There are two interweaving pathways to the healing, strengthening and renewal of your life: the way of the soul and the way of the mind. Your soul and your mind are inseparable sisters.
First, the spiritual vision is about the loving trust that makes this transformation possible. It calls for a deep belief that we carry with in us an invincible power, a sure conviction that we can make our mind like a faithful companion that will never betray us.
This kind of faith demands calm and constant vigilance. All the major religions carry this belief in their core teaching: that we are all travelling the journey to become very like the beautiful Creator in whose image we are made. This should give us great courage as we embark on the lifelong journey into the mystery of our true and deeper selves, because we will be tempted many times to turn back.
To avoid hopelessness, the daily torment of anxiety, the constant cloud of a restless, draining mental struggle, you need to believe in another gracious, healing context for your mind’s safe thinking, another way of finding a new depths within you and around you. You need to act knowledge your powerful “hidden self” (St. Paul), the presence of an unspoiled and invincible sacred space in your deepest soul . . .
This commitment to a deep and spiritual reality within will take you beyond your sporadic efforts, beyond yourself discipline and willpower, your new techniques of thought and your mental adjustment – though all of this will play a significant role as you set out towards your new horizon. There is a more profound backdrop, and inner compass for reaching your ‘true north’, the new destination for the rest of your life. The healing habit is more than a skill to master, an app to download; it is a beckoning horizon to reach, a lifestyle to adopt, a whole new world to inhabit.
What do I mean by this? I suppose such an understanding could be called a kind of determined trust, a fundamental belief, though you do not need to be religious to process it. It is` what is missing from many mindfulness courses. What matters is that you have some idea of a strong, wise and loving spirit in the mysterious labyrinth of your heart, some notion of an ever-fresh well of life’s sweet water within you, purifying, nourishing and energising your mind, your spirit and your body. If you keep a green bough in your heart, the singing bird will come to you each morning.’( Celtic saying)
(The Healing Habit pp 4-7)
by Fr Daniel O’Leary