Thursday, November 20, 2008

Heal Someone to Heal Yourself

The other day I was feeling "invisible". You know that feeling you get when you post to an e-mail list and nobody answers you or when you offer something to someone and they don't say thank you or you just cooked a big meal and everyone ate but didn't really notice the effort you put into it? I don't "require" that everyone thank me for everything - LOL! However, I find that there are "vortex days" when nobody responds to anything. On those days a person can feel very invisible. Sometimes even one thank you can make everything a person did that day seem significant - even if the thank you was for only one of those things. I have talked about this with a number of people and it seems this is a world-wide phenomenon and many people experience this same issue.

Of course there is the whole issue of ego. That is the first thing that comes up in these conversations. "Oh, it is just my ego needing to be petted. I shouldn't cater to my ego so much." This angle is valid in many ways. If we were all able to tame that ego we would not even need validation. So one angle to work on is to increase our faith and lessen our need to feed our ego - the ego that demands we get validation for our worth - the ego that needs to feel worthy. Instead, focus on the being within us that knows we are worthy because we have faith that we are useful and siginficant in some way.

However, a second way to view this is "WHY?"

After having a few of these conversations and realizing how universal the problem was it occured to me that perhaps there was a reason we all felt like that from time to time. Perhaps it was not because we always need to tame our ego, perhaps it was not all about "me" at all...perhaps it was a gentle reminder that I also have a responsibility to give this acknowledgement and feedback to other people on this earth.

Of course, I try to do this on a daily basis. When someone sends something to a list that I enjoy I respond, but sometimes I am busy and I can't. When someone writes to me on Facebook I write a thank you back. But sometimes I forget. And so on...

So last week when this "invisible vortex" hit me, instead of looking inward, I looked outward. I was powerless to heal myself. Beyond trying to do "ego meditations" I could not do much about the lack of "attention" my poor deprived ego (LOL) was getting. But I could help someone else who was perhaps feeling the same way. So I went through my inbox and responded to all those waiting messages. Some only needed a "thank you" or a "wow that was great" one-word response. It seemed like such an endless task when I set them aside for "later" a week ago. But sitting there, I realized that if I were to receive just one e-mail of that sort that evening, it would have the power to change my mood. Suddenly an "endless task" was transformed into a number of significant actions.

After responding to those e-mails I sent out some notes to friends I had been "meaning to write to" for a while. Then I took out my "To Do" list and looked at some of the things I had been planning to do...send a donated CD to someone who was waiting, upload a document for a friend (who was not waiting, but I did tell her that when I ran across it I would upload it), respond to a client who's appointment was not for three more days...but thought she might appreciate an early letter...and so on...I even called some friends. I am not much of a phone person (I don't use the phone unless I have to) so they usually end up calling me (and I do the e-mailing) but I thought they might be surprised if I actually made the effort to call them for once instead of writing to them.

By the end of four hours I felt so wonderful! I didn't need someone to thank me to know I had made a difference that evening. I simply KNEW. I knew, because I knew how I was feeling at that moment and I knew that someone else would be needing the same thing I did right now.

Then I took the thought a bit father...what if every time we were sad or ill or feeling deprived we tried to focus on healing someone else instead of ourselves? As a healer I am already aware of the power that healing has - it goes both ways - but it never occured to me to use that "power" for my benefit. I always saw it as a "nice side effect of healing work." So what if one was to start using that power, not only for others but for themselves...on purpose?

I was already doing this in my shopping (my motto - "My business may go through hard times now and then but if I use my sparse money to buy from other small businesses perhaps I can help save THEM at least") but what about taking it farther?

So I looked around at what I needed to heal in my life. I was feeling financially stressed so I decided to heal that I would give away a lot of things I did not need. I was feeling tired so I decided to make some chamomile tea for my daughter...and we had a tea party. Even today I am still finding things I can do. And these actions are having incredible healing effects on me - even more than I imagined.

And discovering...that in focusing my healing outward, I can heal, not only myself, but someone else too.

As a healer I have spent my entire life healing people in different ways, but when I did that it was all about THEM. My focus was on healing and nurturing them. I have noticed and appreciated that I also benefit from my healing work. However, this idea I am "trying out" now is something new. It involves the same actions I have always done (healing, giving, saying thank you , etc...) but for a different reason.

Sometimes when we are the healer, the parent, the mother, the nurturer - we feel like we "need a break" from all the healing or giving we do. Realizing that we can focus this healing in a different way from time to time gives us permission to take care of ourselves, but to still keep on giving.

The practice then, is not to turn all of a person's giving into a way to heal themselves, or to turn all self-healing into giving, but just to present a different idea, that you can perhaps use from time to time. There is no "law" that says all giving must be self-less and the way to heal yourself is not always to focus on yourself.

Happy healing!