Notes from the Naturopath
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Sunday, 26 June 2005
Mending Broken Dreams
Mood:  hug me
Topic: Spiritual Healing
It is very difficult, if not impossible, to completely heal physically if there is a need for a spiritual healing which is not attended to. This is the part of us from which springs forth our life.

Religion and Spirituality are two completely different things, although issues involving religion can certainly play a big part in how we view or express our spiritual selves.

Religion is a system of belief and practice as set down according to man. It is something we follow, something we belong to, a certain way of looking at things. But it is only a part of our lives due to whatever importance we give it. It is not actually a part of us.

Spirituality, on the other hand, is a part of us. It's a part of who we are. Actually, it is the essence of our true selves.

Our sense of spirituality is our awareness of our true nature...Our realization that we or not merely our bodies...that sense of knowning, somehow, there's more.

It's the part of us which believes in that which is not seen by the eye, but in that which is evidenced through life and it's events. It's that part of us that knows better when we do something wrong, not because we're afraid to get caught, but because we want to do right. It's the part of us that wonders what is the meaning of life, where we came from, and what will happen to us after we die.

Spirituality is the part of us that still believes in the Ultimate Power of Good, and that wishes and dreams can come true.

Spirituality is the love in our heart, and that feeling of oneness with others. It's the part of us that knows when we look to the sky that there is something bigger than us, even if it's just planets and stars. It's the part that feels humble and meek.

Spirituality is the part of us which is a part of the whole. It's the part that connects us with everyone else in the world. It's our unique and individual expression of life.

In actuality, this is the part of us that's perfect; the part that is created equal in all. But make no mistake, this part of us can be in pain, and it can surely bring problems with health, as it's implications reach far into the physical and emotional realms.

How does this part of ourselves get damaged? Well, it can happen in a number of ways. It goes deeper than emotion. It cuts to the core of our identity--who we believe ourself to actually be.

When we are born, we know who we are. We are not confused until we enter the world of confusing and conflicting ideas! It is then that we begin to question our place in this world, why we came here, why we have to ask to be fed and to be held, and why we sometimes are told we are "bad."

If abuse occurs, of any type, be it physical, emotional, sexual, financial or spiritual abuse, problems with our physical health can result. These problems could include high blood pressure, heart problems, allergies, substance abuse, eating disorders, headaches, immune system problems. Links to tumors have even been found!

Similarly, our spiritual nature can be deeply wounded. Chronic fear, low self-esteem, and self-hate can develop, with feelings of worthlessness, self-doubt and mistrust of others. Depression and anxiety often set in.

Rather than using drugs to correct these problems, I suggest we instead look to the spiritual roots of the problem, and address it from that angle first.

When abuse occurs as a child, it can be especially deeply embedded into the sense of self. Heck, Just everyday living with people and all their moods can be hard on a kid just figuring out who he (or she) is, even without anything which could be termed as "abuse." Let's try and go easy on them! Let's help to build them up strong for the world! Let's go easy on ourselves, as well.

Whether you do or whether you don't attend any type of religious program, it is helpful to discuss issues regarding religion and spirituality with your children. And for yourself, it's helpful to explore different ideas and to form a network of spiritually like-minded friends. It is not necessary to go to church, per se, but it is helpful in developing and nurturing this part of ourselves to set aside time for just that...time to honor and explore the spiritual aspects of life.

Being a part of a spiritual group can help you to form a support network, it can provide avenues for study, and it can help to remind you to live by practices which are in accordance with what you believe. It can be a very good thing. As a matter of fact, there has even been research to show that people who attend church regularly have far less problems with health!

However, it is important to realize that RELIGION IS A MAN-MADE INSTITUTION! The people who work in places of worship, whether priests, pastors, rabbis, youth ministers, whatever...are just PEOPLE. They are people, subject to making mistakes. If you put these people up on a pedestal, you set yourself up for confusion, disappointment and hurt. In some cases, you might even be setting yourself up for abuse. It's not just a sexual thing, although sexual abuse in churches of all religions is a much larger problem than most people have any idea.

