Heal: to cause a person to become sound or healthy again – from Old English haelin, meaning to restore to sound health
Cure: relieve the symptoms of a disease or condition; eliminate with medical treatment – from Latin curare, meaning to take care of, originally used in the context of spiritual care until it began to include the idea of successful medical treatment
A couple of months ago, I read about parents who discovered that because of a genetic abnormality, the fetus the mother carried in her womb was going to die shortly after birth. The parents decided to carry the baby to term, because he would be a soul container even if he did not live long. Within a few hours of his birth, after his siblings met him, as his parents rocked him, he died. And that was the end of his life, only they say he changed their lives. The mom refused the medication offered to her to suppress her milk production and went on to pump and donate her breast milk for months. It was a touching story, and I mention it now because it demonstrates how nobody is broken, and healing is not the same as curing. That little baby died. There was no curing him, but his short life helped heal many.
We are all spiritual beings, even in the most broken bodies. Many of us spend years thinking we need fixing, thinking there is something wrong with us, but none of us are broken. When we experience unwanted symptoms or disease, our first thought is: Something is wrong! We go to doctors and seek diagnoses, because diagnostic descriptions give doctors a blueprint for treating patients, usually with medication or surgery, the mainstays of allopathic medicine. Sometimes doctors “cure” patients, but more often they manage illness, especially chronic illnesses which have no cure.
Healing and curing often are used as synonyms, but they mean different things. Healing can occur in the absence of cure. Healing is possible even In the context of chronic illness for which there is no cure. Healing happens in the mind, by shifting how you think about health and well-being. Powerful healing happens when you love and embrace the body you have now, with all its imperfections. When you understand that symptoms are asking you to go on a healing journey, asking you to open your mind and heart, you can stop trying to hate your symptoms out of your body, stop thinking you need fixing, and start relaxing into life despite pain and limitations. Health is as much a state of mind as it is a state of body. When you get to the place in your mind where you are not broken, regardless of unwanted symptoms and dis-ease, you can heal and live a life of vitality and fulfillment.