Only Love Heals

water-sand-purpleSITTING IN MEDITATION today I found it extremely hard to focus on the subtle, present moment sensations in my body. Continually, I found my awareness off making to-do lists, mulling over past events, fretting about the future — and so forth. As I plugged on, determined to finish my 30-minute sit, I felt the growing frustration and disappointment with my meditation taunting me to quit.

While I stick as best as I can to a daily meditation practice, my motivation for sitting today was preparation for writing this Edge article. I thought I had something to share about the art of relaxation, having made what most therapists considered a miraculous recovery from five years of severe anxiety and panic attacks due to PTSD, without the aid of medication.

Today’s meditation certainly challenged my confidence in all this! Near the end of my sit, I had fully decided not to contribute to this month’s topic, but then as I continued sitting the familiar words, “Only love heals” drifted into my mind. Only love heals is what Stephen Levine, a beloved spiritual teacher, said to me decades ago in the midst of my worst time of fear. At the time, I had just finished explaining to Stephen all the techniques I’d been practicing to try and relax the fear. I told him that no matter how hard I tried nothing worked. I felt like a failure. I panicked my way through my daily relaxation sessions, deciding after each one that I was a hopeless case.

Stephen said, “Only love heals.”

When he said this I had no idea how to apply it. Certainly I could not love my anxiety. About a month later, in the middle of a panic attack, I got it. None of the therapy, relaxation techniques or meditations I tried could possibly work, because I was wielding them like a warrior wields a sword into battle. But what was I battling against? Who was my enemy?

Myself. I waged war against myself. By making my own heart the enemy there was no safe place for “me.” No wonder I suffered continually mounting fear. I brought such hatred to the fear in my heart — I wanted to annihilate it even though fear was a rational response to the life circumstances I’d been through.

With this new idea of love, I saw that it was more important to practice loving acceptance of what is than to stop fear. I began practicing the same relaxation techniques with a loving attitude, and miraculously everything started to work. Instead of thinking I had to change myself, I allowed myself to be just who I am – anxiety and all. I used relaxation techniques to take care of myself rather than expecting them to change me. This simple shift of intention created healing.

And so today in my meditation, I heard Stephen’s words and realized I was waging war against myself in this meditation. Taking a deep breath, I allowed the tension and distraction in my mind to just be there. I allowed the judgment to drop. Having tension in the mind during meditation doesn’t make me a failure, it just is what’s happening right now. Instantly, the tension dropped and love worked it’s miracle again. I felt calm and at ease.

I find it so interesting how my life’s lessons reappear over decades, each time teaching me Truth on deeper and deeper levels. So please remember, it’s okay to relax, because only love heals.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Exit mobile version