Friday, December 7, 2012

Inner Healing: removing obstacles in our relationship with God

Last week I attended with my sister and her husband their Bible study group in Miami. They are both Christians and every week they attend the service at the church and join the Bible study group. Since at the moment I am their guest they invited me to come along.

Personally I do like to study the Bible and I would like to be able to join regularly a Bible study group but unfortunately, when I have joined other groups I usually feel put off because of the way they interpret the Bible.

Things like "this is the only path" or "you have to fear God" are too hard for me to swallow. But I like this group a lot and I'm happy to have this experience together with my sister and her husband.

The subject of study that day was "Inner Healing: removing obstacles in our relationship with God".

I really like the subject and of course, I immediately started to relate it to my yoga practice. I was actually very enthusiastic to hear so many similarities between the Christian view of inner healing and yoga philosophy.

Inner healing - removing obstacles in our relationship with God

We are all carrying within ourselves some emotional wounds from our past, a heavy burden that we carry with us wherever we go. These wounds become an obstacle in our relationship with God and contrary to what we might expect time is not enough to heal these wounds.

A Christian might have confessed all his/her sins and surrendered them to Christ yet he might still experience a lot of suffering and the lack of Christ presence.

That's because although we might have surrendered we still carry our emotional wounds within, we haven't fully forgiven ourselves and/or others for our past mistakes and hurts.

During the discussion, we also talked about how we become slaves of our habits. Our habits are so strong that even if we try to be good we are unable to act according to what we know is right. 

Removing bad habits by replacing them with good habits is also part of this inner healing process. Now let me include some Biblical quotes following the Christian fashion.
"In fact, I don't understand why I act the way I do. I don't do what I know is right. I do the things I hate. Although I don't do what I know is right, I agree that the Law is good. So I am not the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them.

I know that my selfish desires won't let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong. And so, if I don't do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me does them. The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right." Romans 7: 15-21.

How to inner heal?

So it is not just enough to say "I surrender" but there is more work that needs to be done. We need to go deep, look at our wounds and forgive, which is not an easy process because it can bring painful memories from our past. It is actually a whole life process of constant purification or healing.

Life itself will let us know that we need to do some work. During the Bible study group, we discussed that when we continue to have the same kind of issues in different relationships that's a clear sign that we need to do some inner healing work. Also, physical illness can be just a physical manifestation of some past hurts or traumas.

The Bible study group leader mentioned that we need to ask for help from the Holy Ghost to remove our pains from our past and get the strength to overcome our negative habits and to allow God to act through us. We should not be controlled by our thoughts but rather we should become the masters of our thoughts or let God rule our thoughts, then we will be free.

"But now you must stop doing such things. You must quit being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others. And stop lying to each other. You have given up your old way of life with its habits. Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better." Colossians 3: 8-10

Christian resources to Inner Healing

Regardless of what your religion is or what kind of beliefs you have, I recommend you to read the articles from where I took these quotes to get a better understanding of what is inner healing and how to go about it.

"Inner Healing is the healing of the inner person, the spirit and the deep mind. Inner healing is the healing of memories. Inner healing is the healing of the wounds created by the sins of others as well as personal sinful choices. Inner healing is also the releasing of bondages, addictions and compulsive behaviors and substance abuse. Inner healing frees people from pain and releases them from anxiety and depression." What is Inner Healing? -
"Even after we forgive someone, pain and deep hurt can still affect us when we recall the memory. Even after we have repented and been forgiven of our mistakes, memories of how we caused pain to another can still torment us. Inner healing usually comes after forgiveness. This healing helps remove the things that block the flow of the Holy Spirit, so we can live more abundant lives." Inner Healing -
"In the process of inner healing, Jesus uncovers those painful memories piece by piece; like an onion with the layers being peeled away one at a time. “New birth”, being “born again” or an “infilling by the Holy Spirit” will not always automatically heal these areas. Prayer, discipline, and willpower alone will not bring us to that peaceful place. A special kind of healing is needed– unlearning ways of acting based on emotional trauma and scars and relearning a new way of thinking and acting." What is Inner Healing? -
"Unforgiveness will hinder or block the healing power of the Holy Spirit. It will bind you up and separate you from God's forgiving and healing power. It is vital to release those feelings that you have against others so that the Holy Spirit's healing and forgiving power can heal and restore your soul." Biblical steps to inner healing -
"Our goal is not to forget a hurtful event or trauma, but to receive healing for that event, where the Holy Spirit removes the stinger from it. When we look back upon a healed wound, we can see it in a different way, because it has been healed and is no longer painful to look back upon."Inner Healing 101: Healing emotional wounds -

Inner Healing and Practical Yoga Philosophy

The yogis teach us that in order to achieve the state of Yoga, a state of union with the Supreme Consciousness or God, we first need to go through a process of mental and emotional purification, we need to purify our samskaras, the impressions that have been stored in the chitta (unconscious and/or subconscious mind).

These impressions can be repetitive actions that become part of our habits, they can be emotional wounds or even traumas.

The process of mental and emotional purification is also part of the first niyama (fixed rules) described in the Raja Yoga Sutras, saucha which means cleanliness or purity, not only of the body but also of the mind.

This is actually a key element in Yoga. Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Raja Yoga, all the main four paths of yoga gives us different techniques and tools to attain this mental and emotional purification.

This is a really exciting subject for me, there is so much to tell about it so I'll try to write a bit more in my next blog post.

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