I noticed my throat felt slightly raspy last night. Of course, Covid 19 immediately came to mind. I learned hypochondria from my parents so I interpret physical symptoms to mean dire consequences by default. I’m mindful of the suffering mom, and to a lesser extent, dad, endured because of their real and imagined maladies. Remembering this, I’m able to dial back anxious feelings and analyze any possible causes for my symptoms.
The main culprit must have been drywall putty dust. I’ve been performing some wall repairs lately and have been applying “mud” to the cracks. After it has dried and cured, I sand off the rough spots. The resulting dust is very fine, so a face mask is necessary. Yesterday, I had substituted a bandanna in place of a face mask and so managed to inhale a small amount of the dust.
At bedtime, I again reminded myself about the “mud” dust. I knew I’d feel fine again in the morning. Indeed, I awakened, there was no sign of throat irritation, and I felt energetic and ready to start the day. I also expressed gratitude about the state of my health.
These days, the pandemic is foremost on people’s minds. This global phenomenon has greatly stressed the world’s healthcare institutions and has brought suffering to millions of us. We rightfully want healing for others and ourselves. This is a normal response. We know that modern medicine and healthcare workers perform healing miracles every hour of every day. We have more knowledge than ever before about nutrition, lifestyle choices, diet, exercise, and mental attitudes and how all of these affect our health. We desire health for our loved ones and ourselves. If we become ill or get injured, it goes without saying that returning to health is first and foremost on our minds.
When we think of healing, we might also think of people who suffer from mental illness and personality disorders. These conditions cause the sufferers a great amount of grief. They yearn for healing each day. Contemporary mental health providers provide valuable healing services to people who must deal with mental suffering. We also consider spiritual health under this category. Many people find consolation and comfort which can help ease the mental aspects of illness.
Everything I’ve mentioned is common knowledge and has been expressed by thousands of experts and philosophers in the past and present, so why do I write about them today?
Humanity is undergoing an unusual amount of illness, death, and suffering these days. Our nation has seen enormous physical, bodily illness and death. We have also been suffering from divisiveness, and in some camps, the wish to harm and kill fellow citizens. These are not only true here in the United States, but also in many nations around the world. These inauspicious aspects are nothing new. They’ve been around for centuries. We notice the especially troubling state of the nation and the world now, because the symptoms are more acute and impossible to ignore.
We idealistic people want to find ways to heal the global psyche. One of the oldest, basic ways to do this is for us to love one another and help other people to rise to higher levels of health and well-being. We know that love and compassion have been vital ingredients in the arts and sciences of healing.
When the subject of healing comes up, we like to consider the importance of the arts. People turn to music, drama, the visual arts like painting and photography. There are the technical and virtual crafts also literature in the forms of books, letters, and poetry. We consume the arts and we find solace in creating our own works. The arts are some of the most effective healing agents we have. Art touches us deep within when we enjoy the art of others or during the act of creating something ourselves. The arts are sources of joy and healing.
One of the finest sources for healing is the wilderness. Whenever it is available, exposure to a natural, outdoors space is therapy for the mind and body. Being mindful of our time spent outdoors reminds us of our interconnection with everyone and everything.
In this time of “social distancing”, many of us are lacking face to face human interaction. Although we can communicate through our devices, many of us are alone, lacking intimacy, and basic interpersonal relationships. Because we are social animals–yes, even introverts–we need some measure of face to face time with our fellow creatures. Where and when we are safely able to open our hearts in some way, we enable meaning to life and healing of what ails us.
We possess an amazing capacity to heal ourselves. We can do so more effectively than we used to realize. The first step is simply to stop doing whatever has been causing the problems. The next step is to allow the healing to occur.
I hope you are proactive. Stay safe and healthy. If you are suffering, may your healing process be swift and sure.