Article by Angie Webster
There are many paths to healing. Including illness. Does that surprise you? Does it sound like a contradiction? It is so easy to fall into the thought that healing means something specific. We can begin to think we will feel happy all the time, or that we never have pain. That we will be cured of all illness, distress or discomfort. But we can’t possibly see what our journey holds for us.
Our whole journey is a path to healing. Healing isn’t an end goal. It isn’t something you achieve and then you are done forever. It is a process that unfolds and changes. Our healing journey offers us new layers to examine again and again as we grow. And since we are all interconnected, each person’s healing journey is part of many other people’s healing journey, too. Often in ways that can’t be seen from a single perspective.
Illness can seem like a monumental failure to a healer. Yet many healers seem to struggle with illness quite a lot. Some of us are guided to healing because of our struggles with illness. Some continue to use the tools to help them cope when pain or illness strike. These both apply to me. And when I began having ongoing health issues again several months ago, the feeling of failure applied to me, as well.
Unfortunately, I found that I came to see Reiki and other healing tools as weapons to shape my body into the state of ease and flow that I desired. I had attached to a specific outcome and in doing so I had made my own body an enemy and turned the sacred tool of Reiki into a sword against it. My self-Reiki sessions became urgent and insistent; tense. I needed the pain to stop. I saw my herbs as an arsenal, instead of as energetic plant allies and friends. I soon stopped feeling the energy and the pain increased, rather than easing. I stopped sensing the plant energies. I could only hear the pain and my grief. I began to realize I had to change my thinking.
I remembered that my greatest help has always been to tune in to gratitude and to rest in the present moment—no matter what that happens to be. In my greatest moments of pain and despair, when I have felt it might always be that way, those were my saviors. They kept me sane and even brought me relief and happiness. But that could never be the goal. Only presence and gratitude. Pure awareness of what is.
When I returned to this, I was able to begin listening to my body again. I could simply rest into my organs and cells and even into the pain with gratitude. I could listen to the energy of my body, without trying to “fix” it. This listening without the need to “fix” or change was a beautiful healing presence I was offering to my cells, organs, and tissues. I realized my own body was teaching me deeply about healing. And I wasn’t doing anything but witnessing.
I have new gratitude for the perspective that a prolonged illness brings. It forces you to slow down. Not only in your activities, but in your mind and your energy. It changes the way you relate to the world and even to yourself. You have to honor your emotions when you are coping with an ongoing illness. I am grateful for this slowing down and deepening awareness of my body and my inner world. I am grateful for the reminder of presence and acceptance. I am grateful for seeing the world from a quieter, more prayerful perspective.
I think the best way to use Reiki when you have a health issue is to accept your body. Accept and love the process that your beautiful, Divine vessel is working through right now. Be in the present moment with your precious physical form, even in pain and distress. Honor the Divine Energy as it works through and in your body. Learn to simply call upon presence and Light and allow it to work with you in the ways that it knows to be best. Surrender and learn in gratitude. Illness is another teacher on this journey. It is not the enemy. Everything is part of the path to healing. Ultimate healing is learning and union with the larger energy of the Divine.
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Angie Webster is a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She teaches online classes on energy healing, flower essences, herbalism, and personal growth. Angie often works with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Animal Reiki: How it Heals, Teaches & Reconnects Us with Nature and Reiki from A to Z. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.teachable.com and on Facebook (facebook.com/angiewebsterhealing).