In the Healing Touch community, we often say, “Let go of the outcome.” In fact, it is one of the major principles taught in the Healing Touch Program curriculum.
“Practitioners strive to remain non-attached to the outcome of the treatment…trusting that the energy will go where it will serve the client’s highest good.” (Healing Touch Program Level 1 Notebook)
For many students and practitioners, this can be difficult. Part of the process in every Healing Touch session is to set mutual goals and intentions, which empowers our client to be an active participant in their self-healing and bring focus to the movement of energy. And, if we’re setting a goal, we want so very much for the result to be what, in our mind, is a positive outcome.
But there are two reasons it’s important to let go of outcome in every Healing Touch session:
There is an aspect to healing that is a mystery.
No one wants to see another person suffer. We may think we know what the client’s highest good is. We feel compassion and have a strong desire to ease their pain, anxiety, disillusionment, and fear. However, the Healing Touch Program curriculum states:
“Practitioners trust in the natural unfolding of the healing process to occur in the right time and space. Healing can never be forced or manipulated. Illness and healing have meaning and purpose that are part of the mystery of life.” (Healing Touch Program Level 1 Notebook)
In other words, there is an opportunity for growth and learning that emerges through the process of illness and healing, even in the dying process. Who are we to think we know what is “best” for our client? And so, we MUST let go of outcome.
Healing results can go beyond our wildest expectations.
Even though I have been practicing Healing Touch for over 15 years, I never cease to be amazed by the experiences and insights that come up during sessions.
Here’s a perfect example.
58-year-old Janice had been working with me on a variety of concerns: chronic pain, especially in her left shoulder, brain fog, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and a hysterectomy that left her feeling like she’s “never been the same.” There were also concerns about her relationship with her husband. But most of all, she was dealing with anxiety and panic attacks that began when she was a child.
Janice was skeptical about whether Healing Touch would help since she had tried a variety of other modalities to no avail. Over the course of four sessions, however, she found that she was trusting the process and feeling a sense of relaxation, peacefulness, and mental clarity. She reported, “I feel more settled, calm, and energized.”
By letting go of outcome, it became possible for Janice to go beyond the physical and emotional symptoms that initially brought her to see me. She decided to pursue journaling as a form of self-care and considered that there might be a “life lesson” available to her.
Through her writing, she saw ways in which she pushed herself too hard and began to notice a pattern emerging from her past. She remembered her mom being critical, especially of her weight, which she believed that she had internalized. At age 11, her family moved and this was when the anxiety and panic attacks started.
“It’s as if I was taken out of the innocence and happiness of childhood and thrown into the upheaval of pre-adolescence,” she said. Being in a new school, facing unrelenting teasing from the girls about her weight, and dealing with a cliquish teacher who had her “favorites” in class, Janice started her own critical thoughts. Susie is mean. I don’t like her. Jessie isn’t very smart. That’s an ugly outfit that Miss Brooks is wearing.
This quickly evolved into thoughts of self-criticism. I’m fat. I’m not good enough. Something about me isn’t right. I wish I was smarter and had a better personality.
This realization was a major turning point because, as Janice found more relief from pain, anxiety, and fatigue, she had the energetic resources to heal at a much deeper level than she had ever dreamed.
All she could say to me was, “Wow, I never realized this until now. It’s a big eye-opener and I plan to work on this with my therapist.”
Janice’s case illustrates the two reasons we let go of outcome.
First, the pain and anxiety were palpable when I first met her. Indeed, our mutual goal was to find relief. But it wasn’t taken from the standpoint of “let’s fix this problem and make it go away.” By letting go of outcome, we embraced the notion that the discomfort might be serving a purpose or meaning.
Secondly, by letting go of outcome Janice was motivated to deepen her healing by exploring her thoughts and memories through journaling. In doing so, she was surprised to discover that there was a pattern of criticism that was prevalent in her memories as well as in the way she treated herself and others to this day.
The natural unfolding of Janice’s healing continues. She is lighter, brighter, and happier because of her tenacity and my commitment to the dictum: Let go of outcome.