What is the true meaning of healing? Healing is movement toward wholeness.
Healing is different from curing. A cure is a medical treatment that ends a disease process. Healing can take place at any point in our lives. It can manifest physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually.
Heal the body—What is your body asking for? Your body may feel better with better food, more movement, relaxation, or other healing practices.
Heal the heart—Great loss can bring immense waves of feelings. We may go into shock. It may take time before we allow ourselves to feel. That’s where friends, counselors, support groups, therapists and other places to share feelings can help. We may find better ways to face grief, anxiety or depression. We may heal old relationships. We may allow relationships that no longer serve us to end. We may find new friends and loves. We may even learn to love ourselves. Love is the greatest healer. Love transforms us. It is never too late to love.
Heal the mind—Our beliefs shape us. We can change them. We can heal our stories about ourselves and the world. We can let go of old ways of thinking that hinder healing. You might believe your cancer is a punishment. You might believe you are not worthy of love. You might believe you have no power to change what is happening. None of these beliefs is true. We can heal our minds and find better ways to see ourselves and the world.
Discover spirit—Spirit seeks us. Whatever your beliefs—religious, spiritual, or secular, the human spirit is our birthright. We need only to remember it. Spirit speaks to each of us in different ways. No need to believe in God to discover spirit. Call it a sense of meaning or purpose. Call it what you love most. Spirit, like love, is one of the ultimate sources of healing. Many believe spirit and love are actually one.
Paths to healing
There are common paths to healing with cancer, such as these 7 Healing Practices. They reinforce each other to strengthen physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing.
There are also paths unique to you. You may need healing from childhood trauma, the loss of a family member, a bad relationship, or some other disappointment. You may also find healing with a pet, a child, a new love, or time in nature.
CancerChoices key leadership have had the privilege of walking with hundreds of people with cancer and their loved ones in intimate week-long retreats. We have found time and again that when participants explore what needs healing in their lives, what is often discovered, to their surprise, is that what needs healing has very little to do with cancer. Addressing what needs healing has brought a sense of wholeness to their lives. Some would say their lives were transformed by it.
A cancer diagnosis may open the gates to inner powers of healing we never imagined in ordinary life.
What Is Healing?
Janie Brown, co-founder and executive director of the Callanish Society, explores the nature of the healing that arises among people with cancer communing together in retreat.Play video
Your choices in healing with cancer
Curing cancer is what we are all aiming for. We at CancerChoices offer insights on how to have the best chance at either curing or controlling cancer.
Yet even as you are hoping for a cure, you will have opportunities to heal with cancer. When you explore what needs healing, and address it, the dynamics that underlie what is needed for a cure may change in your favor.
If you find that curing is not possible, healing still is. Healing is a return to wholeness. It’s innate in each of us. It is always possible whether or not your cancer can be cured.
In my experience, not one single person that I’ve ever been privileged to work with has had a deep and long-lasting healing transformation in their physical body without having an equally deep healing transformation in their heart, in their emotional body.Jeremy Geffen, MD, Integrative Oncologist