There is a toxic, noxious subculture in the world of alternative health — a rampant movement that is spiritually and emotionally violent, as well as financially exploitative: Under the guise of helping people reveal the “real” reason for their pain or illness, spiritual predators — posing as gifted healers — use shame and blame tactics to elevate themselves while destabilizing and tormenting those who are suffering.
On the surface, it appears that these individuals have attained some form of enlightenment, have tapped into a cosmic consciousness that has facilitated spontaneous healing in their own lives. Once upon a time, the narrative goes, these people were suffering horribly, just like you. But then they had an awakening, through which they understood that the source of their suffering was not physical, as it had appeared, but rather spiritual.
Previously, none of the treatments they had undergone had worked, because, as it turned out, the root spiritual cause of their suffering had not been addressed. Once these individuals attained their enlightened understanding, however, their bodies spontaneously healed. And now, having touched Source, these individuals are graciously offering you their wisdom and laying out the path for your own healing.
Insert halo here.
Because the “spiritual awakening” method worked for these individuals, the narrative continues, it is your fault if it does not work for you – further indication that you have some horrible, gaping spiritual wound or unresolved past life issue. Proof that you do not “really” want to heal, that you are not “really” doing your work. Lest you attempt to assure these individuals that you really, truly, are doing everything in your power to heal and that your entire mind, body, and spirit are in alignment with your healing purpose, they will come back with the stock refrain, “But unconsciously you do not want to heal.”
Cheap shot on easy prey.
It’s the same tactic that cosmetics companies use on women. Considering that cosmetics are a billion dollar industry, these predators-cum-healers are onto something. Machiavelli would be proud.
- Zero in on the vulnerabilities and insecurities of your target market.
- Position yourself as the authority on their problems.
- Offer a quick-fix solution to their dilemma.
Quick fix? Yes quick fix. While on the surface, the find-your-spiritual-wound approach may seem like some noble lifelong quest, and while in some cases it legitimately might be, it also is a classic tactic for obfuscating the true source of suffering and, effectively, quelling revolution. As in, there is no racism. You are just hypersensitive. You should go to therapy. Or, why don’t you enjoy housework like other women? Why are you so angry at men all the time? You need a lobotomy.
Throughout the ages, those in positions of power and authority typically have used their positions not to educate and empower those who needed help, but rather, to put the onus of a problem on the weak population – those without the knowledge, power, or resources to solve the problem and eradicate its root source.
A true healer, a true teacher, will help you develop the skills for recognizing a problem and identifying the tools for responding to it effectively. A true leader will help you see the broad range of possibilities at your disposal and will help you obtain access to whatever resources you need.
A pseudo-healer/pseudo-teacher/pseudo-leader will kind-of-sort-of hand you information, in a way that remains attached to that individual, that leaves you beholden to that person, that has you feeling insecure and needing the validation or direction of someone outside yourself, that has you looking up to someone on a pedestal instead of looking directly into that person’s eyes or, better yet, looking deep inside yourself.
Is there a direct link between the mind and body? Yes. Is spiritual angst a possible cause of pain and illness? Absolutely. But there also are a plethora of other possible causes, and there are innumerable other factors contributing to our ability or inability to heal, no matter how healthy and sound we are on the spiritual and emotional levels.
Rather than wasting precious time trying to figure out “why me” or turning on and blaming ourselves for less-than-ideal health, how about this:
- Identify the various factors that optimize health – nutritious food, good sleep hygiene, time spent in nature, loving relationships, ergonomic computer setup, physical activity, spiritual connection, healing touch, and on and on and on.
- Conversely, recognize the various factors that compromise ideal health –processed or pesticide-laden food, squishy beds, negative people, environmental pollution, misogynistic TV shows, urban sprawl, doctors that don’t listen, all of it.
As much as possible, with as many resources as you have, increase the positive factors and decrease the negative factors. Do what you can, as much as you can each day. Notice your accomplishments, and pat yourself on the back for them. Practice gratitude for what you can do and what you do have. Expand your base from there. Period.
No drama, no why-me, no self-flagellation, no deference to outside authorities. You are your own healer. You are your own savior.