Grandfather Energy: 15 Principles of Healing

    Six years ago I met a psychology professor, Jeff. He was late 60's male who was so light, empathetic and open. He grew up on native land in Oklahoma where he gained story upon story through experienced and passed down wisdom from his community.
    He had devoted his life to indigenous practices of approaching psychology and his office was filled withs books on shelves, books on the window ledges, and books stacked 4 feet high on the floors. I spent hours in there just flipping through his impressive collection of books. 
    His walls were filled with his art students had gifted him; psychedelic watercolors, dreamwork interpretations, abstract expressions of the subconscious, etc. 
    The feeling of his office was airy...gentle...healing. He had a strong wise elder energy to him and treated me with the wink of a grandfather. 
    One of the weeks I was in his office and we were speaking on healing across cultural planes. He handed me his 15 Principals of Healing; principles he had collected of 30+ years in practice...common themes across mythology, grace, and spiritual spiritual healings.
    I keep this handout in it's rightful place with by collection of books and am so grateful to return to these time and time again. 

      Principles of Healing by Jeff King


      1. Healing is a gift

      Healing is a part of the common grace that is woven into the fabric of life process. If it is grace, then it is a gift, not a result of our own performance or efforts. 

       2. Healing is tailor made to each one of us

      It speaks our language. It finds us where we are and speaks to us where we are. This aspect of healing, if studied closely, appears to let us know that we have importance, that we are known, and that we are seen.

      3. Healing knows no time

      This is a general pattern. For some, healing may occur rather quickly, while for others healing may take a long time. Who are we to judge? When we realize that healing exists outside of time, there are deep shifts of thinking that occur within. The most powerful, perhaps, is that we become more patient with ourselves and with our situation. The healing process is not in a hurry. 

      An old Hebrew proverb says it is not wise to put your focus beyond what the healing process (YAHWEH) has given you. When your focus is on the future, it is removed from the present, and therefore your energy is not available to deal with things in the present.

      4. Healing uses all available means

      Healing will use whatever is available to reach us. This is an incredible principal! The healing process may use dreams, gracious acts of others, synchronistic events, life situations, pain and suffering, nature, and may even manifest through unexpected places or situations.

      5. Healing, at times, requires us to be in relationship. Healing, at times, requires us to be alone. 

      We are meant to be in relationship. The major religions all have as the greatest commandment is to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. However, we are meant to be in healthy relationship! The healing process moves us into relationship where we must begin to trust again. 

      Being distant emotionally is a safe place, but it robs us of the experience of love, of intimacy, of finding comfort in the words or arms of another.

      Then there are times the healing process moves us into an alone time, to realize that we are never alone; that we are being taken care of even when no one else is there.

      6. Healing most often uses pain or discomfort through which to work 

      Scott Peck in The Road Less Traveled speaks of this dynamic: "The illness exists long before the symptoms. Rather than being the illness, the symptoms are the beginning of its cures. The fact that they are unwanted makes them all the more a phenomenon of grace - a gift, a message from the unconscious, if you will, to initiate self-examination and repair. There are many kinds of pain, many reasons for pain, and many mysteries as to pain, Yet, in this regard, it is 'the megaphone of (God) that leads us into our own healing.'"

      7. Healing works through the ordinary rather than the miraculous

      As we listen to our healing, we find ourselves paying closer attention to the ordinary things in our life. Yet we begin seeing lessons in them. They open our minds and hearts to the miraculous in the ordinary.

      8. Healing moves incrementally slow, and causes us to slow down

      Similar to to the previous principle, we must slow down in order to see healing. Healing operates at a slower pace. If we are moving at a faster pace, there is so much that we miss. As we slow down, we notice things around us more significantly, we notice what others are doing, how they are feeling, and so on. Sometimes slowing down is a very scary thing, because we begin to see ourselves.

      9. Healing proves itself to us

      These principles are not ones that you simply begin to believe. I don't believe that it is psychologically possible to trust in these principals of healing unless they prove themselves to us. 

      The wisdom in this is that we must open our hearts to the notion notion that we are being taken care of in order to see these principles as true. We will be brought to moments where we can step out in trust (what trust we have) and find that they prove themselves as true.

      10. Healing Teaches us to focus on the unseen rather than what is seen

      The things that are unseen are more permanent than the things seen. The wisdom in this is that it creates in us stability, or an anchor. We are not swayed by circumstances because we are able to see through them to the permanent truths of life.

      11. Healing takes us to the place of impossibility "the wisdom of no escape"

      The healing process will show us things about ourselves or about our situation that will be impossible. This is one of the notions I think are revealed in many fables and cultural tales, suggesting it is deep within our unconscious. How many tales include a situation where it is impossible? Rapunzel spinning straw into gold. In the Inuit tale "The Woman Who Would Not Take a Husband" the woman would not have a husband and her journey takes her to a situation where she is only bones and is cold, isolated, and unprotected. She, at that point declares, "well then, I must just trust." Things began to come to her after that. 

      When we realize and accept the impossibility of changing ourselves, it opens us up to a healing process which is greater than ourselves. It is opening our hearts to the gift of healing, and at the same time humbling ourselves to accept our humanity and our need for the greater healing.

      12. Healing rescues us "just barely"

      This notion is a drastic departure from the stories and news reports of miraculous events. More often we are rescued "just barely." This shifts one's perspective into seeing healing in the subtle events (situations, thoughts, and feelings). If we look for miraculous healing, we can be very disappointed. I also think that being rescued just barely allows for healing to have a stretching process for us. It causes us to deepen in character as well as take comfort in the small things.

      13. Healing reaches us to accept the process rather than the outcome

      I had one clients who wrote in her diary, "even if I don't get better, it is worth it to know that this is a process that takes care of me." Our goal is not to arrive, but to learn to be or abide in the process. When we quit looking at arriving, it changes our view of ourselves, others, and life itself. It moves us into the present and allows us to accept things in the here and now. There is a quote, "Seeking teaches us things finding never can."

      14. Healing brings us to the point of "ability to chose"

      There are many damaging things that can occur to us during our lives. Some of these things control us because we still carry the wounds. These wounds can act like electric circuits. When some event or feeling comes to us that somehow reminds us of the wound, the emotional circuitry lights up and we are caught up in it. Healing builds a different circuitry as we allow it to work in our lives. Eventually, this new circuity becomes stronger than the old, and we find that we can choose the new.

      15. "Coyote" will show up  

      Many cultures have the archetype of "coyote" or "trickster." What often occurs when a person makes a decision to better their lives is that "coyote" will show up. These can be either internal or external events that seek to "trip you up" in your commitment to be better. Coyote tries to kick you off this new path by enticing you with the very thing you want to get away from. 

      The principle of healing here is that when coyote shows up, it is not simply a phenomenon to try to trip you up, but a deeper principle that in the "test" one has the opportunity to resist the temptation and thus establishes a deeper commitment to the new goal or goals. This, in essence, deepens the healing process. 



      There are other principles of healing that you may know. However, these have been presented with the idea that these things are known by you, but might not have been put into words. I believe there are many other principles of healing - those known and those yet to be known; I encourage you to be an explorer"

      Jeff King