For many years I have worked a process of conflict resolution called Con Rev (short for Conflict Revolution) that has become the primary component of my healing work. The process involves revolving all conflict around so that I go in search of the source within myself that is being touched, rather than seeking outside myself for a catalyst that appears to lie with other people, experiences or situations.
In this way, I have all the power I need to heal. I accept responsibility for the issue at its source, the wound inside of me, and I don’t waste energy blaming the other person/place/thing. We all look for methods such as this in our lives that will help us create peace within, and hopefully, eventually, create peace in the world.
Over time, this process has risen to new heights as I have learned to apply my Con Rev process to the conflicts that have always been deep inside myself and had no outside stimulus at all. I say this is a higher level in my healing, because for all those years it was easier to "practice" on issues that seemed to have an outside origin (getting mad or being hurt by someone else and revolving the conflict inward to find its root.) In those instances, I could apply the principle of "mirroring" and see myself reflected in the issues and experiences I was having with the outside world. This provided me with a road map inward to help me find my inner pain. The emotions I felt regarding the issues at hand were the "bread crumbs" that created a trail into my wounded psyche, so that I could work my way inward, healing all the while.
Last year I took my healing to a whole new level and was able to work my healing process on one of my oldest and deepest issues: my relationship with food. Struggling with my weight all my life has been a painful and seemingly fruitless battle. I spent years gaining and losing the same 50 pounds over and over and watching the baseline creep upward to the point that, even when I lost weight, I was still heavy. As I aged and continued this self-destructive cycle, my health had begun to suffer.
Then one morning, as I was driving to work, [Don’t you just love how Divine Inspiration shows up at the most ordinary times?] the question struck me: "What if I could apply Con Rev to my inner conflict with food?"
The information rushed over me. I have spent my entire life giving all the power to the food! In my head, I heard statements I have made all my life: "I can’t eat that. It will make me fat." The revelation was simple and direct. It won’t make you fat. Your choice to eat too much is what makes you fat. In those moments in the car, I finally realized that food, just like the people I used to believe had hurt me, was not responsible for my problem, my pain, my weight or my choice to remain powerless. I was responsible for all those things.
In that instant, I got my power back.
Two years ago, my mother died at just 66 years old. It broke my heart to watch her choose cigarettes and alcohol over her grandchildren, her health, her peace of mind and, eventually, her life. After she died, I began to reflect on my life situation, and I realized that if I died young, it would bring my children little comfort to know that it wasn’t from cigarettes and alcohol, but from some food-related issue. During the past year, I have lost 29 pounds, simply by reminding myself that I have the power. I have been studying karate and will test for my Black Belt this month, feeling much younger than I did when I started five years ago. I turn 50 years old this month.
I tell you these things not to illustrate that there is a new Cosmic Weight Loss Plan in town. The point is that, when we have patience and faith, we can heal our lives. It’s not about what you do so much as it’s about actually doing something. What is most important to me is not that I lost 29 pounds; it’s that I have finally found peace with something that has plagued me all my life. The sound bite for me in this experience is, "I am not afraid anymore." [Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what I was afraid of before that somehow created my issues with food, but whatever it was, I’m just glad it’s finally healing.]
Infinite Spirit perseveres in this cooperative, ongoing resolution experience that we call life, where we all stumble around and bump into one another, trying to figure out what we did wrong to deserve this. In fact, what we did and what we are doing is really very right. Let us move into our hearts and out of our minds so that we can stop deciding that we are separate from God. Let us heal so that we, as people of faith, can become that which we were put here to be: Divinity wearing a body and learning every lesson we can, even if we have to feel pain to do it.
Healing is about learning a higher truth and then applying that truth to our daily lives.
"Love your neighbor as yourself" is a great idea, but it has at its core the idea that we already love ourselves. It cannot work unless we love ourselves first. Healing is about knowing that when I love myself, I don’t have to be afraid all the time, I don’t have to be in pain all the time and I don’t have to be angry with "my neighbor" over things I have the power to change.
Learning to love yourself is the goal toward which Infinite Spirit works. It is the reason your soul has taken up residence inside this tiny living space that is your human body. Loving yourself is the answer, and it is the key to healing your life and creating inner peace.