Here is another video excerpt and transcript from a Whole Heart Connection: Making Connections workshop. It’s about Healing and Walking. If you are not familiar with these terms, you can watch the video and see if the transmission reaches you anyway… or you can review my video blog from July 31, 2020, which introduces these very important concepts.
I’ve been thinking a whole lot about healing in the context of “healing and walking”—in the context of damage—in the context of that which can (or cannot) actually be healed.
I think that this is very important these days, because there’s a lot going on, inside of and outside of individual humans, that I’m not sure is actually a candidate for a healing. It is, however, a candidate for walking. In the way of profound walking, it is true that suddenly healing becomes possible again, on levels that “you couldn’t have gotten there from here” by trying to heal. By that point in the walking, though, you don’t care. You’re glad, of course. But it’s not the main point.
I am working right now with a client, a healthy man who fell from a high place and shattered his foot. They had to put him under to rebuild it. But in order to prepare for the anesthesia, they did all these scans—and they found, right next to his heart in his lung, what appears to be inoperable, metastatic, stage IV lung cancer.
He’s completely asymptomatic. He came to me, as he put it, deranged with fear and anger, asking me to take him on as a client and save him. I said, “I will agree to take you on as a client, if the focus is walking, not healing. Maybe you’ll heal and maybe you won’t. But we focus on, if you are to die, how would you like to die? Let’s get to work on clearing the debris between you and the Unity, so that you have a clear-as-possible shot to go home, without bashing into that which holds you back, and having to spend however many years after you’re dead, burning that off.” Because he’s quite the person. There’s plenty there. I have no idea how this will turn out. But as we go, the doctors keep readjusting things, and saying, “Well, maybe this isn’t stage IV. “Well, maybe this isn’t metastatic.” Recently they’ve said, “I’m not sure, but maybe this isn’t cancer.”
So, we have no idea. However, it’s amazing how much is loosening because of the focus on “How do I clear, destroy, eradicate, and renounce that which stands between me and a full Yes to the Big Heart?” That’s our focus. Walking, not healing, is resulting in a much bigger 51% voting majority of light coming in. The amount of holy light that is able to come into his system, now that he’s not trying to heal, is vast.
Heck just saying, “OK God, let’s work on our relationship. That’s all. I am preparing to come home.” Huge and huge, what this is bringing to otherwise unresolvable (as far as I can tell) unhealable levels of damage inside of him, because whatever he’s got in his lung is difficult material. It really didn’t come from nowhere. There has been darkness and trouble.
I am in conversation with some moms right now. I’m looking at the potential of putting together a Whole Heart Connection Mom thing for mothers of young children. The main issue that keeps coming up is, how do I raise a child who might not live to be grown up? Because we do not know what this world is coming to. How do I prepare my child for a possible early death in a massive conflagration, or goodness knows what we’re heading into?
My conversation with these moms has been as inspiring as working with this supposed stage IV metastatic cancer person. These are moms who are taking on the question of, how do I teach my child to put their connection to the Big Heart first, absolutely no matter what, as the primary cultural cornerstone of our family life? And then seeing what the fallout is from there.
For instance, we could be working with the issue of a bully in preschool. From the point of view of healing, we are oriented around “I want this to come out with my kid feeling good, and feeling strong, and resolving the issue, and making things better in a worldly sense.” Instead, we are now orienting around, how do I help my kid, on a me-first basis, as part of a familial culture, to anchor their commitment to the heart despite the wound? We are making it really clear that this is not a deal-breaker between us and the Big Love. In fact, it may be an opportunity to draw near. The resulting access to a profound resource that that four-year-old has to face the bully—not from focusing on how do you face the bully—is rather open-ended. It’s deliberately non-strategically open-ended with good side effects.
Healing is great. I love healing. Let’s do lots of healing. It’s wonderful, wonderful stuff. However, we are more and more often finding ourselves in places—globally or personally—where healing doesn’t seem possible. Where it seems like we’re dealing with not just damage but a kind of brokenness.
If what we are doing, relentlessly, is what in Chinese medicine is called “facing south” or facing towards the world, then we are trying to remediate the question of “How do I come to life more fully and authentically,” and our focus is clearing away the obstacles and tending the wounds between ourselves and the world.
I’m not against it. It’s often quite important, quite helpful, and occasionally, dead impossible. Can’t get there from here.
Everybody does die. Everybody is eventually going to get themselves into a situation where they can’t be healed—but where there’s going to be a heck of a lot else that they can do. Like turn and face north and say, “I’m not ignoring any of this rubble. Can we open it even more? Can it be a doorway in some way? What what what is the gift?
There’s an acupuncture point, Lung 7, which has to do with that David Whyte poem about how when one thing goes, everything goes; we have to remake all the relationships to everything. There is no single loss.
It’s a way of saying, too, that there is no single brokenness, so let’s just mash the whole thing up. It was a broken bicycle; what is it going to be now? An incredible sculpture of some kind that nobody’s ever thought of before? I give the pieces to You. I give You these broken pieces.
Open more, and take it to the next step. What do we have here? Terrible, horrendous places that feel corrupted beyond belief, due to childhood abuse. Wow, to work with that from a south-facing healing agenda is… I don’t know how many decades of therapy, with the confusing distortions of spirit and body that have grown up around this terrible thing.
From the point of view of facing south, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t irreparable damage. The main perspective shift that I’m wanting to bring here is: I don’t care. Turn it around facing north. It either is, or isn’t, going to heal for this world. But if it is, its best shot at healing is by not trying to heal it—but by saying, You brought me here. You brought me this next step for our relationship, not for me to have a lot of fun in life, or even to be me fully. Next step in our relationship, next step in my homecoming process.
