During this coronavirus season let’s dig a little deeper into our lives beyond the mind’s ragings of anxiety and hopelessness and the powerful desire to get back to “normal,” which I have found to be a moving target at best. Let’s take the time to enjoy our families and this beautiful earth, to look for the blessings amid the frustration of having few choices these days of what to do and where to go. Let’s focus on the healing that is ours if we will participate in it. Here are four suggestions that I have learned about healing in 35+ years of following Jesus Christ.
1-I now look at the symptoms that arise in my body as metaphors, signals that God may be sending me about where I need to open up, surrender, lighten up, just relax.
a- If I am experiencing pain or twinges in my knee(s), I might ask what is the function of the knee and what is this pain saying. Our knees bend, so am I having trouble being flexible about something?
b- If I am having some lower back pain, knowing that it helps me stand tall, I might ask is there something I can’t stand or something that gets in the way of my standing in the truth? Am I avoiding some truth about myself?
c- If my gums are bleeding, and I acknowledge that they are a protector of teeth in my mouth, so I might ask what can’t I get my teeth into? Or what issue am I avoiding?
These are issues that come up for me often. The issues that arise in us either physical or mental or spiritual are avenues for further exploration in prayer and meditation. They can be the doorways into a greater, truer life for each of us.
a-This is an exercise that takes us away from the left-brain mind and into the right brain, so that we can access a deeper truer response.
b-First pray for an openness that will illuminate where you stand or what is needed in your life right now.
c-Then draw or scribble something using a pen or pencil or colored pens or crayons.
d-Write what comes to mind. Don’t edit, just see what it is saying to you.
I have found this practice so useful when there are deep issues to deal with. I might do one a week for weeks or months until it seems to resolve itself. It was very useful five years ago when I moved three times in a year and a half and couldn’t seem to settle in—from my home which I sold in Charlotte to Baltimore, back to an apartment in Charlotte and finally to a townhome in Charlotte. It took a few months after that last move for this pray/draw/write exercise to ground me again.
3- Say It Out Loud or Write It Down
a-When you’re feeling off—anxious or fearful or angry or whatever and you can’t get the thoughts out of your mind, say them out loud or write them down, journal. There never seems to be anything I can do about them when they are just in my head, but they become concrete when I say them out loud or write them down. Then I can do something about them.
b-Particularly in the morning when I rise and know something is off in the way I am, I say exactly what I am feeling our loud. Within 15 minutes that feeling has lifted and I am back on track.
c-Journaling is particularly useful for bigger or deeper issues. Sometimes it takes a lot of writing to finally lay something to rest. Prayer, too, helps here as we turn these issues over to God who is the primary healer in our lives.
Don’t forget to write your dreams down, the ones that you remember. They can be a great source of information about what is going on in us at the unconscious level.
4-Keep a Gratitude Journal
a-Every evening write in a separate journal the blessings of the day. Just the commitment to do this will focus your heart on noting the blessings as they happen, so that you can write them down that night.
b- It is so easy to get lost in the pressures of our lives that we never see the blessings that God is raining down on us. The more we see of them, the happier we are.
c-The more we see of the blessings, the more we live in peace, knowing that God is with us in everything we do and in everything that happens to us.
Each of these practices is a prayer, because we are accessing the Indwelling Spirit of God to help us through them. In this time of confinement and isolation, may we see what is real and true about us and what is real and true about God. He has never promised to take away our difficulties, but He has promised to be with us every step of the way. Thanks be to God!
Questions to ponder over the week: What really helps me in times of crisis or difficulties to remember that I can trust God in everything? What practice do I turn to? Or do I just give in to the anxiety and fear? What practice would I commit to now to help me get through this period of confinement?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who turn to Him every day, for help and nurture and love and forgiveness. May we trust in God so much that we turn every aspect of our lives over to Him in love.
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Check out my other website, deepeningyourfaith.com, for information about spiritual practices and more writings about the spiritual life. New posts 2x a month. 3.30.20.s is entitled, “Dealing With the Pandemic.”