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The Roots of Healing*
By Gabor Maté

Dr. Gabor Maté, a physician and author, is well-known for his work on child development, emotional trauma, and its potential effects on physical and mental health throughout life. In his books, he discusses the interconnection of physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of human life, and how childhood trauma can result in conditions such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, ADHD and addiction. Here is a piece of one of his interviews about healing: “The word healing comes from an Anglo-Saxon word for wholeness. So, when we ask: How do we heal? The question is, how do we become whole? And that raises the question: how is it that we’re not whole to start with?  The real source of disconnect, is that as a result of the environmental problems (that) you and I have touched upon, we lose connection with ourselves. And that loss of connection with ourselves can manifest in physical or any number of physical and mental health conditions. So healing, then, is reconnecting, becoming whole again. That’s the origin of the word “healing.” And that has to begin with recognizing how we’re not whole—has to be recognizing in all the ways, when it comes to physical illness, you have to start paying attention to your body. So, what is your body telling you? The body says no—the body will say no in all kinds of ways if you don’t know how to say it. If you take on more than what’s good for you, your body is going to say no. It’s going to say no in the form of a cough, a form of back pain, stomach aches, migraines, nervousness, dry mouth, poor sleep, muscle tension, rashes, frequent illnesses in all kinds of ways. So first of all, listen to your bodies. Because one of the alienations that beset us in modern societies is that we lose connection to our bodies. Secondly, because our emotions were not received and welcomed and processed when we were small, we even lose touch with our emotions. But then you have to do the work to reconnect. So, it’s all about reconnection. If I can put healing in a simple phrase, I’d say it’s reconnection. And that can happen through a whole number of modalities. It can happen through psychotherapy of course; through reading in the works of the great teachers. Also, the venture to seek reading them. It can happen through meditation, it can happen through yoga, [through] other forms of spiritual work: somatic experiencing, EMDR, physical activity, paying attention to what we eat. All these things have to go into it, but it’s all about reconnecting.” *Reference:

The Guest House by Rumi

Rumi, the 13th-century Persian poet and mystic, believed in the transformative power of acceptance and self-awareness, and expressed it in his poetry. Rumi's simple, yet powerful ideas encourage us to acknowledge our inner struggles, and find peace and spiritual growth through self-discovery. The following poem "The Guest House" carries the message of welcoming all emotions and experiences with openness and gratitude, instead of resisting or rejecting them: "The Guest House" by Rumi This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond”.

Meaning of Life by Victor Frankl

Dr. Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor renowned for his groundbreaking work in existential psychology. His book "Man's Search for Meaning" chronicles his experiences in Nazi concentration camps and emphasizes the importance of finding purpose in life, even in the most extreme circumstances. Frankl's insights continue to inspire millions, offering profound wisdom on resilience, meaning, and the human spirit. The meaning of life is a deeply personal and philosophical question that has intrigued humanity for centuries. Finding the purpose of one's life is crucial for personal fulfillment and well-being. It provides direction, motivation, and a sense of purpose, helping individuals navigate challenges and find satisfaction in their existence. Without meaning, life may feel aimless and empty, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction and existential despair. Here is a paragraph from Dr. Frankl's inspiring book: "Man's Search for Meaning": “By declaring that man is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of his life, I wish to stress that the true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his own psyche, as though it were a closed system. I have termed this constitutive characteristic "the self-transcendence of human existence." It denotes the fact that being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself--be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself--by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love--the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.”

Living a Full Life: A Poem by Margot Bickel

Margot Bickel, a German poet, beautifully portrayed a journey towards a fulfilling existence in her poem. This journey starts within us by knowing ourselves, learning self-compassion, and then extending that compassion and love to everyone and everything around us. I would like to share this poem here. May it bring peace, love and hope to your hearts. “Before my last exhale, Before the curtain falls, Before the last flower wilts, I intend to live fully, I intend to love without inhibition, I intend to be. In this cruel world, In this era steeped in hatred and grudge, In this age filled with disasters, I want to be in the presence of those who need me, Whom I need, Who are worthy of reverence. So that I can discover, Be mesmerized, And understand anew, All that I am, All that I can be, All that I want to be. So that the days don’t pass me by in meaningless void, The hours become alive, And the moments gain significance. When I laugh, When I cry, When I am silent, I am journeying towards you, Towards myself, Towards the divine. For it is an unknown path, Full of thorns, And ebbs and flows. A path that upon taking, Upon which I have already stepped foot, There is no return, Until I have seen the blossoming of the flowers, Until I have heard the rivers roar, Until I have been awed by the beauty of life. Now death can find me, Now I can carry on with the journey, Now I can say that I have lived.”

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