The 3 steps to profound healing (of your broken heart, bones, spirit).

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 8.0
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
12 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

“He who saves one man saves mankind”

I bleed.

My heart bleeds out into the lonely night, and only the yearning for daylight; only the memory of a better day gives me hope…

I’m a healer. I work as a therapist, I counsel people, and I heal their wounds (mostly emotional, but also physical). I didn’t ever desire to do this. I tried to do many things, but never this…

When it came on me though, I knew it was my calling. I’m passionate about it.

Healing is the simplest, most natural thing in the world. There are just 3 simple steps that you have to take to heal almost anything.

Of course, not everything can be healed; but most things that are thought incurable can be.

And these are the 3 steps:

1.   Take responsibility for it.

Whatever the problem, it’s your problem. Own it. It’s yours. Not anyone else’s.

Even though you may have thought in the past that it was someone else’s fault.

Even if you wanted it to be someone else’s problem.

It isn’t. It wasn’t.

It’s yours, and yours alone.

Own it.

Face it.

Imagine that this problem is (literally) in your hands. Hold it up before your eyes and look into it deeply. This belongs to you alone. You alone can let it go.

But first, you must own it.

When you have taken responsibility you no longer blame others; and you no longer run away from the problem.

You know that you are responsible for your own change.

Quite often people call me and ask if I can help their partner / parent / friend. I have learnt to say ‘no’ in those situations. If that person had taken responsibility, they would be calling me themselves. If they haven’t taken responsibility, I can’t help them. Neither can you.

You cannot make people change.

2.   Find the cause of the problem.

This is not so hard as it may seem, but it’s not as easy as step 3. It’s not as hard as step 1 though.

Most people don’t make it past step 1. You should know that. If someone comes to me having taken step 1 (having taken responsibility for their problem) then I can almost always help them. And when they do come, I have the utmost respect – because I know what it takes to come to that point. It takes humility, and dignity, and courage. It takes being real. Most people don’t have that courage, and that’s why the world is in the state it is in…but more of that in a moment.

To find the cause of the problem, there is a very simple formula. Trace the problem (to use the analogy of a tree) to its roots. The topmost branches of the problem are in the head. The outermost symptoms are in the head (thoughts, beliefs, idea). The trunk of the problem is the heart (emotions). The roots are in the gut (deeper feelings of trauma, stress, fear, etc)… and the cause is a reaction to those deep feelings of trauma. The reaction is a survival instinct.

Ask the question “how does this problem make me feel?” And then keep on asking that question until you come to the deepest feeling. Then ask yourself: “When I feel that deepest feeling, what do I want to do?”

The answer will be a survival instinct – almost all of our problems are rooted in our survival instincts.

There are exceptions to this rule – secondary gain is the most common one.

But if you clear the secondary gain (the process is almost identical to the one outlined above) then very often the problem falls away immediately.

3: Heal the cause.

This is so easy as to be almost ridiculous.

Yes, that’s right. Healing is easy.

Taking responsibility is hard. Finding the cause is a little tricky, but when you know how, it’s pretty easy too. But healing the root cause of almost all our problems (gut-based survival instincts) is a doddle.

The cause of the problem is a subconscious blockage. To be specific, the blockage is a subconscious association between safety / survival and an instinct (either fight, flight, or freeze).

So if the nature of the problem is that it is subconscious, we heal it by simply making it conscious.

You see, our essence is pure consciousness. Light.

The blockage is like a shadow.

In the same way that you can remove a shadow by simply throwing light on it, you heal the subconscious blockage by bringing the light of your awareness to it.

This is mindfulness in action, and the power of it cannot be overstated.

When I heal a client’s blockage, I bring us both into a state of presence (here and now), and we acknowledge the blockage.

Our combined awareness (the light) bearing down on the blockage (shadow) makes it simply disappear.

The blockage is like an uninvited guest. When he is discovered, he leaves promptly. He is in fact waiting to be discovered, and wants to leave. He has a guilty conscience. He doesn’t belong there.

What belongs there is pure consciousness. When the blockage is removed, pure consciousness flows through the space again naturally, spontaneously and joyfully.


