* After learning that a friend who lives several states away was diagnosed with breast cancer, Pam felt helpless and worried.
* Rob had an unsettling miscommunication with her sister, and felt terrible about the silence between them.
* When Cindy found out that her lifelong best friend had cancer, she did not know what to say to her, or how to talk about her illness, so she distanced herself.
* A group of women watched helplessly as a dear friend suffered through depression after enduring many losses in her life.
* Tina was heartsick when she discovered her artist friend had developed MS.
When something as “big” as cancer invades the life of a loved one, or when we find ourselves separated from people we love for any reason, the patient isn’t alone in needing healing. Suddenly the world has shifted, often in unfamiliar ways. Everyone who loves the person who is hurting can be thrown off balance. What should we do? Go for a visit? Take dinner? Send flowers? Make phone calls? Stay away?
It is common in our culture to turn to problem-solving when confronting another’s pain, but this approach can lead to unsatisfactory and uninspired solutions. “Figuring things out” doesn’t always work very well when facing something outside of our usual experience. However, if we can tap into creativity and intuition, amazing answers can appear to deep and searching questions.
Many people fear that they are not creative, and that “art” is a gift reserved for a select few. But what if creativity is natural to everyone, and that it shows up fairly easily when we have a strong desire to reach out to someone. What if a person’s feelings to give birth to creative skills? We are never more inspired to make something happen than when someone we love is hurting. The truth is that everyone can tap into a deep well of creativity and inspiration, and that is something that many people have discovered through the experience of dollmaking.
In each case, the women either made a doll herself, or inspired the making of a doll. The dollmaking materials came together to express the essential beauty of the person to receive the doll, and grew out of loving feelings and intentions. The dollmaking process began with focus on the beautiful qualities and happy memories and intimate connections with each person, and then led to meditative reflection on these marvelous attributes, followed by the doll emerging almost magically. Each doll found unique expression, and came into being as a reflection of someone’s glorious spirit.
The dollmaking isn’t about curing illness or lifting depression. It is about connecting loved ones in a way that illustrates how 1+1 can be immensely more than 2. First the friend finders her loving feelings, then expresses them creatively, then presents the expression to the other and touches something deep and eternal there. The person who receives the doll suddenly knows how much she is loved in a way that a greeting card or plant or phone call can’t quite convey. She is deeply moved, the giver feels tremendous for being able to express her feelings so eloquently, and for a moment something healing happens. Healing isn’t just for the patient. The friend has found a way to transform her sense of helplessness and compassion into something meaningful and profound.
· Pam brought a circle of friends together to inspire a healing doll for their best friend across the country. Love poured out of them and into the doll through the dollmaker. The friend with breast cancer was overwhelmed and amazed – she had no idea how much she was loved and how deeply she had impacted so many people.
· Robin made a doll for her sister and when she presented it, they cried and hugged, and realized how their love for each other transcended any disappointment.
· With great courage, Cindy brought her handmade doll to the friend with breast cancer and they held each other and talked about their fears and overcame the great distance that had hurt them more than any illness.
· The large circle of women who wanted to help their heartsick friend had a special doll created to represent their love and appreciation, and expressed their love in pages and pages of words to her. One month later, the dear friend died unexpectedly, and her friends felt grateful that they had been able to express their love for her before she died.
· Tina made a doll for her friend with MS and went to all their mutual friends to have each person write a special message in a little book. The friend was overwhelmed and felt special and loved.
Is there someone in your life with a physical ailment? Emotional trauma? Spiritual crisis? It is possible to create a very special expression of your love in the form of a doll. Your feelings can inspire your internal artist. Write about your love for the person, pick up some bits and pieces of ribbon and bark/sticks and whatnot, pull it together playfully and watch as the doll comes to life.
The love is what heals. The doll simply expresses the love in a unique and powerful way.
SOURCE: Complements, Internal Medicine Quarterly News Volume 2, Issue 2, June 2 Integrative Medicine Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut