Healing vs. Fixing
I’ve been working with a few of my coaching clients on some pretty big issues they’ve been wrestling with for decades. One has attained what both she and her doctor feel is a very unhealthy weight. Another continually misses deadlines at work that she’s fully capable of meeting. The other is taking a long, hard look at the way she handles money.
Traditionally, we Americans tackle these types of challenges by applying any number of methods to “fix” them, all of which generally have the following in common: shame, self-reproach, and/or blame.
The problem with handling these (or any) life challenges in this manner is that it produces in us negative feelings. The only thing we can attract when we are in a negative state is more of what makes us feel negative. The Law of Attraction says, “”You get more of what you focus on,” and so it does.
I’d like to introduce instead, as I have with my clients, the concept of “healing.”
The idea of “healing” an area of your life that isn’t working came up in a meeting I had with my Master Mind group. We meet on a regular basis to support each other in business, and in life. Part of the weekend activities included doing an exercise called “The TimeLine” wherein we looked at different categories of our lives (Relationships, Work, Finances, Well-Being, and Spirituality) and identified, in writing, the milestones that had occurred in our lives thus far, in each category.
As I looked at my completed timeline, I noticed I had made truly significant progress in all areas save one. In that particular area, I had a flat line. Problems had started when I was about 18 and haven’t gotten much better 30 years later. I was embarrassed and felt like a failure.
That’s when my dear friend Mary said to me, “If you look at the other areas in which you made such great progress, you can see that you’ve done a lot of healing. It seems to me that this other area needs some healing, too.”
What a difference those few words made in my soul. Intuitively, I felt she was right. I wasn’t a bad person. I wasn’t a loser. I simply have an area in my life that needs healing. I had healed the other areas. I could do the same in this one.
I know there are some who would say, “Healing is a copout. Where’s the responsibility?” to which I reply, “We are responsible for having created the damage in the first place and we are responsible for taking the action that will cause it to heal.”
Maybe this is all semantic, but it doesn’t feel that way. As I sat down to develop my “healing plan,” I didn’t feel desperate as I had in the past when I tried to develop a way to “fix things.” For the first time since problems in this area had started, I wasn’t looking for a “quick fix.” The word healing seems to imply that it will take time. It also brings forth an image of daily progress, sometimes invisible to the eye, but progress nevertheless.
Most importantly, the concept soothes me, and my clients say it has the same effect on them. Suddenly, instead of the negative feelings caused whenever we “beat ourselves up,” now there is a wonderful feeling of inspired action. I no longer feel I “have” to do this. I am now eager to do it because I want to heal.
Why is all this important? In a world governed by “you get more of what you focus on,” we cannot create progress in any area by paying attention to it in a negative way. For example, the more my client focuses on the her weight problem, the worse she feels. Feeling badly, she can only attract situations that will match those bad feelings. So she will attract more and more circumstances where she is tempted to eat poorly.
When her focus shifts to the “healing” process, she begins to feel good about being in the solution. She knows she is making progress, even if it’s incremental (after all, we can’t actually see a wound healing moment by moment but we know it’s happening.) The better she feels about healing, the more she attracts circumstances that will support that very healing.
You get more of what you focus on. You cannot solve a problem by focusing on the problem. You can only solve it by focusing on the solution. Why not try “healing” as a solution to a big issue in your life?