On answering the charge of: “HOW DARE YOU BREAK MY IDOL?”
Spiritual healing doesn’t always mean laying-on-hands. Or preaching a good sermon. Often it means exposing both the truth and the lie. To lance the boil of pain and speed real recovery. To preserve faith yet clear any baggage that might delay your victory.
“I AM COME – to Help Break the False Idol”
Caveat: This essay contains my perceptions that some may consider controversial. Others might agree that their faith is powerful enough to withstand such pruning by Truth. Anyone can appreciate new growth that can come from taking an honest look at spirituality. All, of course, without ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’
Spiritual healing, when it carves away fluff or hypocrisy, demands doing so with an eye to heal the human condition, always with compassion
And, not leaving it at that, but also offering solutions. If the emperor wears no clothes, offer him or her your own cloak while they hire a more principled tailor. It’s all about how you choose to see the Truth, and why. Best with a pure heart whose motive is only to heal and bless.
If someone tells you something about someone you know who harmed them, how do you respond?
I know some who, regardless of the pain the one unburdening themselves appears to have suffered from one known to both, will shout down the person. They will accuse them of being negative. They complain that having to hear about this, “brings their energy down.” As if the one harmed did the wrong and not the perpetrator.
Yet doesn’t that ‘add insult to injury’?
It implies that a victim is lying, yet the only basis for such hasty accusation is the hearer’s prejudice. They’d rather automatically favor an alleged perpetrator at the expense of their victim. We see this all-too well in the public’s response to the ‘Me Too’ movement in Hollywood and D.C., where instead of judging each case by its merits, the public is tempted to wear the blinders of ideological division. Unfortunately this is true in families and communities, and in spiritual organizations.
It’s a not-funny meme to notice how those who, despite their passionate study of spirituality, are yet unable to put such book knowledge to Wisdom’s test. Rather than live as an example of the Teaching, they prefer life to be light, breezy and uncomplicated. “Please,” they say, “pass me the cream from the top. Spare me the bitter medicine.”
Spiritual healing may necessitate standing tall and firm when facing issues like this. And always knowing you will have a choice on how to deal with it.
Do you choose to shame a victim for daring to speak out on abuse by someone you otherwise prefer to idolize? Or, do you join them in denouncing the perpetrator? Why not pass the test of discipline worth its proverbial ‘weight in gold,’ by instead just holding space as the calm receiver, keeping poised in your own heart and mind? With no opinion.
Spiritual healing is about doing the real work of listening
It’s listening without judgement, while holding both parties in light. When someone seeks healing, and feels you to be a priest or priestess of the sacred fire in whom they might find relief, imagine the harm done when you cannot be impartial.
Best to avoid berating someone with New Age psycho-babble about ‘living in story.’ Chances are when someone says this, they have only a superficial knowledge of the fine science of true releasing. A qualified person can help another process ‘story’ without injecting their own, unresolved issues. Otherwise, how can the other release pain with such censure or confusion?
In fact, just save the lecture – of any sort – and instead hold the balance while the other person processes the experience. Be the safe harbor. Sometimes just listening is all a person who comes to you in confidence needs, to then be strong enough to move on. And always keep their confidences, or you bear the karma-burden of betrayal.
If you sense they cannot let go, or that they might inflict self- or other-harm, and you’re unqualified to help, refer them kindly to someone whose profession is to heal the soul.
Imagine the harm when you cause a burdened soul to feel guilty for seeking spiritual healing, even calling what they tell you ‘gossip,’ which more than implies that you judge them guilty. Rape victims already experience this far too often. Physical and verbal abuse victims also.
And then there is abuse that is insidious
Spiritual healing becomes tricky when it is for victims of abuse by those who hold a revered spiritual office that denotes a level of authority. Unfortunately some (not all) besmirch their office, so it pays to take a good look at a few of the ways they do so, to avoid becoming victim to such traps yourself, and to assist another who has fallen into them:
You see ‘wickedness in high places’ when they grope their followers or make lewd propositions. Those are obvious, or maybe not when enablers in their council sweep it under the carpet with either hush money or threat, just so more don’t find out.
More subtle warnings require spiritual discernment and fearlessness to recognize the infraction when it occurs. Such as, if you notice how they tend to immediately engage in judgement that defames another without first examining all the facts.