If you suspect that spiritual abuse has occurred, you need to recognize and deal with it in an environment outside the place of abuse. It is easy to get wrapped up in an abusive cycle without even realizing that it is happening to us, and it can have profoundly devastating effects.

Another kind of spiritual hurt comes from being disappointed with God. It comes from prayers not seemingly answered, and from not understanding why God allows us to hurt.

Prayers are not always answered in the way that we want them to be, but that doesn't mean that the answers aren't there. It is helpful at times like these to take time apart and look for the good in our lives. Sometimes in hindsight we are able to see that things usually work out okay in the end. If we can think of times like that in the past, it might help to believe that things will be okay again. Even in death, good (God) is there. This is what I believe.

Sometimes, however, we are not able to see the good on our own. In times like that, it is advisable to seek out spiritual help. Often someone else can lend perspective when things look so bleak and grim, especially in times of great loss. This could be someone from your own religion, if you should have one, or someone who's spiritual ideals you admire. If you need someone to listen and offer input and suggestions as to ways to help you start heal, please feel free to contact us, and we will help you or we'll find someone who can.

One thing that has proven time and again to be effective in helping us to recognize the power of good in our lives is to spend time doing volunteer work. It is good to get out of our own problems sometimes, and be a help to others, instead. It makes our problems not seem so big, and it gives us a sense of purpose to be able to help someone else.

If you really want to give a boost to your spiritual state of well-being, try giving in secret! It works! Practice doing good things to benefit others, and not letting ANYONE know!

The more we reach outside of ourselves to help, the more we realize we have something to give. And strangely enough, it comes back!

Minimizing the importance of our particular problems is not to say they're not hard, and it is not in any way meant to imply that we are not important! We are! But no matter how big our problems are, they're really quite small in the big scope of things. We surely have the strength to get through. If we don't, then we need to reach out for help. We realize through helping others, that there is no shame in needing help, too.

It is very important to nurture our spiritual self. Look to that part of yourself as being sacred...It is! Treat yourself with respect, and with care, just like you would treat someone you love very much.

Time spent in quiet, reflecting on the good things in life, or just listening to the still small voice within is especially important to awakening this part of ourselves. Practice increasing your awareness throughout the day, by looking for spiritual solutions to everyday problems, like applying faith, forgiveness, compassion, and love. Honesy honors this part of ourselves, as does integrity, too. It's important to learn to be comfortable with who we are, what we think, and how we feel at any given moment in time. There's no need to hide our true selves.

Spiritual healing has to do with coming to believe that we're precious...the way we were created to be! It has to do with being happy with who we are. It has to do with loving ourselves, loving each other, being in love with all of life and the world!

Spiritual healing has to do with opening the channels of healing and love. It has to do with forgiveness and peace.

Don't give up on yourself, and don't give up on your dreams. Maybe you just need to take another look at what's good in you and the world. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, and believe in the power of truth, goodness, and love in your life and the world!

To sum it up...
1. Develop an attitude of gratitude!
2. Look for the good in your yourself, in others, and in every circumstance. It is there!
3. Find some way to be of useful service to others, either through volunteer work or else just making a special effort to do something to help someone else on a regular basis.
4. Try giving in secret!
5. Spend time in silence each day and become comfortable with the stillness within.
6. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people!
7. Nurture your goodness and be your own best friend.
8. Seek answers to the questions that point to your purpose and to the meaning of life.
9. Ask for help when you need it.
10. Strive to live in accordance with principles of honesty, integrity, and love, and within the tenets of your own beliefs.

Thank you for the wonderful gift that you are!
Mary Jo Eshelman, ND, CTN, CNHP

The information presented is the author's personal and professional opinion, and is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing printed here is designed to take the place of a physician's advice. If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed health care professional. All Natural HealthWorks! is not responsible for any damages or ill-effects resulting from the information presented herein, nor do we make any recommendations regarding your health. We are simply here as a resource for you in making your own choices for your health yourself.

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you can lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

Posted by super2/allnaturalhealth at 2:36 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 13 February 2007 8:59 AM EST
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