The words healing + curing are often used interchangeably. But they mean very different things and represent very different paradigms.
Healing and curing are not mutually exclusive though.
We can be healed and cured.
We can be healed without being cured.
We can be cured without being healed.
It is not semantics and knowing the difference can shift your viewpoint of the illness-wellness spectrum and thus on your own wellbeing.
What is a cure?
A cure looks for the absence of a dis-ease. It involves medication and/or treatment and is in the realm of the medical institutions.
People go to their doctors for a cure, to be fixed. After they are diagnosed to have a certain illness, a label of what is wrong within a reductionist framework (that yes, is also changing).
It’s the heart. It’s the pancreas. It’s the liver. It’s stress. A cure is symptom-based and looks to fight a disease, combat a virus, and even removing an organ, a limb or another part of the body. It generally sees the person as parts and symptoms, not as an ecosystem of lifestyle, attitude, social circle, etc.
This is not a knock on conventional mainstream allopathic medicine. It is necessary and certainly has a place in our lives. It is about understanding what is appropriate, and when. On a deeper level, choosing one over another speaks to our fears, perhaps our abdication of responsibility, our boundaries, and much more…if you want to look there.
What is healing?
Healing is about returning to wholeness. Or a remembrance of it. A journey to body-mind-spirit harmony and union. It is within everyone’s power and living in this dualistic world, involves a shift of perspectives. A body may have degenerated beyond “the point of no return” (for a cure) but the person may still be healed. They find peace, understanding, and release. And love and joy.
According to the database, cancer survivors associated emission and survival with a change from dependency to autonomy, a willingness to evaluate their beliefs and attitudes (and change them if they are no longer appropriate or adequate), and the comfortable expression and acceptance of both positive and negative emotions/feelings, their needs, wants, and desires. And learning to say no. These are all characteristics of a change in perspectives. A willingness to be more. And the choice to be vulnerable.
No one wants to be unwell, to be in pain. Or feeling uncertainty and fear. Not consciously anyway. Everyone wants to be cured. More of us should invite healing too.
What is Dis-ease?
Disease or dis-sease is a symptom of a deeper imbalance. Until we address the real disharmony within ourselves, we are not truly well, and not as well as we can be. This imbalance can be from our attitudes and beliefs, stuck or trapped emotions, poor nutrition, and trauma, among a host of other factors.
A headache, a pain, a tumor – all signals from the body that something is “off”. This communication will continue until we listen and remedy the imbalance, and the message is different for all of us. My headache is not the same as your headache. Not all headaches should be treated by an over-counter tablet.
Healing is not about fighting a disease or waging a war on this or that. Dis-ease is not an enemy and it is not evil nor is it a punishment. And our body is not something to be taken for granted. When we are ill, it is an opportunity to expand our awareness, consciousness, and existence. Of course, being sick can surface a myriad of fears, which drives us to seek the shortest route out. It is okay not to be okay, until you decide it’s time to feel okay again.
With a cure, we relegate our authority and power to an external figure, to the physician, surgeon, research, and statistics. We put the power of recovery in a pill or treatment. We abscond our responsibility. This, takes us deeper into imbalance.
We are actually our best doctor. No one knows our body and our internal environment better than ourselves. If we pay close attention and really, really listen. We may not understand the actual mechanics of what is “wrong”. We may not know what medical treatment may be best. We go to doctors, therapists, and healthcare professionals for that.
What we do know is powerful. We know if we need to end a toxic relationship or if we need to speak our truth. We know if we are blocking our creativity. We know if our body wants to move more, bend more, laugh more, love more.
We know a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. Than we give each other credit for.
It’s a matter of opening up to possibilities. And a shift of perspective of our reality.
Many believe healing is the remembrance of our wholeness, rather than a return journey to wholeness. Either way, when we listen to our body, our heart, our truth, we live in a state of grace and flow. And know, truly know from our core, that we are worthy, we are enough.
So often, when we heal ourselves, our relationships and those around us are also healed. Well-being and whole-being is our heritage.
It is important to remember – while our earthly journey may end before we are cured and sometimes we don’t have too much control over this aspect, we have the choice to be healed. And in our healing, we can also be cured. We are not our illness.
Healed and cured are not mutually exclusive and perhaps one day it will be a matter of semantics.