What Does Healing Mean to You?

There will be many questions asked on the podcast, but this question will be the common thread through all our episodes. Healing can mean many things. We will give our audience the opportunity to share their perspectives.

Chris Cole – What Healing Means

Healing means to me that I am in congruence with myself and my world, that I am able to maintain relationships in love and devotion, and that I am continually aware of and attempting to return to a state of holistic harmony. Healing, or true recovery, is not necessarily the absence of symptoms but rather an awareness of symptoms and a humble responsiveness to such maladaptive responses to pain, knowing that I want to be healthy for myself and the people I love. Healing requires some connection to a deep meaning and purpose, which I hold as a spiritual vision of love beyond my own small life and circumstances. By healing, I am moving toward the ability to love myself and my world with a growing expansiveness. Healing is a surrender to the dynamics of life and the intimate understanding of continued trials and tribulations on the infinite and mysterious unfold of my own humanity and that of those graciously placed in my life.
I have a strong desire to contribute positively to the world, to love all people, and that has to be an overflow of the love I have for myself. I hold my healing in the highest regard, because I am unable to give without being resourced enough to give. It is like the modern metaphor of oxygen masks on an airplane: I have to put my oxygen mask on before helping another with their oxygen mask, or else I run the risk of being incapacitated and incapable of living in alignment with my values. Such an inability to show love to myself is a sort of spiritual death in itself.
Perhaps most pertinent to the intersection of social justice, neurodiversity, and mental health is the healing required to hold the goodness of humanity in all people located in societal systems of stigmatization, prejudice, and oppression. I believe that people are doing the best they can with the tools they have. Any inability to see their goodness is a reflection of my refusal to see my own shortcomings and capacity to heal. People are fundamentally good, sane, and whole. I believe that wholeheartedly and have come to know this truth intimately within myself. Providing tools—whether in language, models of thinking, or more skillful treatment reform—must be an expression of the ways in which we all long to love and also need better vehicles to more fully express and articulate that love for us all.

Healing to you, … and you, and you…

On each episode, we ask our guests, “What does healing mean to you?”  You can directly submit your responses here.

Recently, we reached out to our listeners to give their responses to the question:

Accepting your illness. Doing everything you can to help your illness.  ~ Robin Patton Fleming. (Hartselle, Alabama)

It’s a process that never ends. ~ Jon Myers. (Columbus, Indiana)

Healing from mental illness means reluctant acceptance of the many changes and limitations. ~ Laura Pagliano. (Baltimore, Maryland)

To recover from, to put something right, to relieve. Something that will soothe, make better. ~ Deva Richey. (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Wholeness. The Greek word in the gospels for healing is also translated, “make whole.” Your faith has “made you whole.” ~ Jeff Fields. (Lexington, Kentucky)

Restoration of my independence which allows me to be more useful for the Kingdom. ~ Joshua Gerard Detwiler. (Glasgow, United Kingdom)

Ultimately, Heaven. For now, removal of affliction (or perhaps enabling to deal with it better.) ~ Mike Lee. (Salem, Oregon)

As someone who lives with epilepsy, healing is difficult to explain. My body has not been healed but my soul rejoices nonetheless. ~ Sarah Richey.

Healing is a process in which we come to re-member. ~ Robert Retherford. (Aztec, New Mexico)

Healing is a multi-step process. From the initial painful hurt onto the much more cathartic anger and then finally landing at not caring about what caused the initial injury. ~ Jaime Coffman. (Greenwood, Indiana)

Healing means peace. Well perhaps the end result is peace after healing. ~ Patti Lux Matthews. (Indianapolis, Indiana)

From my medical/health care mind-set it means to make whole again.  ~ Kathy Hopkins Dile. (Indianapolis, Indiana)

Feeling whole and complete within myself. I find healing through forgiveness. I reach forgiveness always when given a sincere apology from others. ~ Angela Kurtz Ankney. (Franklin, Indiana)