I’ve been classifying damage in two ways. One is that which is getting in the way of me living my life as I was made, and that is about healing—though sometimes even that is not going to be healed through healing. It’s going to be healed through turning north and assuming, “Well, if I were on my deathbed right now, and wanting nothing to stand in the way of my union… Am I going to clutch my wounds to my chest?”
I’ve been doing plenty of this. I’ve been working with this in myself, the part of me that takes my damage and holds it between me and the One—or is willing to open. It is incredibly difficult because it’s such identity at this point. It’s so old. It’s so defining. But if I’m heading home anyway, I’m heading home anyway, and maybe by tomorrow being hit by a bus.
Walking, or facing north, just like healing requires a strong engine or an engine attended by a community of loved ones. In the same way that healing is a kind of letting go into the alchemical solvent that allows your damage to unwind, it is the same for the north-facing direction of flow also. We can’t surrender into a theory; we can’t surrender into nothingness; we can’t surrender into a pinhole of light. We need to surrender into something large.
We hold that door open for each other. Often we do not know, nor need to know, whether it’s the door of healing or the door of walking that we’re holding open. Hold the door open—hold the door open.
I really want to get into place that what we’re calling damage, in the sense of facing south damage, is about, “Am I able to show up fully, to turn this acorn into an oak tree, to bring forth my full potential here in this world?” That is a question that may be addressed by healing, or may be addressed by walking, but it is oriented toward damage as something between me and the world, such that in the healing or the walking, the veils will dissolve and meanings will open, and I will come forth as myself.
That’s the story of Damage, Part One: Wounds from the world are getting between me in the world—wounds from life that are getting between me and life. That is one thing that we could call damage, as distinct from the alchemy of pain.
I know, we’re not quite understanding each other yet. Just saying, “Well, this is not going to heal…” That’s resignation. What we’re looking at is actually surrendering to another outcome of further breaking apart into something inconceivable.
Sometimes in order for there to be healing, there has to be a kind of dying. We talk about this as ego death. Who you thought you were is going to completely bust apart. That which is not going to heal is going to be repurposed, and possibly be repurposed by being even further dismantled in some way. We really don’t know what that’s going to look like. It’s going to feel very different than just lugging around a ball and chain of unhealed crap! It’s a dismantlement. It’s an offered opening into a much wider space to be with the Unity.
We don’t have any idea what that’s going to look like. In contrast to healing, where we usually have a felt sense inside somewhere of who we would be if we were healthy and at home. It’s in there somewhere. The bicycle gets bashed up, and yet somewhere inside of itself, the bicycle knows what the manufacturer’s spec was, for this fully thriving bicycle. Healing or repairing feels like helping it to go back to its Original Nature. We have some inner sense of what that would feel like. We do not, by contrast, have an embodied sense of what it’s going to feel like, look like, be like, when we say, “Okay, it’s a broken bicycle, but what could it be?” I’m not even trying to get back to the ancient dream of my own potential.”
That is no small thing to let go of. I suspect it’s our only hope.
As world, as a culture, and for a lot of us as human beings, it is time to say, “That Original Nature was really a beautiful thing. I was created to be this beautiful bicycle. I got wrecked. I could mourn that, and feel broken and damaged forever. Or I could turn towards the Unity with that and say, “This whole thing is not a deal-breaker in our relationship. I’m heading home anyway. I’m not going to take all this junk with me anyhow. What shall we do with this, You and I, Big Love?” And it will be something that we could not intuit, that may or may not lead to utterly spectacular levels of healing, and showing up in the world in some pretty amazing ways.
But it doesn’t have that feeling of familiarity that’s so lovely about healing. When a person heals, they feel like, “Wow, I simultaneously feel like this is so new, but it’s also so familiar. I’ve always really been like this inside.”
I’m not putting that down. I love it. It’s great. But this is different.
I just want to share a moment where this really came home to me. It may have been with one of you. I can’t remember to whom I was speaking. I just remember the upwelling inside of myself, when I practically shouted at a client on the phone, “You can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again!!!”
I was speaking to a person who had indeed suffered grievously. It was a lot, and the trying to heal was completely counterproductive. It was such a breakthrough moment because they got it: Oh, I can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Stop trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again! Yo, Great Big Source. What do we have an opportunity for here?
Yes. Yes. I’m in, and enough with this endless healing fuss.
And life began.
I wanted to mention that spiritually, revelatory moment, for me, and in community.
I had a similar moment on the phone just the other day, with the mother of a child who’s going into preschool, and who is coming to terms with the question of, What do I teach my child, to prepare for life? What is it even worth preparing for?
We really went through a letting go of not really knowing what’s going to be meant by the word life for these children. She wanted to go into morning and spend some time grieving the loss of, essentially, the fantasy that all parents have—that, you know, has always has been a fantasy. Most of the time it doesn’t turn out anything like that for our kids anyway.
She wanted to spend time grieving the fantasy, and I wouldn’t let her. I said, “That’s a premature conclusion, that there is cause for grief here. Actually, we have no idea.” Now, that is short term way more uncomfortable, because we know how to grieve. Instead, we’re going to have to stay here, wide open, with no idea whether this is an occasion for grief or not. No idea. No idea—wide open. That’s walking. That is the Unconditional Yes.
To learn more, join Thea at an upcoming workshop.
To join the discussion, find us on my Perennial Medicine discussion listserv (all are welcome).