This is the most important thing in the world! There is no issue more urgent. Nothing is more worthy of your attention, time, and energy.

The world is in the state it’s in because mankind is motivated unconsciously by survival instincts. In one word: fear.

We behave the way we do as a species (war, abuse, greed, hypocrisy, corruption) not because we are innately bad. On the contrary, we are innately good – our essence is goodness, or God-ness (“made in the image of God”).

However, our innate goodness has been tainted by the very thing that makes us so intelligent. Our higher thinking. Somewhere along the line human beings forgot how to quickly and easily release trauma (wild animals do it naturally). We instead learnt to hold on to our trauma. And those instincts that helped us to survive the trauma stayed locked in place – permanently switched on.

So our lives became ruled by subconscious tendencies towards fighting (conquer, destroy, kill, argue, conflict, win, etc); flight (hide, run away, escape, remain passive, etc); and freezing (numbness, paralysis, stiffness, lock-down, tightening up, etc).

This is why you may be a highly evolved, spiritual person, but have health, emotional, or psychological problems. Because there is something in your subconscious that trips you up and interferes with your essential nature from expressing itself naturally.

It all comes down to survival instincts.

When enough of us heal these blockages, I am sure there will be peace on earth, because peacefulness is the natural inclination of life. War is an aberration, like murder.

Death, killing, sickness – these are not aberrations – they are natural and necessary aspects of life. But war, murder, corruption and abuse are the consequence of un-released and un-healed traumas.

We have the tools to forge a new society, a new earth, a new humanity.

Healing ourselves is the ultimate environmental activism.

It is a political act.

It is an expression of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satya (truthfulness) and compassion.

Let us heal ourselves and each other.

Let us heal the global heart that is bleeding and crying out for us to stop abusing ourselves.

Please share this widely. You can use the social media buttons on this page; or email the link to people you know. And leave a comment.



Open Up to Healing.

The 4 Universal Healing Salves.



More Healing:

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

Views 10
Shares 10
Hearts 1.0
Comments 8.0
Editor's Pick 0.0
Total Ecosystem Rating 0.0
12 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

Read the Best Articles from October
You voted with hearts, comments, views and shares.

See Who Won

Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting.
He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.


143 Responses to “The 3 steps to profound healing (of your broken heart, bones, spirit).”

  1. Angela says:

    Definitely saving a copy of this.

  2. fido123 says:

    I feel that I have a disconnect between my thought and my being. I think I might be schizoid. I think I see many of my problems for what they are, and there are many of them. I don't know how taking responsibility plays into that. I'm stuck trying to portray one thing for society while being another thing for myself. How do I become someone who I am not, or I could do the opposite, be someone who is not functional in the world. I waffle between the 2 so often. Most of my life feels meaningless.

    • Ben_Ralston says:

      Fix it. All is within. You have the power – and it is your birthright – to feel happy and to live meaningfully.
      No one can do it for you. So take responsibility, and commit yourself to the search for happiness and meaning.
      I did that once (made that decision). It was well worth it 🙂

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi Ben,

    I resonated and connected to almost all of what you wrote here and am glad to see this frame of healing becoming a more public discourse. The one thing that distracted me from your overall message was that you more than once refer to yourself as healing others wounds rather than facilitating their own healing process for themselves. Given the point about taking responsibility for one’s own wounds, this seems contradictory. I’m wondering if you might be open to rewording your role?

    • Ben_Ralston says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Thanks for the comment, which is accurate. But as a writer I have to sometimes not care about being too literal. And as a healer, I have to also call myself something! It's an unfortunate thing that we don't have a better word – I've thought about it a lot. I'd rather call myself "facilitator of healing" or something, but it doesn't work does it?!

  4. Abby says:

    Wonderful Article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  5. Yolanda says:

    Thank you for this. As a therapist I can relate. As a human being I have lived this. I’m still living this!

    All ‘healing’ happens during the journey from separation to oneness. The ME taking responsibility is a form of acknowledging the idea of separation in relation to myself. Finding the cause is acknowledging the idea of separation in relation to the outside world. The healing is seeing there really is no separation. Seeing pure consciousness that is all.

