The KEY Questions: Have I ever witnessed a miracle?

The answer is a definite ‘yes’. In fact I witness them most days. There’s nothing strange or mystical about that. It all depends on how you define a miracle.

I have a scar on my hand from a nocturnal encounter with a door. I crashed into it one night while was creeping around trying not to wake everyone up. Needless to say I woke the whole house with my clumsiness. This was a while ago and the wound healed up pretty quickly. But how exactly it happened, (not the injury, I mean the healing), is anybody’s guess. A scientist will tell you that it’s to do with special sticky cells in the blood, (‘platelets’ is the technical term). A doctor will talk about the body’s immune system kicking in, with white blood cells rushing to the scene of the crime to fight off infection. But the truth is that no one really knows how any of this happens. All we know is that if it didn’t we couldn’t exist. Nor could any other living creature on the planet. Nature is nothing if not persistent. Living things want to continue living in good health.

We humans have naturally occurring mechanisms that protect us from harm. Though some injuries are obviously worse than others, even those unfortunate enough to lose an arm or leg will, given enough time, heal and go on to live more or less normal lives. Some animals possess the ability to actually re-grow missing limbs. All of this is miraculous, but we are so used to the phenomenon of skin, and even bone, knitting itself back together after an injury that we invariably overlook its significance. It’s so commonplace that we barely consider it at all.

Now here’s the really exciting thing. Our minds can pull off the same trick as our bodies, (because mind and body are interlinked, remember?) No matter how serious the ‘injury’ to us emotionally, our unconscious minds want to get us back on track, and will do exactly that, if our conscious minds are able to get out of the way for long enough to let the healing take place.

Traditional psychiatry, like the Freudian analysis we have all been programmed to think was the cure for every kind of trauma, concentrates on the episode or episodes that originally triggered the negative emotion. So the patient is encouraged to dwell on past events. This is the equivalent of picking the scab off your injured hand or knee and probing into the wound in an attempt to make it heal up quicker. In fact you are only making the situation worse. It is perfectly understandable, you might say, that when a client comes to me they will want to talk about those things that have caused them, in their minds, to be troubled. It’s my job to listen to the problem as it is presented to me and lend a sympathetic ear. Right?

Not entirely. I may be sympathetic but I will not validate their version of events by allowing them to rake over the past. This is because I am in the business of facilitating insight, or more accurately helping them to realise that their unconscious wants them to be well, and has all the resources it needs to make them well because that’s our innate state. Healthy and well.

The presenting problem is never the real problem anyway. The real problem is that the client’s conscious and unconscious minds are out of step. Too much conscious thinking, too much self-talk creates an internal reality that prevents the unconscious mind from coming to the rescue. Is the answer then to erase all memories, or at least the bad ones, the unhappy memories causing all the distress? No, of course not. Our memories are what make us who we are, creating and evolving our identity as we go through life. Our memories have served us, why should we deny them? But dwelling on negative emotions perpetuates the problem.

Consciousness and Thought are two of the principles that make us human. The third principle, Mind, is at work in every human on the planet, and the extraordinary thing is that no one really understands quite what it is or where it comes from. What I do know for sure is that living minds, like living bodies, want to continue living in good health.

Have you witnessed any miracles lately?