Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Healing at Cruising Altitude

As a Frequent Flyer to Hell and Back I am very familiar with the concept of cruising at 35,000 feet. That awesome feeling of gliding along without much of a care in the world or any effort. Sometimes though we can be “fooled” by our aircraft and our healing process.

Years ago, when my daughter was a mere three years old, we took her and her brother, who by the way was only five months old at the time, to the most magical place on earth: Walt Disney World. Since we live in the Windy City, we flew to Orlando. My daughter was very excited; although this was not necessarily her first trip to Disney World or her first airline flight. She took one about 18 months of age, yet this is the trip that she would remember as she grew older. We boarded, took our seats, rolled to the runway, took off, and quickly were at 35,000 feet.

It was a gorgeous day. Just fantastic for flying. Smooth and sunny. And then suddenly my daughter began crying and pacing.

I immediately asked, “what’s wrong?”

“We’re not going to see Mickey anymore!”

“What do you mean? We’re screaming at over 500 miles an hour towards Mickey Mouse.”

“No, we’re not, daddy! We’re not moving at all.”

The smoothness of our flight at 35,000 feet had created a sensation that most of us overlook when at cruising altitude: a feeling of standing still even though we’re moving at breakneck speed. I even attempted to get my daughter to look out the window to see the ground, which would give her an indication of our movement. But at three she had difficulty discerning the subtlety of this verification.

Some of us, who are healing, on the road to health, can sometimes feel as though we’re not doing enough. Or our healing has ceased for the moment. We don’t feel movement as we did in the early stages of our grief and healing process. This can create tension and anxiety in the healer as well as possible depression in every griever. The sense that we have stopped moving when in reality we are at cruising speed and altitude, where our life at the moment is smooth and requiring very little effort, can be disturbing and turbulent for many healers.

When healing at cruising altitude, it’s important to every now and then take in the moment and recognize where you have come from and the energy it took to get to cruising altitude. It’s also a wonderful time to relish the fact that everything is smooth and there is very little effort required to keep our healing and our grieving moving at high speed. Although it may feel effortless and we may be caught off guard assuming we are not doing what we need to be doing to continue our healing process, one must remind oneself that when at cruising altitude it’s a good time to kick back, kick off your shoes, grab a pillow, and take a nap. Or if you prefer it’s a good time to kick back, relax, and just simply veg does something awesome that you put on your tablet before you left the airport.

Healing at cruising altitude is an excellent place to be. Not all of us get here. it takes effort. It takes planning period it takes guidance. However, once you’re here it’s a glorious place to be.


Counselor, Satirist, Podcaster, Author, Professor, Speaker, Father and Husband

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