Recently, in an email about my journey to healing and wholeness through my hysterical illness, a friend challenged me with this project:
…Write a five-page essay to yourself (yes, five pages) about what it is that you really, really, really want in life. (Really want... not just tell yourself that you want.) Then compare the last page of your essay what it is with what you've got now in your life...
I stomped my foot, stuck out my lip and mumbled, “uh-uh.” Then I said, “yeah, sure, prolly a good idea,” but, instead of actually thinking about the question, I spent my time writing long, detailed comments to other people’s Facebook statuses, huge discourses on other people’s blogs, rambling emails, and couldn’t write a single thing for my own blog. Not even the stilted, dead-end bits I’d been writing for the last month. Mm-hmm, some major psychological resistance going on there.
Then, when I found myself tied in knots over a discussion with some stranger on another stranger’s blog, even blowing off my daily Call to Prayer because I wanted to set this guy straight, I had to call “foul” on my game. As usual, when I finally quit procrastinating on some project, I found that I already knew the answer quite clearly. I knew exactly who I wished I could be and what I want to do, if only I could get out of my own way.
Four years ago, not long before I got started getting really sick, I was studying homeopathic acid remedies for the school I was attending with the above-mentioned friend. I wrote her the following note:
Monday night I was reading about the acids, finishing up with Nitric Acid before I went to sleep. I dreamed that night about the aftermath of a battle.
There were hundreds of bomb victims on the battleground, hung from trees and scaffolding and makeshift things because the burns they had sustained from the nitric acid bombs were so extensive and devastating that they couldn't be laid down. The trees and landscape themselves were horribly burned and skeletal just as were the human victims (mostly but not exclusively children).
No one was crying or screaming; the pain was too great for any vocalization. The word DESOLATION burned into my soul. A low moaning of the slight wind through the blackened trees highlighted the silence. Almost as many doctors and other healing practitioners were in the field treating the victims as there were victims but the doctors and others were so overcome by the extent of the devastation that even they worked in near silence. Everything was black and grey through the pale blue of lingering smoke.
I walked through the battlefield touching as many of the people as I could, especially the children with their huge, silent, desolate eyes. I felt my hands buzzing with healing energy and as I put my palm on each person, I could feel the healing flow through me into their souls. The healing energy brought each one to the place where he or she could find peace: for some it was that they found renewed resources to accept the medical treatment and recover, for others it was moving into death, maybe half and half.
The doctors were so deeply shocked by the suffering that they themselves were grateful for what I did, even though it meant death for many. And I remember thinking that no one who had not been there would understand that I was not killing anyone, rather bringing grace in whatever form could be accepted by the recipient. I remember wondering if I should be concerned with that—that maybe I'd find myself in trouble later for what I was doing—but found I couldn't even spare the attention to think about it. What I was doing was so urgent and so deeply, spiritually necessary that I truly couldn't choose to worry about myself.
It was a pretty horrible dream but I was never afraid during it, nor later when I awoke. I was so full of profound gladness that I could bring grace to these souls (and it really was their souls that were my focus not the bodies) that fear could not enter in. "Perfect love casteth out fear." Fear and love cannot coexist. I was so grateful for the opportunity to carry out my sacred responsibility that nothing else mattered.
Oh, and I kept catching glimpses of my sleeves as if from the corner of my eye as I reached out to touch someone: they were the blue of the Renaissance Madonnas. It was really the only color in my dream, kind of like the little girl in the red coat in the Spielberg movie about the Holocaust.
I really, really want to be the woman in the dream: bringing healing grace to tortured souls, releasing fears, alleviating suffering, and facilitating spiritual transformation. I want to be the catalyst to take stuck, scared and suffering people into a place of love, peace, and freedom. I want to be fearless, confident and competent, grateful, serene, intense, and compassionate. I want to channel the grace of God to those who need a healing hand. I want to be the imago Dei to desperate souls. I want to be a priest facilitating communion with the Divine, a midwife easing the birthing pains for souls in transformation. I want to administer Last Rites, witness first cries, and revel in the sight of someone meeting God on a new and glorious path.
I have visions and I dream dreams; I want to speak out with my voice what I know for the healing of individuals, families, and peoples. I am a prophet and a seer; I want to see and prophesy for healing, to be the breath of God on the winds of change. I want to teach, to mentor, and to support people in their search for meaning. I can be a force to bend destiny. Instead of running away from that ability, I want to develop it, practice it, and control it to channel God’s grace and healing to the world.