My healing journey: Forgiveness

Teaching on Healing

How do we begin to heal? At times our mind is not with our body such as when we drive our car to work our mind may not be thinking about driving at all, but we still reach our destination. This is known as store consciousness and at times anger, hurt,sorrow, joy etc rest in our store consciousness in the form of a seed “(bija)” (Thich Nhat Hanh, 2010). At times, we feel the tears streaming down our face. Some of us dont even know how to release the hurt, anger, frustration etc. We tend to bottle it up inside of us which boils up for many years and as we continue our lives we wonder how did I ever get here? What is really going on? We blame others for the way how we feel, but the truth is we need to face our own emotions and release it. When someone get us angry, “the seed of anger will manifest in the mind of consciousness as a mental formation of anger” (Thich Nhat Hanh, p. 10). We become depress at times when we tell ourselves things that are burden to us and our thoughts ruminate with feelings of “I am not good enough”, ” I am weak”, ” I do so much for others” etc. When the seed of angry comes up we need to recognize and take care. Be gentle with ourselves and embrace our emotions. We must also become aware of our breathing “so that we can continue to generate the energy of mindfulness, and the seed of mindfulness in us will become strong”(Thich Nhat Hanh, p. 11).

The function of Mindfulness

We must recognize the function of mindfulness and not fight it. As we process how we are feeling, we need to aware of the inner child that have been wounded for years. According to Thich Nhat Hanh , “All we need to do is to be aware of the child within us. When we recognize the wounded child for the first time, all we need to do is to be aware of him or her and say hello” (p.14). Once we recognize the inner child, we must embrace him or her and instead of fighting our emotions, we must take good care of ourselves. The difficult emotions will still be there, but we will not suffer any more. As we begin to embrace the inner child within us, we then “soothe our  difficult emotions” (p.15). This reminds me of times when we feel the gentle embrace of our parents and they gently hold our hands and reassure us that everything will be alright. When we begin to embrace these emotions, the truth shall be revealed. We will recognize where our suffering comes from and as we begin to see “the root of things, our suffering will lessen”(p.15).

If we want to reconcile with our family and friends, we must take care of ourselves first and “if we are not capable of listening to ourselves”, how can we possible listen to others? (Thich Nhat Hanh, p.36) We must know how to recognize our own suffering so that we can bring forth peace and understanding into our relationships.

Recognizing and Calming painful feeling

The best way to heal is to become present with ourselves and let our body, mind and spirit heal itself. As we begin to notice our breath, we become relaxed, but we dont fight the painful feeling because this is a part of us. Give yourselves permission to feel the pain which reminds me of the pain that I felt when I saw my son getting treatment for the very first time. I felt a knot in my stomach and my womb was in disarray. No mother wants to see their child getting chemo treatment.  I felt the tears surface and I allow myself to cry. Then I immediately began to notice my in and out breath and  I called on the name of Jesus! I had to release and let go so that my son could be healed! We must nourish our hearts and know that we will experience ups and downs in life. If we do not practice this in our daily life this will die out so recognize your pain and let it go!

We must acknowledge our suffering and do the following:

“Breathing in, I know that the feeling of suffering, despair, unhappiness, fear is in me.

Breathing out, I embrace the feeling of suffering in me.” (Thich Nhat Hanh, p. 52).

Nourishment

At times we use food and entertainment to run away from our sufferings and we feel so lonely, sad, empty, frustrated or afraid that we try to fill up that feeling with a movie or food. We suppress our pain and use the movie or food to replace the way how we feel. The more we feed our body and mind with these things the more it gets worse. We must not feed the suffering and give ourselves the chance to transform. Understanding and compassion will emerge to heal us and help us to heal others around us as well.  We must accept life as it is and know that we are not alone. . Dealing with suffering is not easy, but call on his name Jesus and he will guide you through this. Jesus forgave our sins so why are we having a hard time forgiving others? Ponder on this for a bit and know that we need to transform our suffering by simply recognizing it and letting it go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Thich Nhat Hanh, (2010). Reconciliation healing the inner child.Parallax  Press

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My Healing journey-Self-awareness

The Family Support System

It is important to me and my family that we support each other during the healing process. One of the things that I learned during my healing process is that I do have control over my feelings and it is okay for your son to feel sad, angry, etc. This is a part of the healing process which is very important for anyone overcoming illness. According to  O. Carl Simonton, “The difficult lesson to learn is not to judge yourself for having these feelings. Instead, accept the fact that you are experiencing them and attempt to suspend judgement” (p. 242). I had to learn how to be gentle which takes time and patience. I also am aware that everyone deals with crises differently and we need to honor this. When we had to handle the diagnosis of my son we went through several emotions. At first, I was not hearing what the doctor said because my emotions took over and I just held my breath. I remember feeling the knot in my stomach and I had to process everything that was said so I made notes while the doctor talked. The way how you receive the news from the sender is very important because this tells you how you will react. Dr. Maul was amazing and empathetic doctor who spoke slowly and calmly. I experienced other emotions as well that include fear for my son. He experience an array of emotions that included shock, disbelief, anger, frustration, sadness and unanswered questions. We had a open communication in the family in which we talked about how we felt. It was harder for my son to talk about this so I would coach him to just say what was on his mind and not to worry about what mom or dad will say. I honor his feelings and frustration because at the time he was a junior in high school whose main concern was completing his assignments and passing his classes. It is very important to listen to your loved ones and through your silence you can encourage your loved ones to share their feelings.  I also had to learn to let my son attend to his own feelings while I attend to mine because I wanted him to be an active part of his own recovery.  My son was more concern about losing his hair and I would comfort him that God will take care of him and not to worry about it. I also reassured him that his dad was bald so he would not be the only one bald. But during his treatment his hair did not fall out which I thanked the lord for answering our prayers.  I also encouraged him to take care of himself which included participating with him during exercise, walking and meditation.

Learning and growing

As I embrace each day, I thank the lord for waking me up and going before me every day. According to Simonton, et al. ” Despite the very serious problems you are facing, if you are willing to confront openly and honestly the experience of dealing with the life-threatening disease of your loved one, the experience  may contribute to your own personal growth” (p.260).  We have surely learned so much each day and as my son recovers from this ordeal we have learned to check in with each other during the course of his recovery. This month he goes back for a CT scan which is  a normal routine to check the patient after treatment and I know that all is well.

Feeling good together: How to strengthen relationship through better communication

At times communication  is a struggle for anyone in any relationship and it may seems as if it is easy but it is not. We must become better communicators which starts by “expressing your feelings openly and directly; and encourage the other person to express his or her feelings” (Burns, D.1999, p. 364).  Communication is a two way street where one listens while the other is talking. At times I have trouble with this, but I am getting better at listening more and more each day. It is important to listen to each other which is a daily practice in my family. At times it is not easy, but through guidance and encouragement we will get better.

My final thoughts

Truly grateful for waking up each day and thankful for the support from family and friends. As we go about our day each day, commit to making someone smile and remember that God love you. Treasure the moments spent with loved ones and friends and continue making memories. You are amazing! In addition, remember to notice your body which alerts you when you need to take it easy and do something fun. Going for walks along the lake is the best therapy for me while listening to the surroundings. Choose something to do and explore nature. Live life to the fullest.

 

References:

Burn, D.D., (1999). The Feelling Good Handbook. Penguin Group.

Simonton, O.C., Simonton-Matthew, S., & Creighton, J.L. (1992). Getting Well Again.A Step-by Step, Self-help guide to overcoming cancer for patients and their families. Bantam Books, New York.