  6. Tammy says:

    I just dont know if its possible….so much abuse stuffed down inside im afraid to open it up…

    • Ben_Ralston says:

      Tammy. Abuse is what it's ALL about. Trauma is really just another word for abuse.
      I tell you – heal it. Not just for yourself, but for your ancestors, for the earth, and for those that will follow.

  7. Lauren says:

    It took reading the article several times, over the last day or so, to let this sink in. It took fixating on what I wanted to let go of. But, all of a sudden, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. This, in itself, is probably the best self-help item I have ever read. And its beautifully simple. Thank you for what you do. You help people. And you’re doing what I aspire to do. Namaste.

  8. Stephanie Fill says:

    Hello Ben

    Thanks for the wonderful article. I’ve shared it on.

    However, one thing which I feel strongly about is the opening, framing quote – HE who saves one MAN saves MANkind. It goes beyond wars and murder… it’s about the earth and connection to the feminine… The balance being restored in energy is vital, and these details in language of course are important. This old, patriarchal style of english communication, assuming that the word ‘Man’ can refer to any person, is significant – and not helpful.

    Perhaps you are aware of this already and had your reasons on the internet vehicle of sharing, in the highly patriarchal world we are inundated in, and perhaps it’s an appropriate tactic, however I felt it needed to be expressed.

    Thank you again for the otherwise really nice communication.


  9. Marco Belotti says:

    Thank you Ben for such a beautiful words. For give us light in the darkness. This is a marvelous way to learn other people to do the right thing about their lives and heal themselves to heal the world. Thank you again and have a great life.

  10. Jessica says:

    You aren’t a healer. There isn’t such a thing as a healer. No body can heal anybody else. An organism can only heal itself, no organism can heal another. The only thing you can do is assist and facilitate. Beware of anyone who calls themselves a healer.

  11. Sue says:

    Dear Ben,

    This is good analytical advise; my problem is healing others is easier than healing myself. Even worse, the affect this has on others that are close to me. Have you ever encountered this issue and how do you think you would/could/did handle it?

    • Ben_Ralston says:

      Hi Sue,
      It is ALWAYS and for EVERYONE easier to heal others than self.
      This is because our problems are rooted in the subconscious – and to be aware of our subcionscious is of course difficult.
      You handle this by asking for, and getting, help!
      Interdependence is the nature of life. Don't only give. Receive, accept, surrender, ask, beg, be humble. And realize that you can help others MUCH more when you are allowing yourself to be helped too.

  12. Shay says:

    Without going into to much detail I want to let you know that I have searched for these words for a long time due to a relationship issue that I couldn’t seem to work past on my own. This article just instantaneously helped me realize what it is I need to do to heal my mind and my heart. It couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. Thank you so much for this Ben.

  13. Missy M says:

    Recognition is painful for the soul to accept on some level of who we are, and were do we actually belong, which gets us into trouble with attachment. Your article was profound thank you, as I am recovering from trauma but I understand my roll in it better and am taking responsibility for my betrayal to myself. We gotta listen to us before all others. Namastay Ben, may the light of the universe shine through you, and may you always be a conduit to our souls.

  14. Lisa Bella says:

    Thank you Ben.
    You wrote this 4 years ago, but it’s what I needed today.
    “”Our essence is pure consciousness. Light. The blockage is like a shadow.”
    YES YES YES. Thank you!

  15. Tocoa says:

    I am wondering how to fix things if you have more than one underlined cause? I mean I have follow these steps in what I think the cause is but I keep finding myself feeling worthless sometimes a waste of space. So can I be more messed up than I imagined?

  16. Jonathon jefferson says:

    I don't mean to be the cynic, but this article is dangerously over simplified.
    Shine light on the problem and it will disapear?
    I have no doubt you help some, but I'm glad there are options with mental health 'professionals'.

    • Ben_Ralston says:

      You don't mean to be the cynic but you are one. Be what you mean.
      And your gladness that there are 'mental health professionals' is really just a big sigh of relief that you dont' have to take responsibility for your own mental health.
      Who is the 'professional' of YOUR mental health?

  17. Sherry says:


    Thank you for sharing this article with us. I have been taking on some personal issues that have always plagued me.

