HEALING INTO LIFE: OBSTACLES TO HEALING AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
Penny Cohen, LCSW
Years ago, before becoming a spiritually oriented psychotherapist I took a workshop on relationships. An exercise we did was to pair off with someone we didn’t know and share a secret. The woman I partnered with said, “I’ve been ill and I have a belief that the ultimate healing is death. I think subconsciously because I have this belief I’m not taking good enough care of myself and in some way I’m even killing myself.”
Automatically out of my mouth came, “Is there any way you can consider healing into life?” I didn’t see her again until the close of the workshop when she came over to me to thank me for a new way of thinking about healing and a healthier life.
Over the years I thought about my own remark, “Healing into life.” What did I really mean by that? And what is it that we want to heal?
Many years thereafter having studied esoteric philosophy, Buddhism, Shamanism. Kabbalah and writing a book, Personal Kabbalah: 32 Paths To Inner Peace And Life Purpose, I’ve come to believe that healing into life is healing into our own life force; our higher Self; our soul. It’s the part of ourselves that allows us to feel vital, whole, confident, and secure. It’s the innate loving, creative part of ourselves. And furthermore, all sickness is home sickness. We want to return home to our True Self.
In Kabbalah it is taught that the highest part of our soul, the “Yechida,” is out of body within oneness and source; our life force. It is the innate all knowing, all loving, all powerful, abundant part of ourselves; our Higher True Self, the essence of who we are. Along with that there’s an inner self; the spark of divinity within the body seeking to open to and receive more of our True Self. When we’re not connected to this greater part of ourselves we feel alone, lonely, discontent, out of balance and eventually become physically ill.
Whenever there are negative thought forms, repressed feelings and dysfunctional acting out behaviors we close off from our Higher True Self (soul). In Shamanism it is taught that a part of the soul leaves the body to avoid the pain. In psychology this is called disassociation. Furthermore, when the soul leaves the body it makes room for spiritual intrusions or uninvited guests. We feel out of sorts – or out of source – out of spirit. The void is often filled with addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, etc. Or it can also be filled by internal disturbances of anger, depression, compulsions, fear, guilt and even physical manifestations of tumors, cancers and other uninvited physical ailments. For healing, our goal is to fill the void with our Higher Self, our Soul, our life force. It’s allowing this life force back in.
Kabbalists formulated a blueprint of creation called the Tree Of Life. This is a map of creation delineating the forces of nature as well as our own personal relationship with these forces and the journey of our souls. From a personal perspective it shows the steps to healing the parts of ourselves which may have disconnected from our life force. It offers ways and means to reconnect through meditation and prayer. Integrating psychology into the equation gives us not only internal tools but helps us see the obstacles to living these attributes and the practical steps to healing ourselves and our lives, curing our afflictions and even going beyond to Self Realization and Self Actualization. Below is a chart with the ten Divine attributes, the obstacles to living them and the steps of repair.
SEE CHART BELOW:
Obstacles To Healing
Steps To Repair
1. Inner Peace & Hope
Obstacle: Poor Self Care
Healing Step: Choose Life and Self Care
To feel peaceful and hopeful take care of yourself physically with
good nutrition and exercies. To reach inside and experience your
2. Self Love And Self Trust
Obstacle: Poor Self Esteem And Self Image
Healing Step: Become Self-ish
To feel good about yourself, and develop a strong inner
foundation, acknowledge and believe in your Higher Self, commit
to becoming the best Self (aka soul) you can be and make healthy
and righteous choices.
Obstacle: Negative Thoughts and Self-defeating Beliefs
Healing Step: Change your attitude to gratitude.
To feel grateful from the inside out you need to understand cause
and effect – that what goes on inside in thoughts and beliefs
transmits out and comes back. It shows that we each are the
cause based on our thoughts and we receive lessons on what
thoughts and beliefs we need to transform for our souls to evolve.
Acknowledging the lesson gives an inner sense of gratitude. It
also helps to keep a gratitude journal.
Obstacle: Repressed Feelings
Healing Step: Let go And Let Love
When you hold onto emotions it feels like you’re in control when
in fact your emotions are controlling you. To experience faith from
the inside out, master your emotions by identifying and releasing
them, opening to love, asking for the highest and best good, and
letting the universe take care of the rest.
5. Beauty and Truth
Obstacle: We See Things Not As They Are But As We Are
Healing Step: God is in the details
When we observe detailed facts rather than seeing things
through perceptions, assumptions, beliefs or expectations
we get to the essence and beauty of what is.
6. Justice and Empowerment
Obstacle: Giving Into Harmful Inclinations: Judgments, Criticisms,
Healing Step: Self-Discipline
Judge not others, but yourself. What you judge in others is
something you’re judging in yourself. Justice emerges when you
uncover the unresolved issues within yourself and experience
acceptance. Empowerment emerges with the willingness to say
what you mean without being mean which comes from disciplined
Obstacle: Being Unkind And Unmerciful
Healing Step: Heartfelt Forgiveness, Unconditional Love And
Grace comes with forgiveness. Forgiveness is for-giving up
the forbidding parts of yourself and for-giving love. When you
forgive from the heart, not just the head, there’s a feeling of
unconditional love and spontaneous actions of loving-kindness.
8. Vision/Understanding (understanding your role in the universe)
Obstacle: Wandering Aimlessly: Having No Vision, Direction, Focus
Healing Step: Follow your bliss
Vision comes when you determine what you love to do and start
doing it. If you don’t know what that is ponder what you think
people need that you can offer, learn it for yourself and offer it.
Obstacle: Self-sabotage: Feeling Unworthy Of Your Own Greatness
Healing Step: Feel entitled to have it all
For wisdom to emerge allow yourself to receive the goodness in
the universe. Your role is to reach your highest potential and live
life to the fullest. Since you and everyone else are in the image of
the divine, then like divinity, you have the ability to live your
highest potential and reap the rewards of abundance.
10.Oneness and Will (Presence)
Obstacle: Regretting The Past, Worrying About The Future.
Healing Step: Be humble, live in the present, dare to dream
Being humble comes with surrendering your compulsions to the
Divine. Living in the present means accepting what is and what
you have right now and being open to excellence – your own
excellence. When you live in the present you experience the
presence of the Divine and oneness. When you set an intention,
you co-create with the divine and anything is possible. Dare to
dream and set the intention to manifest it with love.
Live these ten principles and see what transpires.
Staying In Touch And In Love,