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Healing Your Spirit

Mariette Risley

There are aspects of healing one’s spirit which we do not often think of as healing. The word healing usually brings to mind taking care of our bodies, making an appointment with a doctor, eating the right food, perhaps taking vitamins, doing something to make us feel better physically.

But there are other aspects of healing. And I would like to write about healing the spirit.

Friends are an aspect of this kind of healing. People who care about you and whom you care about, people whom you think well of and for whom you would do almost anything. Friends are nurturing and are definitely an aid to healing your spirit. Think how you feel when the phone rings and it is the voice of a friend on the wire. Or when you are out shopping, and you see a friend. You are elated, happy. And that is what healing your spirit accomplishes – a feeling of happiness and joy.

Love is an aspect of healing your spirit. Love for your parents, your children, your spouse or a significant person in your life, your brothers, and sisters. Most if not all of these people love you in return, and when you all get together you can almost feel the love in the air!

Finding meaning in your life is an aspect of healing your spirit. Dr. Victor Frankl, a noted Viennese psychotherapist and holocaust survivor, wrote a book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he beautifully illustrates the need for meaning in one’s life. Dr. Frankl died at age 92 the same week as Princess Diana and Mother Teresa and his death received little notice in the press. I read just one account of this event, which mentioned the above book. I remembered having read the book many years ago, and that it had little meaning for me. Perhaps I was too immersed in problems at the time, perhaps I was too young to appreciate his wonderful view and philosophy of having meaning in one’s life. Rereading this book has been very rewarding and has brought a healing to my spirit.

Being in nature, being aware of nature, admiring all the beauty in nature are wonderful ways to heal one’s spirit. When you see a beautiful sunset or an unexpected rainbow, for a few moments you are not conscious of yourself, but only aware of how beautiful the universe is, how fortunate you are to be part of this wonderful place. Your problems and aches and pains are momentarily forgotten as you live completely in the moment, the moment of appreciating nature. This precious moment is a very spirit-healing moment.

Hiking on a mountain or walking by the ocean makes you aware of the world outside of yourself. Again, you forget yourself and your life and you just feel the healing that is going on in your body and your heart and your soul. People return refreshed and invigorated from these experiences. A wonderful healing has taken place.

Animals are another aspect of healing the spirit. Many people who might be quite alone in the world feel a bonding with their animals, feel that the companionship their cat or dog gives them is quite invaluable. And some people who already have a full life love having cats and dogs, even though taking care of them stretches their valuable time. Many people, aware of the healing power that animals have, are active in organizations for the prevention of cruelty to animals, are actively in trying to ban zoos, do not eat meat because that means killing animals, buy products which the manufacturers state was prepared “cruelty-free”, meaning animals were not used or tortured or killed in testing their products.

When you hear beautiful music or see a wonderful work of art you are momentarily unaware of yourself and your problems. You are immersed in the beauty you are witnessing; in the healing you are experiencing.

Some movies and plays have healing powers. The messages one is subjected to in a well-wrought drama can have wonderful results in our lives through the healing of the spirit that has taken place.

Once you become aware that certain things you do in your life are healing your spirit, you will be conscious that these are joys for you.

The following quote from Goethe may be just what you need to make you want to start healing your spirit right now:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man or woman could have dreamed would come his or her way. Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.