Both the greatest joys and the greatest suffering seem to occur in family life. The death of loved ones, divorce, abuse, disease and discord can leave scars that last a lifetime. If someone in your family or circle of influence is searching for peace and consolation, consider the following suggestions on healing your body, mind and spirit.
1. Healing through the atonement of Jesus Christ
The greatest source for healing for yourself or family members is being at one with God through the atonement of his Son. In the words of Isaiah, "Surely he hath bourne our griefs, and carried our sorrows ... he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Christ knows our every pain, affliction and infirmity because he suffered them himself that we might not, if we will turn to him. As you access the atonement of Jesus Christ, healing will come.
2. Healing through time and patience
Like the human body, the spirit is designed to repair itself when given proper care and time. When your family members are dealing with afflictions, remind them to refrain from picking at their spiritual scabs to check how the wound is healing. Instead, allow adequate space to grieve, to sit with your feelings and to process pain. "To everything there is a season ... a time to heal ... a time to weep ... a time to mourn." Remember that your deepest pain will at last subside. As you wait, healing will come.
3. Healing through action
Sometimes healing begins not as you wait but as you take action. In Biblical times, there lived a man who was troubled with an infirmity for 38 years. When Jesus came upon him, he commanded the man to "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." Three strong actions were recommended and followed which lead to a miraculous recovery. Sometimes you must force yourself or encourage another to stand up and get moving for recovery to take place. As you work, healing will come.
4. Healing through repentance
The greatest balm for the sin-sick soul is repentance. If faced with feelings of guilt and shame, turn your life around one step at a time in the right direction. Parents can model the process of repentance as they humbly recognize mistakes, make restitution where possible, and vow to improve. As you repent, healing will come.
5. Healing through forgiveness
Discord, malice and resentments can dissipate as family members choose to apply the gift of forgiveness. During a discussion on forgiveness, Boyd Packer, a religious leader, said, "Forgiveness is powerful spiritual medicine. To extend forgiveness, that soothing balm, to those who have offended you is to heal. And, more difficult yet, when the need is there, forgive yourself!" As you forgive yourself and others, healing will come.
6. Healing through music
According to a report shown on PBS News Hour, there are medical studies the present evidence of the positive affect that music has on health and wellness. Music therapy has been found to provide relief for individuals suffering from Alzheimer's, brain trauma and muscular dystrophy. It is used in surgery recovery and physical rehabilitation to promote healing and to relieve stress and anxiety. When you are feeling physically ill or emotionally fragile, try listening to soothing music to calm and restore your well-being. As you listen, healing will come.
7. Healing through faith
As one who struggles with clinical depression, I have experienced indescribable heaviness, darkness and oppression. During those moments of deepest despair the only remedy is to look forward to a better tomorrow. Faith is believing in things you cannot see but know to be true. It is trusting that the sun will rise and holding on until the light comes. It is believing that God is cognizant of your needs and becoming aware of his power in my life. As you exercise faith, healing will come.
8. Healing through creative expression
Pain needs an avenue for release, and one healthy way to express feelings is through the arts. Some of the greatest artists have been tortured souls looking for a way to heal. Vincent Van Gogh's bipolar condition and Emily Dickenson's depression contributed to their creative genius. In times of sadness and discouragement, encourage your children to externalize their grief through art, writing, music, dance and movement. Art therapy has been extremely valuable to my children and me as we have sculpted, written and painted away our disordered thinking. As you engage in creative expression, healing will come.
9. Healing through nature
Mind, body and soul can all be nurtured by getting in touch with nature. The relatively new field of ecotherapy promotes wellness through various exercises with and observance of nature. Taking a mindful walk; smelling, touching, or breathing in a plant; listening to ocean waves or a babbling brook can be restorative and energizing. As you embrace nature, healing will come.
10. Healing through prayer
The Psalmist reminds us, "Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." Prayers of solicitation, gratitude and praise lift the aching soul. As you ask for and act upon personal revelation from your higher power you will find answers, strength, direction and peace. As you pray, healing will come.
Through God and his creations, through time, the arts and your own efforts, you and your family can find healing for even the deepest wound.