A meditation on Somatic Healing
Healing is hard work, isn't it?
What does it require to heal?
I suppose healing requires us to consider what kind of injury, or injuries, we have endured in the first place.
For example, if we have a cut, it makes a big difference in how healing works because it depends on how deep the fissure's length, whether it's a jagged wound and other factors. How we approach working with our injuries depends on whether it's a paper cut or a long gash, right?
This is not to suggest that a paper cut "feels" any less painful necessarily than other kind of wound. Only that the grave danger of immediate longterm harm is less likely an issue.
A skinned-knee might only require us to clean the abrasion of any possible debris, so we don't get an infection. And trust me, I am all too familiar with skinned knees! I went thru a few summers as a boy feeling as if I had only scabs covering my kneecaps!
My poor mother, finally frustrated with my clumsiness one hot July, used isopropyl alcohol to clean the abraded skin and bloodied knee poking through yet another pair of ruined bluejeans.
Although the alcohol felt like sheer torture, it was both preventative for infections, and perhaps a reminder for me about future suffering should I continue being so rough with myself again so soon. After this, she applied a soothing salve followed by a bandage, and off I was to the outdoors again.
What wounds have you endured, and how deep did they go? Something more profound, like a puncture wound, might entail a different method for healing altogether. I wouldn't know much about this one, though.
After running through a field and driving a rusty nail into the arch of my foot at some later point in childhood, I decided to hide this particular wound from my mother. I couldn't imagine what would need to be done to support the healing work. If alcohol was the remedy for minor knee scrapes, what would be required for a hole in the bottom of my foot? Luckily, it healed fine with some self-nurturing, a bit of limping, and slowing down for a few weeks--and I didn't get tetanus.
Deeper wounds like surgical incisions often require several stitches. These are necessary at numerous layers of the tissue where a cut has occurred to prepare the body for successful post-operative healing, less scarring, and more tissue mobility.
Somatic healing should be similarly investigated, I believe. What does it require of us to heal the schisms between body and mind?
In our uniquely historical body (with its nested realities), where have there been scrapes and bruises? And in what ways have these past injuries not appropriately been tended?
When considering our energetic signature, or personality, that distinctly frames our presence, what might be lurking in the background, injured? Some aspects of self allow everyone to distinguish us from someone else they know, but these behaviors may also contain unresolved past cuts because they left residual impressions. We show up in our lives today, in part, based on this information. We all have come to see these traits as our real identity; they might be scabrous unhealed injuries masquerading as personality traits. In our self-reflections, when was the last time we considered if any inflammatory process --which left unchecked-- might negatively affect the way we take and give breath? By inviting such a question, we might unearth our individual self's hardened notions for more critical consideration. The result of which might look like an authentic connection with ourselves and others.
What might gently, but deeply dis-infect long-held fissures in our emotional and psychological viewpoints that we hold firm? This is especially important if doing so could wholly and finally be the healing that we seek?
What 'soul wounds' that only you can fully understand—let alone have any hopes at mending this lifetime-- are you still carrying all by yourself?
These kinds of questions are at the heart of an authentic deep somatic healing practice. They can support us, not to answer the questions posed with words necessarily, but instead move into a direct relationship with the body-mind complex, fostering our return to innate wholeness.