Our health care is all about illness and being cured. Our mental health care is all about mental illnesses that need treatment and medication.
We are told: ‘If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it’. We pay no attention to our bodies, minds and souls, until they are bothering us. And then, darling heart, we believe we are broken. We are aching, physically or mentally or both, so we need fixing.
I wonder how many people are going around believing there is something wrong with them, that they need to be cured, fixed, mended – and that this might take a long time, if at all possible. Also – they believe that only very wise doctors and therapists hold the secret to this cure.
Sure, broken bones need to be put back in position – and in plaster, so they can heal. But people who believe they are broken are rarely talking about their bones. It’s their hearts, their faith, their belief, their trust, their sanity sometimes.
And frankly, I don’t believe anyone is broken, or indeed can be broken.
Yes, we can hurt. Our human experiences can be excruciating. And then we cry, we scream, we blunder, we fall and get back up, deal with our trials and tribulations as best we can.
You are not just o.k. when your life is running smoothly. You are not just whole when everything is going according to plan and you make a success out of whatever you do. When walls crumble and things fall apart, that doesn’t mean you are a failed project that needs fixing.
You couldn’t be anything less than whole, ever.
A famous zen saying goes ‘Every day a good day’. That sounds false, no? Surely not every day is good! When you run into debt, when your relationship is on the rocks, when you are being criticized or misunderstood, when a loved one dies? Those are bad days, right? My life is bad, I am bad….
The art of life, though, is to be completely one with it. To fully live it, moment to moment. The ‘good’ (which is only good because we judge it to be) and the ‘bad’ (ditto). To show up for it, not matter what, to soldier on and to embrace whatever is – be it reluctantly while cursing and howling.
This week, one of my clients, who was really taking some harsh blows in her life, had decided to come to me rather than go to a traditional therapist, although she wasn’t sure why. Her intuition told her. After an hour, she felt relief. She walked out strong, not beaten. Whole, not broken. I didn’t mend her. I never thought she was broken. I just helped her see she was whole.
For a program I am creating I am rereading Care of the soul, written by one of my great inspirators, Thomas Moore. He says psychology and spirituality need to be seen as one in order for it not to be ego-centered. Reading those words, I suddenly understood why I wanted to call myself spiritual teacher. I do not fix or mend. There is nothing broken. But we need to remember our wholeness. And that, as far as I’m concerned, is what spirituality means: remembering wholeness. But because we are human, and have an ego, we can get so tangled up in the illusion of separateness and brokenness, that we need each other to be reminded of our wholeness.
Sometimes when I’m with a client I almost feel like an oracle. I talk, and when I’m done, I’m not really sure who talked. But I feel moved, and there is a loving presence in the room. In a meeting of souls, there is divinity present. And we encounter our wholeness.
If you are interested in my 1-on-1 work, take a look at this page. If you’d like to talk to me, please fill out the short questionnaire (link at the bottom of the page) so I can assess if I might be able to support you.