Monday, August 15, 2011
Healing Visualizations: Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises
I could keep writing about cancer. I could write a book about cancer. For now I'll share one more observation, then move on to something not quite as heavy. The thing is, after cancer treatment, there is another phase of adjustment awaiting the person who has suffered through the disease and treatment. In order to withstand treatment, people have to bring forth their fiercest, most warrior-like qualities. Once the treatment ends, when their hair and eyebrows grow back, when their life force and energy return, many people have a hard time soothing the wild beast of fierceness that served them so well during treatment. Marriages break up, friendships, too. People leave their jobs, homes, routines, they leave behind their support groups, just because they've become accustomed to fighting. Once the internal threat is vanquished, they turn that energy outwards. Not everyone, of course, and each individual handles the transition uniquely. If you know someone who has recently completed cancer treatment, who is acting out, please cut them a lot of slack, ok? Returning to "normal" life is not as straight ahead as you might think.
Turning now to simple visualizations for simple injuries; leaving, for the time being, the complicated, sad, frightening situation of cancer, yes? I say yes.
So many things happen in a living body, it's hard to keep up with it all. I think that's why most of us ignore the small indignities of paper cuts, small bruises, and other annoying little wounds. Or try to ignore them. It's rather miraculous the way tiny little injuries get in the way. I think about how, after stubbing a toe for instance, I realize all of a sudden how much I actually USE that toe.
One way to look at little injuries is to think of them as communications from the body, asking us to pay attention, be mindful. Because minor injuries are not a big deal, most of us just wash them quickly, slap on a bandaid and carry on.
Think about how moms do the same for their kids. They are sweet and reassuring, they take their time. Once the bandaid is in place, many mothers give the "boo boo" a little kiss, and the patient some milk and cookies.
I'm not saying here that you need to kiss your wounds, but you could slow down and channel a little bit of compassion when you bang your thumb with the hammer. What we tend to do is curse, like it's the hammer's fault, or your stupid thumb's fault. What are we angry about? Seems backwards to me.
Visualization for cuts, scrapes and bruises
Imagine a landscape that has just experienced a minor disaster, such as the debris left after a thunderstorm. As you clean your wound, imagine cleansing rains washing away all the detritus. The rains gather the debris from all around the landscape. They come together through the center of the landscape, becoming a free-flowing river. After you've cleaned the wound, and covered it with a bandaid (if necessary) imagine people in rows facing each other on either side of the river. Imagine the people sending threads of silly string back and forth.
The first thing the body does after it is cut is begin sending strings of collagen back and forth across the opening. This is how scabs are created. The visualization is fun which always helps kick the healing into gear. Good cheer after a natural disaster is part of the healing, and so it is with minor wounds.
Don't curse at yourself when these inevitable things take place. Make nice! Yes? I say yes.