It started a few winters ago. My hands begin to get dry and chapped around the middle of December. I’ll get small cuts next to my finger nails or along the backs of my hands, and those little cuts can hurt! I know that the cuts will heal themselves eventually, but by putting on some antibiotic healing cream, they seem to heal more quickly and, at least, less painfully.
The body has a remarkable self-healing capacity; it can heal, on its own, so many of the injuries we get. Not all of them, but many of them. The trick is to give the body the best possible conditions to heal itself. With the right conditions of cleanliness, circulation, pressure, air exposure, etc., the body is encouraged to do its dynamic and magical self-healing.
We see this self-healing with plants too. Old trees show their scars of healing up their trunks, house plants can bounce back from near death, and demolished ecosystems will regrow themselves. Give plants and earth some time, space, and cleanliness, and they heal themselves.
Under the right conditions, life is self-healing.
It probably shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to me to learn that the human mind is also quite capable of self-healing. Stress, fear, anxiety, tension, and even trauma, all of which have physiological as well as psychological impacts, can be self-healed. And just like with a scrape on the arm or a mower blade cut on a tree trunk, give the mind the right conditions and it will heal itself.
Some cuts do take longer to heal. Maybe they’re wider, maybe they’re deeper, maybe they’re infected. The same is true with psychological wounds. However, because we’re not typically providing the best conditions for psychological healing, including taking the physiological components of it seriously enough, I think that we’re capable of much faster and easier psychological healing than we expect.
The winter chapping of my hands, even the tiniest cuts it can produce on my fingers, can heal so well and so beautifully under the best conditions. However, I’ve also learned from my mom a great preventative trick: apply hand lotion throughout the winter. When I use lotion, the chapping develops less frequently.
Similarly, encouraging psychological healing includes post-injury and pre-injury treatment. The post-injury treatment is to provide the best possible conditions for healing, and this includes relaxation. The preventative pre-injury step is to develop understanding and resilience that makes psychological wounds, especially the deep ones, less likely to begin with.
Schools can play a valuable role in both the prevention and the treatment of our physiological, our psychological, and our spiritual injuries. We need this understanding and ability not only for ourselves individually, but also for our friends, our families, our communities, our societies, our nations, and our world.
I so appreciate your spending time with me on this journey. ❤️
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