allotted “mourning-leave” provided by my employer. Of course, there was no way that I could get over the death of my parent within a week. I stuffed the sadness away in order to resume my duties and responsibilities.
Looking back, it was the suppression of grief that made the healing process take so long. It had also given rise to resentment about corporate culture. I realized the titanic internal clash between the artificiality of economic requirements versus the evolved biological requirements of being human beings. Our culture has largely neglected the processes of physical and emotional healing if someone cannot charge a monetary fee in order to enable it.
The cold, impersonal nature of American healthcare is embodied in its name–“The healthcare industry”. We have managed to industrialize a very personal, individual process. I realize that the repair and care of millions of people is a daunting reality within a civilization; but I still cannot help feeling a bit cynical about the state of healing in the United States–particularly the industrialization and commercialization of healthcare. The problems associated with healthcare in the U.S. are matters for different blog posts than this one.
Although I am not at all a religious person, an important part of my mind is, for lack of a more descriptive word, spiritual. This is manifested when I enjoy my hobbies. This spirituality comes through in creative pursuits.
When the insanity of the modern world becomes too much, I go outdoors and renew my connection with the natural world. Regardless of whether I walk and contemplate or sit and contemplate, the outdoors is a special healing place.
Outdoors, on the streets of my hometown, the fields and prairie outside of town, and the various weather conditions that cycle through each year, are places and times of self-discovery and spiritual adventure. Just stepping outside onto the porch begins a process of inner healing.
As I ponder “World Healing Day” today, I think of the crying need to give one another the space to be ourselves and to grow. People need to share enough personal space and time in order to nurture such amazing things as dignity, ideas, openness, honesty, inclusion, equality, joy, and healing. This is a special day to renew ourselves as individuals who are integral members of the world community.
World Healing Day is when we remember to always respect and honor our fellow humans and the natural environment that sustains everyone. All of us require healing.