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Neo Inquires About the Healing Relationship

relationships, what ifs, shut in, toilet paper, serenity, laughter

Neo, the neocortex of Dr. C’s brain mentioned in previous columns, exclaims, “That was amazing, Dr. C, to watch Mrs. Dr. C apply the healing relationship, and poof, you’re all better!” Neo was referring to last week’s column, in which Dr. C emerged from a long period of darkness in his life.

Dr. C grimaces at Neo’s remark. It might sound that simple, but the process is much more involved. “Remember,” he says, “she has been with me for a long time. That is the special knowledge that Mrs. Dr. C has. As James Taylor wrote in his song ‘Something in the Way She Moves,’ ‘She has the power to go where no one else can find me.’ She is a witness to the best of Dr. C.”

“You have mentioned the healing relationship in 10 columns,” Neo points out. “I’ve read all that, but I still don’t understand how it works.”

Dr. C settles into a comfortable position, stretches, and then explains to Neo the development of the concept. Sounding very professorial, he begins, “From the beginning of human civilization, healers, shamans, have been an important part of a sustainable social collective. Healers are often chosen by the tribe because of a gift for sensing the inner person. They often undergo years of training, rites of passage, vision quests, or other training provided by an elder shaman.

“Some of these initiates pass from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and some do not. Those who do learn the intricate dance that is the healing process become skilled artisans within the healing relationship. Only a few will attain such skills.”

During the soliloquy, Mrs. Dr. C opens the door and enters, laden with groceries. Dr. C offers to help, and she asks, “What have you two been up to while I was out?”

Dr. C mentions Neo’s amazement at the healing relationship. “It is his contention that all the stress was eliminated and problems solved with your intervention and use of the healing relationship when I was engulfed in darkness.”

He continues, “The descriptors in the column provide a look at various parts of the healing relationship. This is to help clear the confusion about its nature. But the healing relationship is more than the sum of its parts. There is a holistic experience connected to the phenomenon, one that cannot be known through a process that reduces it to a collection of features or steps in a process. Within this healing relationship is the possibility of experiencing a sacred well-being moment.

“The possibility of sacred well-being is available to everyone, trained or untrained, anytime and anywhere. Training with the healing relationship increases the probability it will occur, but it is not a guarantee. Training also helps with meaning-making during follow-up,” he adds.

Mrs. Dr. C responds, “What the ‘good doctor’ forgets is that his brush with the darkness impacted us both. We both had to go through that dark, briar-filled forest of emotions, despair, and fear.

“I think there are two more important points to make. One, I have never wanted to become a ‘caretaker’ instead of a ‘wife.’ Caretaker implies to me a distancing from the relationship of spouse. Second, I do not view the healing relationship as a cure. It does not change your symptoms of Parkinson’s or vision loss. It does not make them go away or stop the progression. But it provides something else.”

She thinks for a moment, gazes out the window at the birds circling the feeders, and then says, “It gives me strength. It is a frightening thing for me to feel that there might be nothing I can do. I feel like I am helping to heal a wound, much like scar tissue over an injury. The Parkinson’s and vision loss still happened, the pain is still there, and the scars will always be present. Neither of us can change that. Sometimes I remind him that we just need to follow the map provided.”

Dr. C agrees, “It’s not a cure but rather a path to better living with what exists, even if it’s a chronic illness. The map comes with the sacred experience, and if I do not follow it then all I can expect is failure. Using the healing relationship comes down to believing it is possible, and then having a sacred healing experience with a healer followed by learning everything about it.”

Mrs. Dr. C points at the shopping bags. “It would also help if you could put away some groceries.” She gives Dr. C and Neo a friendly wink.

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Neo Inquires About the Healing Relationship appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.

Stress Can Result in Resisting Sanctuary

sanctuary

BOOM! Abruptly out of bed, I’m disoriented by flashing lights reflecting on the bedroom walls. I sit on the edge of the bed and look out onto what should be morning sun, bringing to life the cheery reds of bee balm against a backdrop of white birches. Instead, the sky is black. I thought it was night, but the clock says it’s morning. Rain hammers out a discordant melody on our metal roof. It’s a gloomy, wet, cold day. It sure would be nice to stay curled up under the covers.

Neo shouts at a volume comparable to the thunder, “Heck, no! You have only two days until your big research presentation.”

I snap back, “I know! I know!” The cotton oasis beckons me to go fetal. Neo is quite annoyed with me.

“What are you thinking?” Neo inquires.

“Oh, nothing. You’re right. I should look over the presentation, but I can’t get motivated to do so. I’m so nervous that I can’t even turn on my computer,” I say, almost in a whisper, as I reach to pull the covers over myself.

“Oh, no, you don’t. Get out of bed and let’s face this fear. What’s there to be afraid of? You know the material and you enjoy public speaking.” Neo doesn’t understand this latest development in my Parkinson’s.

I retort, “It’s not that at all. It’s about my physical ability to do it. This summer, my Parkinson’s symptoms got worse, and there are times when I cannot perform motor tasks. There is nothing I can do to stop these motor dysfunctions. What if one happens right when it’s my turn to stand and give my presentation?”

“So your fear of failure due to the possibility of motor freezing is preventing you from doing anything at all?” Neo replies with a slight sneer.

Somewhat defeated, I offer, “I could go back to bed.”

Neo points out, “That’s not going to solve anything. Why not enter your sanctuary for a while? You know that helps.” He is saying what I already know, but it is not motivating me to act.

“Really?” I counter. “Look outside. It’s not exactly walk-in-the-park weather. Besides, my focus should be on how to make my presentation better.” I move to the bathroom and start getting ready for the day.

Neo insists, “Embracing sanctuary is not affected by the weather. Your senses and your mind can still take in all that sanctuary offers, even in the rain.”

I feel my emotions start to escalate. “I don’t feel like calming down. I need the emotional energy to light up enough passion so I can break the chain of procrastination and the fears about my Parkinson’s symptoms.” I dress and head to the kitchen for breakfast.

Neo surveys my actions as I drop part of my breakfast on the floor. “You think you are more physically capable if you are all energized and full of passion?” It’s a good thing Neo is incorporeal and safe from any unintended physical harm.

“I—” Pausing, I stare off at nothing in particular. “I guess not. But it feels familiar and, in that way, safe. I can’t quiet down enough to use sanctuary right now. Each time I move toward quieting, the pain gets so loud it’s unbearable. That’s certainly not conducive to getting my presentation ready.” I pace the floor as I continue to mutter about the presentation that’s due in two days.

Neo points out the obvious: “Man, you are seriously stressed.” He is adept at recognizing when the situation is going downhill quickly. “Time in the sanctuary does help with stress. You know that stress unattended will just intensify all your Parkinson’s symptoms — physical, mental, emotional, and psychological. That big rock you’re throwing at yourself creates too many ripples in the pond.”

Between mouthfuls of granola and orange juice, I say, “I don’t have the time. Perhaps another day I could handle this. I can’t look at that reflecting pond right now. I’m afraid that I will hate what I see.”

“I know,” Neo says. “The path is always here when you want to walk it, and I’m with you.” Neo and I watch the rain let up, leaving behind garden flowers painted with iridescent droplets that reflect the beams of sunlight poking through the storm clouds.

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

The post Stress Can Result in Resisting Sanctuary appeared first on Parkinson’s News Today.