Loving What Is
Nature can be a powerful ally in healing through medicines, direct experiences, and messages. One of my favorite ways to receive guidance from the natural world is through flower essences, liquid vibrational healing remedies. While there are many brands to chose from, Green Hope Farms in New Hampshire is my top choice, due primarily to their inspirational descriptions of each essence. I have 40 of their essences and each week I intuitively chose which essence is best for me to take without looking at the name. Then I read the description to see what message it has for me. Last year, early in the pandemic, the essence that chose me was ‘Loving what Is’. The description of this essence includes:
“Our hearts are where we can relish our lives despite the fact that they have not gone according to our minds plans or expectations.”
I don’t always appreciate receiving this one if I am not yet in a place where I can love something I did not invite in, like cancer or a pandemic. I wrote a version of this blog last year but could not bring myself to post it as I felt out of touch with the intense challenges some were facing.
Loving what is can lead to healing
Then I remembered my favorite story in Kelly Turner’s book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds. Shin Terayama, a Japanese man, healed himself from terminal cancer 36 years ago after his doctors sent him home to die. I relished that he used natural means, like watching the sunrise every morning, resuming playing his cello and going monthly to a nature retreat in the mountains. However, what took me 3 years to understand about his healing is that he also said he decided to love his tumor. I completely missed that the first few times I read his story, probably because I wasn’t ready to take it in. But I was already appreciating what the diagnosis brought into my life – people I’ve met, new experiences I’ve had, lessons learned, so I started sending loving-kindness thoughts to my lungs and body. At my last oncology check-in the doctor said that what we were seeing on the scan could be scar tissue, rather than a tumor. Maybe it’s feeling the love!
Spiritual Teacher Byron Katie teaches “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem”, reminding us that not accepting reality can create more pain for us. She healed herself from depression and addictions by creating a simple self-inquiry process. The Work asks you to notice, question and turn around your thinking that resists current reality. After nearly a year of dealing with the challenges of multiple pandemics (health, racial justice, political, climate change), ‘loving what is’ may still seem difficult. If ‘loving’ feels like too much of a stretch for you, try ‘accept’ or ‘appreciate’ and ease your way up to love. And maybe start with loving the fact that you are still alive, and have the opportunity to learn and grow through these challenges.
Loving What Is
card by Jane Norton
“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations”
– Michael J. Fox
R: What can you accept, appreciate or love about your life experience now?
R: What can you accept, appreciate or love about the world as we move through this time?
R: Have you had past experiences where you let go of your expectations for how things should be, accepted what was and it was actually better than you expected?
The Work is a practice of noticing our thoughts and beliefs that create stress, questioning them and turning them around using the following questions to shift our thinking.
Q 1: Is it true?
Q 2: Can you absolutely know it’s true?
Q 3: How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought?
Q 4: Who would you be without the thought?
The Work – Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life offers examples of how using the 4 questions can help you undo the stressful thoughts that keep you from experiencing peace.
Green Hope Farm Flower essences – since they have hundreds of essences, a good place to start is Suggestions for Common Concerns that addresses a physical or emotional issue you are dealing with. They also have a wonderful line of animal wellness essences.