How Community Heals
Healing is a layered process that often takes many different treatments and approaches. Depending on where you are in your healing focusing on the physical needs might be of most importance, while sometimes focusing on emotional health takes priority. One key to healing that often gets missed and that can expedite and deepen healing is group healing.
There is a level of healing that can only happen when you are in a group that cannot happen anywhere else. Healing in community means being in a setting with others where you share about your experience and/or engage in healing practices or treatments.
Yes, getting a treatment plan from your medical team and following it is so important.
Yes, eating a diet to promote your best health is important.
Yes, exercising at the level that is right for your body is important..
And, yes, without fail, having a spiritual practice of meditation and prayer is so important, but sharing your experience and engaging in healing group work expedites and transforms healing in a way nothing else can.
I have been a patient, worked in healthcare and organized healing events for over a decade now and here is what I know about what happens when we chose to show up with a group and engage in sharing our experience.:
Shame, fear, sadness and all the things you’re "not supposed to feel," are exposed. Healing often can become locked up in stories we make up in our minds. Stories like, “You should be over this,” or “You can’t tell anyone about that part of your pain - that’s silly!,” and the one that can really keep you suffering, “No one has ever experienced what you are experiencing, so don’t share because they’ll think you’re crazy.” Being able to find a safe space to share these dark feelings allows freedom and release. Just to have someone hear your truth is healing. What often happens when feelings are exposed is that they are the truth for others. Your experience is their experience and in sharing you release the shame you hold for feeling as you do. I have witnessed the release of shame also release physical and emotional challenges.
Being seen and accepted is all we ALL really want. Something that can happen in community that cannot happen anywhere else: being seen by others. Having your pain witnessed, exposed, and heard is a core human desire. It breeds intimacy and connection. There is power in listening, witnessing and giving others the chance to be seen, not judged for how they feel. Powerful healing happens in safe community.
We get to realize we are not alone. Loneliness is a lie and a painful place to live. It can devastate emotionally and spiritually and keep you in a wheel of regret, pain and anger. The belief that no one in the world understands what we are going through or would want to be a part of what we are experiencing is a lie that keeps us from healing. When we are in community that lie is broken and light forces its way into the dark freeing us from isolation.
It is not always easy to find the right community to heal, but more and more groups for healing are being created. If you cannot find a specific group with the kind of condition you have or the thing you are experiencing start with creating a safe community of friends to share with.
One conversation with just one other person can completely change your healing and transform your experience. Being seen and sharing your experience heals not only you, but others too.
What a gift to give and receive.
How can you help another heal today? What would you love to hear someone say “me too” to in your life? Maybe you can give someone the gift of whispering those words today by showing up and sharing you.
About the Writer: Sera Fiana is a 10 year survivor and healthcare innovator combining wellness and self care to transform healing. She is hosting aHealing U. Women’s Wellness Weekend for women who have experienced cancer, are in survivorship stage (1 or 20 years out - it doesn’t matter!) and need time to engage in wellness & relaxation. This Weekend transforms lives through community & self care. The Weekend is held in Luray, VA at a private lodge April 5-8, 2018 and is lead by Healing U. Founder, Sera Snyder, along with other experts in health + wellness.
Healing U. Women’s Wellness Weekend 2018 is a Community built for women who have experienced cancer. Whether one or 20 years past diagnosis, women come together to share, rest and heal. Lives are transformed. The Weekend includes learning about mindfulness, nutrition, stress reduction strategies and art therapy. Learn more and secure your spot today: www.healingu.org/wellness-weekend