July 31

08/01/13: Healing is an Inside Job / King of Cups


A long time back, I remember a particularly painful struggle with a loved one who was embroiled in a self-destructive, hurtful cycle. I ranted and railed and obsessed over it, not knowing what else to do.

One day caught up in the middle, I stepped outside to pace, trying to burn off the frenetic energy. It wasn’t working; I was getting more wrought up by the minute.

I finally started laughing at myself when I realized, I was walking in the same circles that my brain was running. The same ground, over and over. No wonder I wasn’t getting anywhere.


This is a lovely version of the King of Cups (and another regular visitor for me from the Osho Zen deck). Today, I’m getting the urge to focus on thoughts—the divine hand on the head—that you feed yourself—the hand on the tummy. Healing comes as a result of managing the framing factor.

Let’s say you see a loved one screwing up and you’re upset about it. You cannot influence the situation through ordinary means of persuasion. You’ve tried and it flopped. So what do you do?

There’s an option, to get caught up in the fear of consequences, indignation over poor choices and plain ol’ “wrongness” looking at it over and over again, but not really getting anywhere because we’re talking a situation over which we do not have direct control. You could walk the same circles I was that day on my front porch.

The other option would have us to controlling what we CAN—our own thoughts. If you can reframe, you have a chance here. People are where they are for a reason, be it the exercise of free will or life lessons necessary for their growth. While we may be able to accurately predict the short-term outcome of these situations, none of us are gifted with the big picture reasons. We can generously offer support, a lifeline, or input for someone struggling but we cannot force them to take that help.

So what best serves in such circumstance: fuming, hurting and suffering? Or detaching, with the   intention that you wish the other well but have dominion only over your own involvement (if any) and well being?

I think you know where I come down on the issue. In the end, it worked out okay, too. And I didn’t go down myself over it. And above all, isn’t that my job? Not to make sure nobody I cares about struggles, as that’s impossible. To make sure I am healthy first? Can’t offer much support if you’re a wreck yourself.

This is what rescued me that day, and this is what I see healing as being all about: an inside job.

How do you see healing?

Osho Zen Tarot Set
by US Games

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King of Cups, Osho Zen

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