As Fall moves toward Winter, an interesting and somewhat predictable pattern emerges in my private practice. People find themselves in some sort of healing crisis. It seems to happen more often in the slower, drowsier, sedentary and contemplative months of late fall and winter.
Healing crisis is a term that is frequently bandied about in therapeutic and alternative healing circles. For clarity sake, healing crisis includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual/energetic components.
A healing crisis may rise up through some sort of eruption in the body, accompanied by high levels of mental stimulation, emotional outbursts. The spiritual/energetic components run the gamut from a complete upheaval of life as known to sacred profundity and moments of absolute grace.
If you’re aware of someone experiencing a healing crisis, how much compassion can you hold as you contemplate what it must be like to be in such pain? If it has never happened to you, it may be difficult to fully perceive and comprehend the enormity and magnitude of the experience.
How much compassion can you hold for yourself if you’re navigating a healing crisis right now?
Healing crises rock the foundation, strip away pretense, lay bare the heart and wrack the body
When a healing crisis arises, it’s difficult to look too far ahead, to make many concrete plans. They are navigable moment-by-moment, with the proper equipment – a spiritual practice, nurturing foods, emotional and physical support (hopefully professional as well as family, friends).
As the crisis evolves, it can at times focus on one aspect of the crisis – the body’s acute symptoms, or the overarching emotional pain, grief, anger. Other times it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees – everything is up, clamoring for attention, easing, release.
The energetics of a healing crisis are fascinating and help the practitioner perceive how things are unfolding in current time. It’s powerful work to support an individual during one of these experiences. In most cases, a multi-layered, carefully facilitated approach yields beautiful results, especially when the client is empowered to see the experience for what it is – a healing crisis.
As the client moves through the crisis, the nuances become significant and revelatory as he or she takes up various roles — sleuth, observer, deep processing participant, dot connector, pattern shifter and shaman with the goal of returning to equilibrium, to the light.
A healing crisis is a deep call for evolution
As the crisis abates, the mystical, alchemical nature of shedding and re-creation inform and enlighten the individual, illuminating the darkness and shining the light on the beauty of transformation and regeneration.
Thankfully, a healing crisis is always an internal eruption that devolves multiple layers and levels of material before emerging in a new, more wholly authentic life. During the acute and most painful moments of the crisis, it’s hard to acknowledge that the experience underway is a calling from within.
Have courage, dear ones, knowing that relief emerges, that evolution is afoot.
Have faith, dear ones, the burden is eventually put down, cast away, shed, discarded.
Have humor, dear ones, amidst the ugliest of the uglies, can be found glimmers of light, comedy, black humor, raucous, rollicking hilarities.
Have heart, dear ones. You are strong, powerful and fierce, this raging storm cannot match or vanquish your light.
Have help, dear ones. Going it alone is not a requirement. It’s a time when you deserve to be seen, understood and well supported.
And when burnished from the heat of the fire, the crisis abates, the stormy waters calm. New awareness owned and validated, life blooms once again.