Thursday, July 19, 2012

The patience to heal

The dictionary defines heal as “to make healthy, whole, or sound; to restore to health; free from ailment”

My definition of heal would be a person, place or thing, that has insurmountable patience, courage and willpower to heal from the inside out. This person, place or thing manages to put life on hold to heal wounds, bones, broken hearts, aches and pains and come out stronger on the other side. I am always in awe of those who can manage to heal with a sense of humor, a good attitude, bravery, courage, and strength–and don’t let healing bring them down.

In talking with a friend last week, we both agreed that this is the summer of healing. Everyone is in healing mode, be it new knees or hips, mending broken hearts, fractured relationships, sickness and disease–healing is in. While healing is never easy, it can be a time of peace and reflection.

Life can finally slow down and we begin to appreciate the little things. Healing gives us a chance to slip into our comfy clothes, put our feet up, and let our hair roam free in tangles. Healing means we can take our time flipping through old magazines (and have the time to read the whole article), send postcards, jot down ideas, fill sketch books, finish knitting sweaters (that we started last fall), call friends, watch our favorite shows, order in (be it new shoes or Chinese), sleep, and restore ourselves. I know that for some of us, we would never slow down, unless we had to heal, and so in some ways, healing is a very good thing.

On the other hand, many of us would rather restore ourselves with a new yoga class, a long run, and a cup of green tea, a vacation to a tropical island or a weekend full of sleeping in, crossword puzzles, and breakfast in bed.  But unless our bodies send us the warning signal that we need to slow down, rarely do we treat ourselves to such luxuries as a tropical island, and we don’t hit the snooze button often enough.

I find it amazing that our bodies can hold up the way that they do. Unlike many European Countries, the United States does not take siestas mid day. Imagine if Manhattan or Los Angeles shut down from 12-3pm everyday, businesses closed, traffic stopped and everyone went home to take a nap. Imagine how rested we would be. But, the United States doesn’t operate this way–we keep going until we run out of steam. And worse still, when we do take a day off, we often don’t feel restored, we feel even more stressed out about how much extra work is waiting for us or how much we are missing or not getting done. The stark reality is that all of that can wait. While I think that we have lots we can learn and adopt from the rest of the world, one thing is for sure, I wish that we had more breaks in the day–more breaks in life.

In that regard, with so little rest breaks, you would have to agree that the human body is a pretty amazing thing. Yes, it gets old, stiffer, and slows down with age, but think of how long it has been carting you around. Think about everything that it manages to endure and recover from. So while it might seem as though you have been healing all summer (I did say already– healing is IN!) in the long term, you will be back on your feet, upright, and out the door in no time. So take this time–the summer of healing–to sit back, relax, and restore. Your body needs it and you deserve it!

This cup is for all the healers: Peggy, Dia, Mark, and Courtney
And everyone else who is healing–because healing is IN

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