I will be forever grateful to Reiki for many things in my life especially for helping after I had a stroke in July 2015. I have written an article for this magazine about how my gratitude for everything has grown during the ensuing months, but that article did not share my new and still growing understanding of the process of healing that I have experienced as a result of that stroke. This article, therefore, contains both an update on my state of being over this time period and what I hope will be inspiration for anyone who is healing from any illness or injury.
What is a true healing?
After experiencing many long and challenging months, lived minute to minute, from the time that I lost consciousness to today, I realize now that before the stroke, I focused on curing illnesses but did not realize that an illness can actually be a part of a true healing. When the doctors said that I had about a 2 percent chance of survival, simply surviving was an intention. When I could not walk or talk, doing either felt like a goal. There is something about being given a 2 to 4 percent survival rate and living through the experience that awakens all kinds of new thoughts and feelings. But it took time and some small and large steps in this process before I could step aside and begin to examine these new ideas. If I were to summarize what this change of view has been, I would say that I began to remember my spirit and my soul in ways that I never had before. We all hear about our life review before we die. Well, I am still here but the life review is happening every day for me. I have lived, in my opinion, a pretty wonderful life so far, and I have much to be thankful for. I see my life like a book with several chapters. Some chapters have been and continue to be pleasing; some have been teaching me more about love, forgiveness and gratitude. Living through many of these chapters has been challenging. But I have learned from every single one and understand now more than ever that each new aspect that I have learned is about true healing.
A true healing is coming into harmony with all parts of who we are and accepting who we are at any moment as exactly perfect. In a true healing we feel complete just by being our true self. A true healing is not a goal but it is a process on our path. A true healing is a process without an end. At least that is how I perceive healing today. At times I grow impatient with the process; it definitely feels like there is a timing greater than my own that is in charge of my life. But I realize having more patience with the process is part of my healing too.
New vantage points through true healing
As I became clearer in my mind as I progressed through the stages of physical healing, I reflected on many of my strongly held beliefs in new ways. One thing that has always been so very true for me is knowing that people are NOT their behavior; they are their spirit. But for some people that true spirit is hidden by other layers. In relation to this, I used to speak of how we all have three parts to our “physical” body—the mental, emotional and spiritual. Yet I never gave deep thought to what that means. Part of me did not truly understand the concept even though I thought I did. I am in the process of healing not only my visible, outer physical body as well as my inner physical body, but also my mental, emotional and spiritual bodies too. My mental body is so curious and interested to learn more. My emotional body is learning deeper meanings to letting go and giving. I have always been what I considered to be generous, but now I understand that true generosity is always helping to empower others in loving ways, not just at certain moments of choice or agreement, and that required a change in my thinking.
I know now that when others say and do things that I have chosen differently to say and do, this simply makes them a person with a different opinion than mine. I make no judgment of the experience, and in fact recognize that their different opinion may cause me to evaluate my own. Before the stroke, I never thought that I made judgments; now I know that I am simply discerning if the opinions or behaviors are right for ME. Maybe that is why so many people become upset when others disagree with them. Perhaps their discernments are simply judgments in disguise. Discernments I may make are not to determine if anyone else needs to alter their way of being in the world. They are simply my way of determining if I am happy with my own choices, or if I should possibly make adjustments.
I have even found ways to allow for the disparities that I see in others. My spiritual body and attitudes have always been fairly inclusive. Even when I was a child in church, I felt that it was divisive when the members of my church made judgements about other religions. I used to wonder how my Sunday School teachers could make what I found to be disparaging comments about other faiths. I believe now that they were making judgements rather than discernments. In my ongoing experience of true healing, I am more and more able to look back and, with a truer understanding, release what might be my own judgements about situations and the people involved in them.
More Changes From True Healing
My energy is very different than it was prior to the experience of the coma. I wonder how important having my consciousness absent for three weeks was to my survival. Among the things that I find to be different now are the goal- and intention-setting processes as well as how I visualize. These experiences were second nature for me and relatively easy. Now they are more challenging. I used to connect to the spiritual world more clairvoyantly and saw things spiritually. Now I find my spiritual messages to be more audible. I have found that to be an adjustment. This has made visualizing an outcome more challenging for me.
As my memory improves, I am learning about the mental energy and the actual brain too. Before the stroke, I took my brain for granted a little bit. I did not realize how many functions it was in charge of. Maybe I never thought about how important it was. Understanding that has given me a new appreciation for the fact that the learning process never seems to die as there is always something new to learn.
Some parts of me have not changed, but rather have become more regular. The quality of empathy lives in my emotional body, and I believe it always has. I have always easily teared up when something moved me emotionally and now that quality is very active. I find it amusing that the doctors consider that activeness to be a “symptom” of my recovery that has possibly tipped out of balance. To me, FEELING is a blessing rather than a symptom of anything else. They offered me a prescription to relieve my feeling. “No thanks” was my reply.
Gratitude, Reiki and true healing
If I had to sum up the overall difference between how I experienced my life before the stroke, and now I would say; that things that were nice concepts before feel like true realities now. While I used to THINK of gratitude in the past, now I FEEL gratitude in the very cells of my being, I use to THINK of the physical, mental and spiritual bodies. Now I intimately KNOW my physical body and that it is working to grow stronger. And I have really MET my mental and spiritual bodies too. I now know that my mental body needs to be discerning rather than judgmental in order to allow it to pursue its lifelong quest to learn more. I clearly feel that my spiritual body houses my attitude and that the basis of that attitude is my ability to express my gratefulness for everything that comes my way, which provides me with a basis for continuing true healing.
I believe that this feeling of universal gratitude was one important reason that I was so strongly drawn to Reiki. I loved how inclusive it is. And I still love that about Reiki today. I love that people of any faith can align with Reiki. It is a practice that like any truly spiritual practice simply te
aches about true love. I feel it living in my spiritual body, and I also feel that there is one large spiritual body made up of Reiki living in the spiritual body of each Reiki practitioner worldwide. I feel that may be the energy that is affected by the distant Reiki energy that we channel. I was the recipient of endless waves of distant Reiki, and I am grateful for and to the Reiki family for their many prayers and for the energy that was channeled on my behalf.
I have always believed that having a positive attitude through any process is very powerful, and my own recovery has proven this to me even more. I thank Reiki for that. I thank Holy Fire for finding what I need before I know I will need it. I thank my husband for his strength and for being by my side every step of the way. I thank the medical and therapy teams for their work and their part in this process of true healing too. It is through team work that real blessings become manifest.