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Friday, September 14, 2007

10 ways to achieve Healing via Spirituality

This blog is about the Art of Healing or the search for a healing spirituality. Spirituality, faith, hope, love, the ultimate self help tools, are summarized in 10 dramatic ways that bring healing.

The question of whether or not one's healing can be affected by one's spirituality is compelling. If you believe that you can be healed, and trust that the Lord will heal you, will you be healed? Our beginning blog theme is about just this, how does spirituality relate to healing - Or, does it? What are specific ways to develop these ultimate self help tools? This post presents Spirituality and Healing from the standpoint of a Christian layman. Over the years, life, our various Laufer Film.com projects and, of course, various political discussions have all had an influence. We look forward to other posts that will reflect on these subjects from different faith perspectives and different cultures. Please join in... what do you think?

Introduction:

In the Gospel of John, 10:10, Jesus says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Jesus also said in 3 John 2: . "I wish above all things that you prosper and be in good health," But, are we also told that life will be difficult, that we will have trials, but that we will overcome. So, are the trails, for example here, sickness and the will of the Lord for us that we "have life and have it abundantly? Many think so. Jesus is of the spirit, sickness, is of the world. Can spirituality (dealing with the non-physical truths of life), being of Jesus, being of the spirit, overcome illness (bring the life, bring the desire on God's part that we "proper and be in good health"? If yes, then how? I see Jesus as the shepherd, the one who knows us and unconditionally loves us. Sickness, if you will, is the material, in this context the thief, who comes to rob us of Jesus's true goal for us - life, health. The shepherd know his sheep and the sheep know their shepherd. The Gospels say Jesus is the answer and that we should "listen up"...

10 ways to discover the ultimate self help tool - healing through spirituality!

1. Reduce fear and stress via faith. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Stepping out in faith is not a step into nothingness. But it is a step that takes a risk because we are stepping away from ourselves and onto the solid foundation God has set for us.

2. Understand what God's love is and how faith in it provides a catalyst to healing if we accept it.

3. Understand how we interact with God's love for us is - get to know God's love in our lives - consider Genesis - remember that in the Old Testament we said that we should "Love our neighbor as our self", but in the New Testament, we say that we should "love our neighbors as Christ loves the Church".

4. God is all good and his creations are all good. Think about healing in this context - what does it mean to you, and on what levels does it apply? Remember that God wants good for us. Can we accept God's desire for us, the desire for our prosperity and good?

5. St. Paul said that we should work out our own salvation. Love God and do what you will. If a lack of faith is your problem, then pray for faith - "Lord, help my unbelief".

6. Forgive others and ourselves - let this forgiveness bring its own healing peace. Let it be a starting place to move in a new direction.

7. Turn worry over to the Lord for resolution and trust there will be good results.

8. Don't compare your self to others - believe you are unconditionally loved and that the Lord has a plan for your life and it is the best plan for you.

9. Pray and Trust - Proverbs 3 : 5-6 Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth. Allow for a guiding Lord. Do we always know the truth in every situation? Hopefully we can acknowledge this answer quickly - no.

10. Don't Judge. Learn to address injustice with a passion that allow for peace as well. A number of years ago, I had the chance to hear Mother Theresa speak. She talked about life, bring the children to me. I couldn't help but think there was something very unusual about the talk, but couldn't put my finger on it at first. Later it occurred to me that while she was totally passionate about her message, she was at peace and not condemning.

Some today, e.g. Christopher Hitchens are looking at Mother Theresa's life and finding fault and limitation. My suspicion is that Mother Theresa would say, please look at my life! While the overwhelming majority of people see her goodness, Mother Theresa might also say, "please also see my humanity and my weakness". With more information on Mother Theresa's life coming to the fore, we are starting to hear about her"dark night of the soul" experiences. Was the "dark night" the "proverbial thief in the night" for her?

Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune metro Columnist (http://www.startribune.com/blogs/kersten/?p=252) suggests that:

"Mother Teresa is hardly the first devout human being to suffer doubts and a sense of abandonment by God. Doubt is the other side of faith - that's a profound spiritual axiom. If God's truth were always plain to us, faith would lose its meaning and value. And even the Son of God, Christians believe, wept in the Garden of Gethsemane from a sense of abandonment: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

Of course, she was not alone and many saints and others, from John of the Cross to modern day contemporaries like Billy Graham also experienced these "dark nights" and doubts. Thomas Merton , in his famous prayer (taken from "Thoughts in Solitude") starts out - "My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going"! But, again, let's look at these people, their lives - then look at our lives and our experiences and search for the universal truth that the Lord is trying to extend to us. As with healing, each of us goes through a personal experience on our way to recovery. But, whatever the experience, be it "perceived miracle" or "perceived medical cure", it should be open to examination and that examination should be conducted with the open mindedness that is characteristic of David L. Cooperrider's "appreciative inquiry"! We should listen with openness, love and respect, hoping that we can gain insight and learning. Perhaps even "change" is possible!

The questions of how and when healing takes place (whether from the material or the spiritual) or whether or not there even is healing are some of the deepest questions we ask as human beings. Everyone's life is unique, but there are common experiences and common beliefs. Please share some of your experiences and thoughts about them with us. Peace - Bill Laufer.


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