Curing is reaching a state where the symptoms of the illness or injury have vanished. For example, curing a cold is pretty straightforward, same with that road rash you got on your knee as a child. However, when speaking of the types of issues that Shamans work with, like soul wounds, imprints, extractions of dark energies, etc. (which could show up as a physical, emotional, mental, spiritual ailments and are often a combination), the word "cure" seems incongruous.
Yes, we can remove obstacles, cleanse, re-write soul contracts and more -- all of which affects the energy body of the client and therefore, can immediately shift their perspective or allow their energy to flow in a more healthy manner. However, we are not unmaking the life path that brought on those issues, nor are we altering people's personalities, current surroundings or the other people in their lives. Indeed, this is not our task -- it is the client's, if they so choose.
Therefore, even after a monumental shift, clients encounter further challenges down the road, or can be influenced by the shadows and memories which helped to create the original wound. Additionally, different threads of wounding, with whole new sets of challenges and symptoms usually arise. Yet, far from being discouraging, this is the function of life -- the opportunities to step further into our full potential keep on coming. What Shamans can hope for is continual growth -- getting nearer and nearer to living our dharma in every moment. Thus, we suggest practices, or life changes to clients -- these tools help maintain their state when they leave a session and to nourish continued insights. Yet, even if clients practice with diligence, return sessions are encouraged and often necessary. Keeping all of this in mind, if we use the word "cure" in reference our work, Shamans would say that a cure is temporary.
Healing is a much broader concept -- with an almost infinite range of "symptoms." It might include some elements of a cure -- "hallelujah, the pain is gone," or it may be more subtle -- having a clearer sense of where one belongs, fear, anger or sadness dissolves, or gaining a picture of what to do next. There could be many more examples.
However, if the initial challenge or issue focused on during a session has a karmic reason for getting there, or for staying there for that person's life, there may be no "cure." After all, we are mortal and I believe that fighting our eventual death only creates fear and suffering around it, which could hinder us from having the best possible experience. If we deal with the issues of aging, ailments or natural decline by flailing and screeching, it's a set up for drama, right? Similarly, we can not make a spiritual life out of denying that we've lost a leg, or that our bodies aren't what they used to be. This is not to say that fighting to stay alive or to help others survive is not the highest calling, in certain instances.
Yet, when coping with life-long issues which may never really budge, healing is still possible. What would that look like? Again, there are infinite possibilities. For example, we can come to accept of our limitations, even embrace them. We can have compassion for ourselves as flawed beings, or we can listen to the messages of our ailments and refine our lives -- shed some old habits that make us feel worse. We can face challenges simply, with a deepening humility and faith, instead of allowing them to sap our reverence, or derail what we think is our soul's purpose -- for this is our soul's purpose. The phrase the "wounded healer," comes to mind. I'm definitely one.
Of course, miracles happen, cancers can vanish, bones can knit, people can recover from the most amazing things. Also, diagnosis are frequently wrong. So, I don't think that striving for a sense of resignation should be the first approach when facing a new challenge. Usually, it's best to study the situation for a while, explore and listen. Then, determine what course to attempt next, and next, and next. Life is a splendor of choices, opportunities and experiences and coming to a state of "healing," must ultimately include achieving a state of grace with life's flow.