    A relationship that was important to me ended and I know it was the impetus for for needed change. Taking responsibility was very freeing. Important. I felt at peace.

    I will be using these steps in other areas that need some work.

    This article resonated with me, in a very profound way. I had to convey my gratitude.

    I t

  18. Moment says:

    How does one take responsibility for something you weren’t even aware was wrong in the first place, because you were too young to understand? How is it okay to essentialy blame yourself or own that pain?

    I understand that it’s your own, and it’s in your power to do something about it. But to say that you need to out right accept it as your fault and that no one can be blamed is actually ludicrous.

  19. BJ says:

    My cousin just shared this with me. Beautiful article Ben! Timeless in it’s message. I’m a student of a little book called A Course In Miracles which is all about taking FULL responsibility for your own spiritual healing. In fact it is a very personal, psychological, self-study path. The Course teaches that true forgiveness is the key to deep healing in my practice. It’s not the type of forgiveness we normally practice here meaning we say something like…”well, I’m the better person so I’m going to forgive you — but you’re still going to hell you little bastard!” lol nooooo – The Course refers to that as forgiveness to destroy. It’s about understanding that people are always RE-acting to the only two thoughts there are in reality – love and fear. The rest is manifestation of which thought the decision maker believes. Love and fear are thoughts not emotions – the rest is trickle down emotionomics^-^ We love to have an enemy to point our fingers at screaming “It’s your fault I’m the way I am! Not mine!” We cannot control what other’s do, but we certainly do have a choice and a responsibility as to our reaction to what they do which depends on our perception. We are never angry at a fact. i.e. “that man just cut in front of me” but our interpretation of that fact “that blankity blank! How dare him cut in front of ME!” is where we humans gunk up our thoughts. What we feel about our brothers and how we treat them is the way we see and treat ourselves at a deeper level given we are all literally connected. So when spreading the hate….we need to recognize that the hate is not really being projected “out there” but the message is now ingrained in our own minds and the cycle of attack and defend is in motion, gaining speed and the ego is doing a happy dance at it’s victory! sigh/: The Course’s message is one of ‘don’t try to change the world; change your perception of the world’. In other words – stop spending your time on attempting to change everyone and everything external to you. That won’t heal you. Much more productive to work on changing your perception about what seems to be external to you and that is where you will find peace of mind. Just as you said Ben…you must be willing to take full responsiblity for your personal experiences and healing from those experiences. I’m not suggesting we must condone bad behavior at this level, but in order to move past it, you must look inward, not out. Easy work?? God No! Worth it? God Yes! Thank you for sharing your wisdom my friend<3

  20. Rania Haverkotte says:

    Dear Ben, your article is great! I ve recently ruined my relationship by being too controlling. Ofcourse I m heartbroken now, so instead of owning the problem, i m paralyzed now and find it hard to pick up my life again. While i know i ve to get to the blockage and heal. What I m saying is, how do i go from knowing what is wrong w me (fear of abandonment cause of adoption) which leads to an inner emptiness, to inner fullness, to selflove? I find that bit hard! And i need to heal to have a worthy relationship which I ult want and need (i think). Thanks so much! Kind greetings, Rania

  21. AC Smith says:

    I like it, in theory. But I’ve got a thorny one I’m still wrestling with.
    Why? Because it involves 3 people (myself and two others, who are in conflict — though only one of them knows that).
    I’m struggling to find the elegant way forward which doesn’t leave *somebody* wounded and bleeding by the side of the road behind me.

  22. Cathy says:

    I keep trying to win the love of my parents in relationships with emotionally unavailable people. I push them away and I can’t let go. Its a life or death thing it feels like. Both parents have passed away and I can see clearly what I am doing but I can’t stop it. Its the hanging on and clinging, so desperate to be loved; to have my parents love me. I am well aware but still it boils down to a lot of painful suffering. How do I stop trying to win parents approval and love from present day relationships with people who really are not capable of giving love. It feels like fight or flight when the person pushes me away and I try to cling more, hang on for dear life, when intellectually I know its not me, its the other person who right now is not ready or able for love.

  23. Rob says:

    Nice. Spot on and Thank you for your effort. What I need. Peace.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.