Or, they might practice spiritual extortion. It’s usually prefaced by some version of, “If you [do or don’t do/believe/pay this thing/way/amount], then [this/that] terrible spiritual karma will befall you, or you will jeopardize the organization’s continuity.” Let that one sink in.
Another sign of an ego drunk on power:
They tend to take sides with one who donates more and make the less prosperous donor the villain without fairly treating a case equitably, with prayer and holy teaching. They give messages from on high that are more or wholly part of their own unhealed psychology. God and His Saints do not engage in such human foible, remember this fact.
The list goes on. It has been the M.O. of the unchecked ego for ages.
It will continue, unless spiritual believers decide that it’s better to be brave enough to ‘shepherd the shepherd’ than just be content with being a sheep lacking in spiritual discernment or fortitude. And heed the old saying, ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Don’t ignore a slow smoldering just waiting for conditions to ignite a blaze.
Often, and unfortunately, organizations tend to wait until the blaze or some other serious damage or injury creates the type of havoc that is difficult or impossible to explain away with otherwise helpful truisms.
We see Facebook having ignored their responsibility to integrity. Though not a spiritual organization it is yet one whose influence is as great or greater. So, out of regard for the Truth and when required, pull the alarm before trouble gets out of hand. And call God’s Firemen. Spiritually, we know them as holy Angels.
What else can you do when facing such all-too poignant reminders of how base ‘humanity’ can block what began as altruistic desire to shine light?
Pray to know and speak Truth. Know that, if that speaking is not done rightly, it might cause more harm. It might rob a person of their only tether to a spiritual belief that sustains and supports them. And to pray for guidance to be able to speak with clarity, with respect for belief, with hope for healing.
If you’re tempted to chastise the person, think about whether this is helpful. Is your own faith so weak that you fear facing the Truth that cracks your idol? In other words, can you see all individuals involved including yourself as sharing the challenge of living in Truth? Can you do so while also forgiving all involved, including yourself, for any perceived or real weakness?
None of us is perfect. All of us are here, to ‘be here’ for each other. To self-examine and self-correct. And to seek help when that proves too difficult. Even to accept the message that points out the mote in one’s own eye. I know, my ego also resists correction. Anyone who claims not to have the ego, is allowing it to impart a false message. Laugh, isn’t that funny? So of course ego is not Reality. Its pain passes. It releases its seeming hold.
This is why I champion you for holding sacred your belief and desire that opens your eyes, ears and heart in defense of your Truth. Save your Word for prayer. This practice perfects the art of listening, without judgment. Saves opinions to later be put to the test in private moments of prayer. (A good time to open the throat.)
You might even pray for those close to the offender
Pray for your organizations and leaders, so even if you’re confronted by evidence of infraction you can request that they help, not shun a victim. Don’t put organizational ‘damage control’ above the soul’s right to a just hearing. And call for that soul’s right of spiritual healing.
Rise above all this and meet the challenge of helping that one who comes to report the offense. Do as much for one in whom so many place their faith as leader when they abuse their followers. Have principle and integrity to deal with that ego of one in a seeming high position, and help them seek counseling or coaching. Don’t allow yourself or others to be abused by anyone. And most of all, pray for the spiritual healing of the soul of each one involved.
Otherwise, if no one listens and offers restitution, or facilitates this, then it can jeopardize the faith of those afraid to come forward. This both condones as it creates a climate relished by those who disparage religion. Why give them a free pass to exploit this, and promote their ‘solution’ of godlessness?
That, my friends, is my view on the sometimes gritty side of spiritual healing
I’m not the only one to observe these things. Often it’s those untrained as spiritual healers who find themselves on the front-lines of Truth. That’s most often when and where the need comes up, as a gaping, raw wound, requiring your bandage of kindness.
Spiritual healing might not be the fluff and all-sweetness some suppose it is. It requires both spiritual and personal courage. A spiritual healer walks the razor’s edge of Truth, while also being the healing that creates a better world. Right where she is.
The spiritual healer who prays about these things, does so without self concern or desire to be well liked. She prays with thought only for the Presence of God Who Heals in all.
Tell me what you think, in the comments below.