Maybe healing means relief? Relief that someone is taking my problems seriously and wants to help me… ~ Amanda Irene Schultz. (Columbus, Indiana)

Dealing with brokenness in one’s life through prayer. After time, feeling at peace about the situation because the Lord gave you understanding about why that part of your life happened. It’s fighting on your knees against the Devil and letting him know that he does not, and will not, win! Sometimes it’s standing on your feet and speaking Truth out loud against the Devil, that helps us in the healing process. ~ Elizabeth Raduns. (Webster, New York)

I don’t know that you can always heal. Often scars are left behind. I think it’s coming to terms with a situation and developing coping skills to deal with the pain. ~ Jeanne Jordan. (Dale, Texas)

My wife’s touch is healing. Not in a dramatic and “laying on of hands” way but a simple gesture of care. ~ Craig Willers. (Ewa Beach, Hawaii)

Healing is both spiritual as well as physical. God is necessary in this process. I call on him for any type of healing. ~ Susie Harmon Johnson (Greenwood, Indiana)

When you feel that God is saying, I am with you no matter what the outcome. I will be with you every step of the way. Just have faith. It is the way. I know the best for you.

Ultimately, healing is about shalom. It is a movement (always and infinitely) toward union and communion with God that restores our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. And then, works its way out into our relationship and into our communities, bringing healing and reconciliation. ~ Brandon Andress. (Columbus, Indiana)

Moving forward. Learning to accept me and grow the way God wants me to grow. It’s not always smooth or easy or comfortable, but I trust that God will walk with me regardless. Healing is a journey filled with questions, but not by yourself. The answers unfold as you go. ~ Jan Hoffman. (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Healing is looking past the pain and seeing the future that God has planned for you. It doesn’t mean moving on. It means moving forward. ~ Marie Clyburn Pendleton. (Greenwood, Indiana)

Katie Dale — What Healing Means

Healing is definitely the hand of God on my mind – I consider that I’m healed as it pertains to the elimination of symptoms and side effects. I take medication daily and believe that’s the course God has set me on for a personal healing of bipolar disorder. I don’t have the symptoms – praise God. However, I want to be clear that I recognize I’ll always have bipolar disorder this side of heaven, tempered and treated by medication. I don’t think I’m healed, as in, cured. That is a different thing altogether. To be cured would be like a deliverance of it, but that’s not possible. People aren’t usually cured miraculously of most disorders or illnesses. That’s just not a typical healing. But God has graciously given me the exact dosage of medication I need to function and thrive in life, and for that I know He sustains me, upholds me, and maintains my sound mind. To me, that is healing.

~ Katie R. Dale

Bipolar Brave

Tony Roberts – What Healing Means

What does healing mean to me?
Before we can be healed we first have to recognize we are ill. I have a deathly sin-sick condition; I desperately need Christ’s healing touch. This condition affects my whole life: spiritual, physical, emotional, relational. God heals me in His own good time, and only fully heals me in the life to come. My job is to participate in healing through vigilant prayer and faithful care.
As one with a mental health diagnosis, I have often faced the stigma of professing believers who think my condition would magically disappear if I had sincere faith. That I can pray it away. My response? I have tried. Many times. And I have come to discover purpose in having a mental illness — to rely on the all-sufficient grace of God and to share this amazing grace with others.
~ Tony Roberts

Leanne Sype — What Healing Means

Healing means living better within the challenges of mental illness.

So often I want my daughter to be “all better” or I want feel “all better” in my eating disorder. But in reality, we can’t necessarily be “all better” with a mental illness like we can a cold or stomach ache.

Mental illness is ongoing, with days that are really good and feel great and other days that just suck. However, I’ve come to learn that while my daughter and I may not be all better, we can learn how to live better within our illnesses, celebrating good days, understanding our triggers, caring for ourselves on down days, and managing/adjusting treatment as needed.

Accepting and learning how to live WITH our mental illnesses as part of life has created, for us, a general sense of living better. This frame of mind has been healing for our whole family.

— Leanne Sype

Love Eats