Boston Women’s Journal - October/November 2002
“Tikun Olum” - To Heal the Earth
I wrote an article one year after the September 11 bombing of the World Trade Center. I returned to revisit my feelings and thoughts from that article as we are embarked on a war that is unsupported by the rest of the world, and based on an threat that may or may not exist. I reviewed that article and found solace in the thoughts, mine and others, that resided there. I hope that reading it will help you.
Only history will be able to ascertain if Mr. Bush was correct in his assessment of the threat to global well being and methods of violence in dealing with Saddam Hussein. I am neither wise enough nor educated enough to speak to that topic. I do know that seeing visions of death, destruction, and environmental ruin profoundly affect ourselves and our children. We must, in order to be prepared and to live with a measure of sanity and peace, find a way to frame our view of the world and our day to day existence in a meaningful manner.
I work as a medical intuitive and healer, and in that work often see illness and pain. Each day I pray that I may be of help, and to be able to see clearly what should be done. I pray that I may have the strength to work in the best interest of the people I am blessed to have come to my door asking for help and reassurance.
What I can speak to is the way in which each of us go about our day facing the threat of terrorism, losing loved ones in a distant war, living in a world different from the one we faced as children, and economic uncertainty. I am in that battle for optimism and clarity too. I fight in the trenches of negativity and disillusionment. So here is the revisited and changed article from that time of great uncertainty and sadness.
I am writing to you facing the first anniversary of the September 11 tragedy. Many are talking about how to remember and commemorate the day, and I don’t really think I have a particular or profound view to offer in terms of understanding the reasons some people chose to sacrifice their lives in order to slaughter people they never even met. I can’t provide justification, or an intelligent perspective on world politics. Six members of my close family were in the World Trade Center that morning, and all of them survived. I am grateful beyond measure. I received a gift that day that will last my lifetime and profoundly affects my day to day existence.
What I would like to comment on is the healing that takes place every day in our world despite the stress, conflict, and pain we all come to take for granted in our daily lives.
It is truly a miracle that all of the parts of our body work in harmony, that our hearts beat in time, our digestive system manages the things we often thoughtlessly throw into it, and our minds can process and deal with the myriad of information that comes through to us every day. We move throughout each day, often forgetting the joy of existence and the gift of each day lived in peace and in health. Our children’s laughter, our lover’s touch, our parents wisdom, our friends love and support.
As a healer I have often wondered how I can heal in a larger way, a way that moves the world and its people toward peace and a healthy planet; to do as stated in the practice of Judaism, “tikun olom” (to heal the earth). How can I as just one individual carry the responsibility of healing the earth?
I have come to realize that the only way I can begin to understand and use the exposure to tragedy and disharmony that appears to be all around us is to try to practice the healing that we do for ourselves and others, by making our bodies whole and our families loving, helping to make our environment clean, making our ways peaceful and keeping a consciousness of each moment’s beauty. In this way, perhaps we can move the world toward a place of healing and peace. Our bodies and minds do not wish to live in anger or pain, they strive to grow and heal even when they are in a state of illness. People in the last moments of their lives strive to learn, to find ultimate answers before closure.
First we must heal ourselves, making our bodies become as strong and healthy as is possible. Many of us have suffered physical and emotional trauma that is hard to bear. Ask for and receive help in healing from all available sources. People are remarkably able to give. Their giving is often a method of healing for them too. It provides an opportunity to have some control in a seemingly uncontrollable situation.
Second, we must learn an attitude where we see ourselves and our decisions in a manner in which they may ripple forward and provide ourselves and the world with positive growth. This “walking the beauty way” involves remaining conscious and aware that each action does not exist separately from all others but as part of the symphony of life. This means finding work that we love, and that creates a sense of satisfaction in a job well done, whether it is in a factory, creating objects, providing assistance to caller asking for information, or providing care to someone at life’s end. We must learn to live in harmony with our families, remembering that most of the discord we experience comes from our own state of imbalance, and stop in the moment to reflect on the goodness we share, not the irritation of the moment. As for the world, we must make a place in our lives for “tikun olom.” This can be as small as deciding not to use pesticides around our home, to participating in a road cleanup, to volunteering or donating to the environmental organizations that work each day to save our global resources. This is the best way I can find to walk “the beauty way.”
Thank you for listening to my thoughts. I wish you all health and peace.