THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE
Many articles and books have been written about the healing powers of love and prayer. My wish for today is not to top what has already been said, but – from my most recent personal experience – to agree with the premise.
There have been other times in my life when I have experienced the healing power of friendship and love, but I believe that as we age certain subjects affect us more profoundly, especially those related to our own mortality.
I recently underwent knee replacement surgery and returned home just two days ago. The surgery itself was not life threatening, but the fact that it had to be postponed three times due to unrelated infections left me quite undone by the time I actually entered the operating room.
More to the point, it became ever so much clearer prior to the surgery and immediately afterward that the experience of receiving the love and prayers from those near and dear was both powerful and healing.
Just as some would not argue the existence of God from a logical perspective, one also can’t prove how the energy of love and prayer works to assist those in need. However, especially since the 1980s, scientific studies have shown that no matter what the disease, those who have people praying for them do heal far better and far faster than those who are isolated and have no extended family or group of friends extending themselves to the patient in need.
Today, I am here to attest to the fact that the caring thoughts, the love, and prayers sent to me these past weeks did not merely warm my heart metaphorically. Throughout the days and nights in which I felt an urgent need for assistance – the love of others was both palpable and extraordinarily curative.
While there is no one way to love or to express one’s love, it is always a feeling of warmth, a personal attachment that feeds our souls and offers us the hope that we desperately need in times of distress. It is often accompanied by a deep feeling of gratitude for all who put their own needs aside during times when we need them. The feeling may not have a particular word and it may be difficult for us to measure, but we certainly do feel it.
In the late 70s and early 80s – a time many referred to pejoratively as New Age thinking – I was in training to become a psychotherapist and began to read the writings of people such as Dr. Larry Dossey. Knowing that he – a Western medical physician – was supporting the power of prayer and love and that the top medical schools in America were requiring their students to take courses in spirituality and healing, allowed me to put on an entirely new thinking cap of my own.
In Dossey’s five-part series, “LEARN TO USE THE POWER OF PRAYER, LOVE and INTENTION TO HEAL,” he takes a very clear position on the healing power of prayer. He writes about scientific research regarding the various healing powers, stressing “the converging functions of prayer and love and some of the limitations of modern medical practices.”
As the executive editor of EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, and the author of at least ten books about consciousness and spirituality and their roles in the healing process, he addresses this subject with a fount of scientific knowledge, and, as a treating physician, he thereby legitimizes the topic. He does not merely share anecdotal experiences, though many medical cures begin just that way. He and many in medical research and medical practice are now – thirty years later – acknowledging the mystifying experiences of patients and are now open to ways of thinking that encourage their patients to help heal themselves as well as to accept the love and prayers of others as being a vital part of the healing process.
So, to all of you who sent me your positive thoughts, your healing energy and prayers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and remind you – as I am reminding myself – that we don’t have to wait for catastrophic incidents or tenacious traumas to send others our love or to offer it to ourselves, as well.
Wishing everyone excellent health and loving people in your life who will be there when you ask them to be there … and even when you don’t!