“Behind every beautiful thing there’s some kind of pain.” Bob Dylan

She was young-ish, early 30s, and studying to become a psychologist.

She told me her choice was between working with me to relieve the constant discomfort of her scoliosis or spending over $3,000 to purchase a back brace that she would wear every day.

Knowing that she was on two antidepressants as well as oxycontin, a.k.a. hillbilly heroin, I chose to tread carefully.

Just by the very fact that she was on medication to treat her mind as well as her physical pain, I understood that her own self assessment was that she had been having a hard time handling her life as she knew it.

At our first session I simply taught her how to stand, sit and lie down with the best possible posture for her to avoid aggravating her back.

We didn’t do a single exercise.

I didn’t offer any healing work.

I just taught her how to cope with the basic positions her body would assume throughout the day in such a way not to aggravate her condition.

She came back two days later to report that whatever we had done with her posture had touched off a wave of pain so severe she had chosen to increase her dosage of oxycontin.

Given that most people not only feel better when they stand, sit and sleep with good posture, I knew what I was really dealing with was not her spinal distortion but her own inability to experience life outside her pain body.

“Let’s do a healing with you to be willing to get out of pain,” I recommended.

She listened, we discussed the payoffs she had been receiving for staying in pain – I have identified 25 secondary gains in my book What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness.

I helped her see how she had been consciously and unconsciously juicing the experience.

After that visit with me, she never returned.

Sometimes our pain speaks so loud that no other voices can be heard outside our own mind.

We can even lose touch with the truest internal guidance system of our own souls.

As a person who was studying psychology to assist others with the travails of life, she herself was obviously in the beginning of her own personal self-study course on the subject.

We can never judge another person’s path.

Every hero’s journey starts out by battling a demon.

It is possible that by now this very same woman has found a way to free herself from the discomfort of scoliosis, to rid herself of her dependency on oxycontin and has learned how to be happy  without antidepressants.

In my 24 years of work in holistic healing, I myself have helped countless clients be pain-free despite scoliosis, to get off even heavy dependency on oxycontin and to learn how to be happy enough that even their doctors agree they no longer need psychiatric medication.

As a recoverer, a survivor, a person who has triumphed over herself, she might offer tremendous insight for those still stuck in their suffering.

Sometimes the depth of your own sinking predicts the height of your personal rebound.

As you contemplate the ache within, one of the questions you can ask in between the moments of suffering is, “What can I make of this that will make the whole thing worth it?”

As a medical intuitive healer, sometimes just for fun when I’m out enjoying a public lecture, I will observe the person speaking and read their body, mind and soul.

I’ll never forget listening to a very influential Atlanta preacher.

As I watched him speak, I recognized his brain profile was transposed, which meant that the usual left brain functions happened in his right hemisphere and vice versa.

I saw that in his earlier years, he had been lost and fallen into drugs.

Somehow he saw the light and had come so far corporate titans sought him out for spiritual direction. His compassion was as much of an asset as his brilliant mind.

You may know the beginning of your journey as the choice between facing your issues head on or merely living in a back brace to tolerate them.

Where will your journey lead you?

As you discover the strength inside yourself to face your pain you create a vision of beautiful hope for all those left behind in the struggle.

What is healing? Healing happens when you see the beauty of your journey, even if you haven’t yet reached the end of your story.