The right path to any sort of continued health is a path you have to walk yourself. No-one else can do it for you. While someone may rescue you from a situation, and believe me there are many circumstances where we need rescuing (and many again where we are too stubborn to be rescued), the healing path is one you must walk yourself. However, you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, your success or otherwise in your journey either to or in healing is highly dependent upon a partner.
The reason for this is we often need the help to get out of our own way. Wally Spiegler writes “Our ability to heal is impaired when our internal dialogue propels us towards needless and undue stress. There is enough publicity, out there, these days, of the detrimental impact the mind has on the body. We should pay careful attention to how we mistreat ourselves rather than blaming illness on the weather, germs, or chance.” He continues to document the most bizarre behavior common to all of us. “We hold on to our past misconduct like the proverbial Albatross, and even though everyone has forgotten, we remember and invariably punish ourselves. The thinking mind awakens memories of how bad we have been. We lock ourselves into a self-imposed jail and forgot what we did with the key. … A constant stream of messages issues forth: ‘we do not deserve more’ or ‘we’re not worthy of more‘”
There is also the time where depression kicks in and we need encouragement to hold the line, do an activity or simply move forward. A trusted friend is what is needed. However, not anyone will do! Maybe in the past you could argue that people had a number of close friends, knew their neighbors better and knew who to trust. In a world where social media gives many ‘friends’ who don’t even cut it as acquaintances by the old standard, maybe you could argue people have less real friends now than in the past. I think the reality is that there have always been lonely people. Maybe it would be a more sound argument that we have lost the ability to identify and establish trusted friendships.
Anyway, what we need for our partner on the road to healing is a trusted friend. One who will listen and not try to fix things all the time. One who will really look out for us and speak truthfully to us. When thinking about the type of person that would be most suitable, the word that came to mind was ‘mensch’. A Yiddish word that has a figurative meaning as a person with whom you would be happy to befriend and associate with because you feel a genuine presence of a mature person. Wealth, health, looks, even intellect have nothing to do with it. As Wally Spiegler writes again, “A mensch exudes a certain magnetism that attracts us, whether or not words or glances are exchanged. A person is a mensch because he simply makes others feel good.”
Now if you are blessed enough to be able to identify someone like this in your circle of friends this is indeed a bonus. However in our big city lives where many interactions tend to be superficial, here are a few guidelines to consider if you have to go about the task of finding one.
Look first to existing family and partners. Hopefully, this will be a quick process. Having engaged with family, you know already how helpful they are likely to be. If you have a helpful partner, this is the best choice and your search is over. Not all partners are going to be up to the job. Some worry too much, fix to much or talk too much. There is nothing wrong with them, they just aren’t suitable as your partner for the healing pathway.
Ideally, you are looking for someone older, of the same sex (unless it is your spouse) who you can have regular face to face contact with. I say this because it is natural, normally, to be able to confide in someone older and of the same sex, you don’t want the risk of unwanted entanglements. You are seeking to get well, not provide the possibility of another diversion.
As a last resort, your doctor or health care practitioner could be an option. Professionally they should look after you well, but you are just one of a number of people that they see normally. Chances are that unless you live in a very small town, this person isn’t going to be able to ‘walk’ the road with you. Of course, all these guidelines could be ignored if there is simply no-one else. Better to have someone than no one. Just be aware of the risks.
Now to the part this partner will play in your walk.
They will join you on your journey. Not do it for you, nor take you on their journey. You will want to trust them with confidential information about how you are feeling and processing things. You will want to use them as a sounding board and have them reflect back to you what they think you are saying. This takes active listening on their part. You will want them to ‘check in’ with you from time to time. Sometimes you will need asking how you are going, how you are feeling, what you are planning to do next? Your partner will need to act as your coach. Encouraging, spurring and at all times speaking the truth, not just telling you want you want to hear. They will need to know when to back off and not get easily offended. For those with emotional issues, this can be a roller coaster ride for the partner. The partner needs to bring truth statements to re-enforce a life-giving outlook, rather than a depressive and gloomy outlook.
Whether you have someone or no-one, there actually is a partner that I’d recommend for everyone. That is the Creator. He has manifested himself in the person of Yeshua. Father and Son, represent the compound unity of Elohim, the God of Israel. To all who will put their trust in Him, he will share the set-apart spirit that Father and Son share with you. In the divine/human Yeshua, we have someone to relate to. He is the life giver, very open to listening and only wants to see you well and whole. While I am blessed to have partners on my walk, Elohim is the ultimate partner that I share my life struggles and my own healing journey with. You may ask, how do I go about contacting this Elohim. You make a decision to believe that He exists based upon the evidence of creation and His word (Hebrew Scriptures/Bible) and you simply call out to Him. It’s no more difficult starting a relationship with a person in the street. You open communication, you walk together and learn about them.
Even if you are not willing to open yourself up to such a relationship, let me share a final piece of advice. You only listen to what you actually say with your mouth. Even if you speak to the air, believing that there is no-one who listens, it can still be useful. You will only say what you believe and what comes from the heart. Listen to yourself. You might be surprised at what you hear! Be Blessed. Aryeh.