The restorative power of God is an awesome force for healing that lies within each of us. Fortunately, various techniques are available to help stimulate it.
The advent of any sickness, with all its attendant diminishment (even if it's temporary), emotional turmoil, psychological insult, and spiritual challenge all present trauma to anyone’s life. Grave, chronic, and especially terminal conditions confound your life and alter your image of the world, yourself, and God. Even in the best of situations, in which sufficient familial support, adequate financial resources, the availability of caregivers, and the presence of an intact self-esteem are all "in place," you can still stumble and falter emotionally. When these ideal conditions are not present, psychic disturbances and mental distress can emerge, causing even greater turmoil. The Spiritual Strengths Healing Program is built on the simple belief that healing (as distinct from curing) is not of this world and that a keen awareness of God’s presence within is essential, regardless of your physical condition.
I’ve assembled 10 healing techniques quite intentionally for the Spiritual Strengths Healing Program. I’ve taken some of these 10 from research that documents the restorative and healing characteristics of the techniques listed here. Others I’ve taken from my own clinical experience and have applied them to the illness experience – whether that is as a patient or as a caregiver. I call these the ten "most effective" techniques because I’ve seen them work best, both for me as a cancer and other illness survivor and for my counseling patients seeking ways to shift their illness experience from a "reign of terror" to a time of promise. The ten techniques include―
- Education for Healing: discovering God’s unique healing power within you.
- Healing Relaxation and Meditation: centering on your healing strengths.
- Healing Prayer: connecting with the Divine Healer.
- Imagination and Guided Imagery: spring-boarding to new healing.
- The Healing Value of Smiling: changing your mood for maximum healing.
- Healing Art & Drawings: discovering new dimensions of healing.
- Life Review & Spiritual Autobiography: finding God’s healing hand throughout your life.
- Personality Voice Awareness: discovering healing whispers within you.
- Healing Circles: feeling healing strengths from others.
- Praying the Labyrinth: learning a new healing journey.
These ten techniques are a solid and reliable means of helping you and/or others tap into the healing power within. This list is not exhaustive. There are many other techniques, but these ten can be used with confidence. I recommend that you keep a journal of your spiritual thoughts and feelings during your cancer journey, which can serve as your spiritual/healing growth treasury.
My book “The Ten Most Effective Healing Techniques teaches you how to use any one or all ten of these exceptional therapeutic techniques. Find the book here.
Illness, much like an advancing army, will overtake you if you don’t enlist your vital healing powers (your spiritual strengths) to stand strong against the onslaught. God has given you what you need to keep your mood buoyant, your motivation spirited, and your defenses strong; and the techniques in this book will help draw them out. When you combine your six premier spiritual strengths with the 10 "spiritual weapons" described in this book, you will have created a bulwark that is impenetrable to illness and any feelings of helplessness.
If you haven’t yet taken the Spiritual Strengths Profile (SSP), I encourage you to do so now. Recognizing your six most potent spiritual strengths will greatly enhance the application of these 10 techniques as well as lead you to a greater appreciation for the strengths God has entrusted to you. Go to www.spiritualstrengths.org and follow the easy directions you will find there. You’ll be invited to respond to 120 statements as they apply to you. The 20 page document you’ll receive will provide you invaluable insight into your personality and God-given strengths.
I wish you God’s love, nurturing peace, and sustaining strength throughout your life journey.
Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.