Today’s a bit of a philosophical rant on a topic that’s been kicking around in my body-mind-soul lately.
And that’s the difference between health and healing.
Now, these aren’t official definitions, but something that I’m seeing out there in the world.
Health is seen as something primarily physical, largely as a result of the materialism of our age. Even if you don’t prescribe to this falsified philosophy it has been pervasive and thus influences so much.
In this way health can be seen as your diet, your sleep, your fitness. It includes your hormones and metabolism.
It’s seen in things like biohacking, in cold plunges, in paleo or the thousands of other diets.
It involves an understanding of the micro-pollution all around us, the subtle degradation and poisoning of our food, water, air and earth.
It involves the falling away from nature and into the artificial reality humanity has created.
Yes, there is certainly some attention on psychological well-being, but this is not the mainstay of “health” as I’m describing it here. At best it is the cherry on top.
Meanwhile, healing is dealing with your trauma. It’s going deep into your interpersonal wounds and family upbringing.
It goes beyond the physical into the mental and emotional, even the spiritual. In fact, it has to do with the physical only in that these things are often the hidden root causes of disease and injuries.
This digging deep into your emotions, your stories, your patterns is more of an inside-out approach.
What we’re seeing with the psychedelic renaissance is part of this. But by no means is that the only route, or even the best route for all people.
Have you done your inner child work? This is true healing while having little to do with physical health.
Here’s the thing that I see. Very few people actually do both health and healing well! It is very often one or the other.
This may be best exemplified in the advanced biohacker that concocts strange potions and measures every step, sleep cycle and brain wave with tech, but has repressed their emotions all their life. The person may be a narcissist who thinks they have their shit together.
Possibly great health, but definitely not healed.
On the flip side, you can have an overweight person that slugs down aspartame and fast food, but has truly dealt with the facts of emotional and even physical abuse as a child. They’ve found a place where they love themselves unconditionally.
Healed in some ways, but not necessarily healthy.
These are extremes, but I hope they make my point clear.
Now, the good news is that one pathway can lead to the other. My wife’s battle with Lyme, mold and more has been both a health and healing crisis.
And truth be told, trying to survive such things kicked off my own healing crisis.
I was good on the health front. Only in the last two and a half years have I really been doing the healing front as described here.
That’s the other thing about these paths. They are journeys of many years, not something that gets resolved in a weekend.
These days I see many around that have been doing great healing work, that know so little about health and vice versa.
So that’s why I write this. Hopefully you’ve found this frame useful.
If you want to be holistically healthy and healed then you’re going to need to walk both paths.
Ask yourself, have you gone down both routes?
Are you great in one, and not so much in the other?
If so, your attention and efforts may best be spent going the path that YOU have less traveled.