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The Thorn

*I posted this in the newsletter and wanted to leave a permanent copy here. Enjoy.

An excerpt from Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer:

Imagine that you have a thorn in your arm that directly touches a nerve.  When the thorn is touched, it’s very painful.  Because it hurts so much, the thorn is a serious problem.  It’s difficult to sleep because you roll over onto it.  It’s hard to get close to people because they might touch it.  It makes your daily life very difficult. You can’t even go for a walk in the woods because you might brush the thorn against the branches.  This thorn is a constant source of disturbance, and to solve the problem you only have two choices.

The first choice is to look at your situation and decide that since it’s so disturbing when things touch the thorn, you need to make sure nothing touches it.  The second choice is to decide that since it’s so disturbing when things touch the thorn, you need to take it out.  Believe it or not, the effects of the choice you make will determine the course of the rest of your life.  This is one of the core-level, structural decisions that lay the foundation for your future.

Let’s begin with the first choice and explore how it will affect your life.  If you decide you have to keep things from touching the thorn, then that becomes the work of a lifetime.  If you want to go for a walk in the woods, you’ll have to thin out the branches to make sure you don’t brush against them.  Since you often roll over and touch the thorn when you sleep, you’ll have to find a solution for that as well.  Perhaps you could design an apparatus that acts as a protective device.  If you really put a lot of energy into it and your solution seemed to work, you would think that you had solved your problem.  You’d say, “I can sleep now.  And guess what?  I got to go on TV to give a testimonial.  Anybody who has the thorn problem can get my protective device, and I even get paid royalties.”

So now you’ve got a whole life built around this thorn, and you’re proud of it.  You keep the woods thinned out, and you wear the apparatus to bed at night.  But now you have a new problem – you fell in love.  This is a problem because in your situation, it’s hard to even hug.  Nobody can touch you because they might touch the thorn.  So you design another kind of device that allows closeness amongst people without actually touching.  Eventually you decide you want total mobility without having to worry about the thorn any more.  So you make a full-time device that doesn’t have to be unstrapped at night or changed over for hugging and other daily activities.  But it’s heavy.  So you put wheels on it, control it with hydraulics, and install collision sensors.  It’s actually quite an impressive device.

Of course, you had to change the doors in the house so that the protective apparatus could get through.  But at least now you can live your life.  You can go to work, go to sleep and get close to people.  So you announce to everyone, “I have solved my problem.  I am a free being.  I can go anywhere I want.  I can do anything I want. This thorn used to run my life.  Now it doesn’t run anything.”

The truth is, the thorn completely runs your entire life.  It affects all your decisions, including where you go, whom you’re comfortable with, and who’s comfortable with you.  It determines where you’re allowed to work, what house you can live in, and what kind of bed you can sleep on at night.  When it’s all said and done, that thorn is running every aspect of your life.

It turns out that the life of protecting yourself from your problem becomes a perfect reflection of the problem itself.  You didn’t solve anything.  If you don’t solve the root cause of the problem, but instead, attempt to protect yourself from the problem, it ends up running your life.  You end up so psychologically fixated on the problem that you can’t see the forest for the trees. You actually feel that because you’ve minimized the pain of the problem, you’ve solved the problem.  But it is not solved.  All you did was devote your life to avoiding it.  It is now the center of your universe.  It is all there is.

An Invitation

It is possible to read Singer’s book, follow the passages, remove your thorns and work toward enlightenment on your own. For most of us, myself included, it’s something that I can get excited about while I’m reading and then slowly forget as I get engulfed in day-to-day life. This is why I turn to homeopathic care for myself as a personal healing practice.  My relationship with my homeopath and therapeutic visits,  along with the gentle nudge of the remedy help me to continually recognize and remove my thorns.

In my practice, I work with you as together we recognize and begin to remove your thorns.  Whether your thorn is a physical pain, discomfort, disease, anxiety, depression, or struggle, the homeopathic process can help you to first recognize, then begin to remove the dis – ease, the thorn.

As an example, if your thorn is loneliness it can be difficult to get close to people.  Your sleep can be disturbed as you sleep alone and you can have feelings of depression.  The heightened sensitivity you have to feeling lonely can impact all areas of your life and can become a vicious cycle that you can’t seem to recover from.  Because of this sensitivity, you begin to withdraw and stop seeking out friends or social engagements.  You stay away from movies that depict people having close friends or celebrating life.  These actions make up the armor that you create for yourself.  They help you to feel less lonely.

For many people, the only option is to suit up in their armor and stay protected.  This, however, is not the road to happiness and fulfillment.  This is the road that keeps you small, afraid and ill.

If you are a current patient, know that this is the road that we are traveling, you and I.  At times, the road can seem long – it takes time to recognize, remove the armor and heal.  When one piece of the puzzle is healed, there’s often more there to be discovered.  This act of being brave, curious and open is the best gift we can give to ourselves, our loved ones and to the planet.  I have deep love and appreciation for each of those I am so fortunate to journey with.

If you haven’t continued your homeopathic care, I invite you to return.  Just as you have changed and grown over time, I have as well.  I continue to study, learn, grow and bring things back to my patients that will lead them further along their journey.  I invite you to continue to explore with me those thorns that are holding you back from your happiness and freedom.

Finally, if you know someone who is looking for this type of healing, please forward this newsletter and share my information.  As a part of my own growth and healing process, this fall I decided that it was time to enroll my three daughters in school after having homeschooled them since birth.  It is time for them to be released into the world to find their own paths and explore, while it is time for me to focus on and expand my homeopathic practice.  This is a long way of saying that I am graciously accepting new patients and always appreciate your referrals.

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