Response-ability. . .
Allowing one’s brother to clean up his own mess is entirely different from turning one’s back upon him. Give him legs that he might walk. Give him hands that he might work. Give him eyes that he might see. Give him heart that he might love. And set him upon the path with love that he might walk it in his own way, seeking as he does his individual place within the vast and immeasurable scope of creation. But also remain ever poised to offer a hand should he stumble and cry out for help.
This is often particularly difficult when we’re faced with watching the pain and suffering of those in our immediate circles. Those of us who find themselves serving others in some capacity of healing couldn’t possibly do this work were it not for a deep-rooted sense of compassion.
Often we’re tempted to reach out to others without their permission in the form of distance work. I remember one time in particular near the beginning of my own journey when my mother was in intensive care with diabetic complications. Her heartbeat was shallow; and her blood was highly toxic due to almost complete renal failure.
Overcome by naiveté and the idea that “I” had to do something to help her, I decided – without her permission and in a manner that was blatantly against her own religious path – to perform a distance extraction healing in order to help her overcome her afflictions.
The ceremony was brutal and lasted well over an hour. During the course of it I nearly vomited three times. My mother received little or no benefit from the work; and I received a much needed teaching, the matter of which I follow to this day.
Healing work performed without permission is nothing more than the imposition of one’s own will upon the life path of another; and not that far removed from spiritual rape. What seems an affliction to the observer might actually be a valuable learning experience to the one directly experiencing its effects. It might also become a valuable lesson for the perspective healer about the balance of power, the true source of spiritual energy, and the gargantuan responsibility of becoming a conduit for it.
The following example is one I’ve used many times when speaking with those not familiar with the way shamanic healing works. Imagine an old black and white movie. You see the lobby of an extravagant hotel. In one corner of the lobby sits an operator. Someone from room 103 wants to talk with someone from room 605. The operator takes a wire and plugs one end into one corresponding socket, and the other end into another. One socket is the Spirit world. One socket is the Physical world. The shaman is the wire. The shaman no more owns the energy that passes through his or her body than the wire owns the pulses which travel across it. And most importantly, the conversation cannot occur unless both parties have given their consent.
Now, there are those who would argue that this scenario also rules out praying for others. In this case, I’m inclined to agree with authors like Gregg Braden who tell us that the energy we put out into the Universe drives the creative mechanism. For example, if I were to pray for my Aunt Matilda to recover from cancer, and repeat this over and over, what I’m really reinforcing is my Aunt Matilda’s sickness. (i.e. “Aunt Matilda has cancer. Aunt Matilda has cancer.”)
An unimposing way of praying for Aunt Matilda without her permission would be to simply send her love and ask the Creator that she receive whatever is for her highest good. This places her in Spirit’s care, and allows the love which flows through us to be a part of that. We claim nothing. We take nothing away. And we have placed ourselves beside Aunt Matilda in such a way that makes us available if and when the time comes that we’re needed.
The blessing of this path is that we become vessels for the Creator’s healing energy. The curse is that sometimes our emotions struggle to dictate the direction in which that energy should flow. . .