Cured vs Healed

This is a guest post by Victoria Ellis. She's a student at Lesley University and is interning with me this semester. She's writing a guest blog post for my newsletter each week.   

To me ‘healing’ and ‘curing’ are two separate verbs. One can be healed and not cured and cured but not healed. They are two separate meanings. To be cured is to rid yourself of the symptoms of your ailment, while to be healed is to make yourself whole. Curing pays attention to the bodies needs and healing begins with the soul to combat illnesses. One of these terms is not better than the other; it is very important for someone to cure AND heal his or herself.

An example of a time where I was healed, but not cured what when I shattered my kneecap playing soccer. Surgery fixed my kneecap and one year of physical rehabilitation strengthened me to move again so technically I was cured. I could run, jump, dive, sit, stand, and most importantly play soccer again.

It had been exactly one year since my injury when I laced up my cleats and stepped onto the field again. After the first practice, I was so excited that I was able to keep up and play soccer for 90 minutes with my team. This excitement however did not numb the throbbing sensation in my knee. This excitement paired with my fatigue and pain caused me to cry. At that moment, I honestly could not tell you why I was crying. There was not one reason why I was crying, there was many. I was happy, scared, nervous, shocked, tired, and in pain. It was evident to me that I was in fact cured from my knee injury, but I was not healed.

I neglected to check in with my mind to see how it was coping with my injury. I frequently checked into my body though. Surgery and physical rehabilitation both pertain to the physiological needs and do not take the mind into account. It was preseason soccer for the college team I play on and we had rigorous practices daily. Sure enough, this reaction I had after my first time getting on the field, happened for the next week. Playing soccer after my injury, released many feelings I had inside about me and about soccer (the reason why I was hurt in the first place). This reaction slowly faded the more times I played soccer. By week two I was able to finish a soccer session without crying. Six months later, I can say that I am cured AND healed from my knee injury. The feelings that I released allowed me to become whole again. Shattering my kneecap made me a stronger person. When I play soccer I am not fearful that it will happen again, I think about how much stronger I am now.

This personal experience allowed me to completely understand that I must pay attention to my mind, body, and soul during what ever comes my way. It is important that we are whole in order to properly function and be healthy. Whole meaning that our mind, body, and soul are in harmony. I focused solely on my physical health (my knee) and did not realize all the feelings that I had regarding this injury.

Knowing and understanding the difference between curing and healing will help you know all the approaches to take to be whole again. Just because the pain is gone, it does not mean the suffering is. But what happens if the pain does not go away? What if I am sick with a terminal illness? Remember: heal means to become whole again. Healing for some people does not necessarily mean beating their illness.

My mother died five years ago from cancer. First she tried eastern medicines, ‘poison’ as she referred to it as. It did not take her long to stray from eastern medicines towards western methods. She tried every different method to try and beat her cancer. After much research and determination she realized that she has cancer, the cancer does not have her. This simple statement changed her whole outlook on being sick. She realized that she could overtake cancer just as easily as it could take over her. Even though she was very sick, at that moment she was healed. Unfortunately my mother was never cured from cancer, but she was healed on the inside. Being healed on the inside is very important to a person on his or her deathbed. According to my definitions of cured and healed, my mom was healed from cancer. This allowed her last few months on earth to be magical. Sometimes we cannot be cured, this is when healing yourself is the only option. It is important that everyone explores different dimensions of their body and mind to find out how to release feelings to try and cure AND heal us. I would not think that playing soccer would allow me to release more feelings than any therapy session I have ever been in. Now I know that soccer can act as a therapy for me in certain situations. Soccer got me into the mess, but also got me out.