Science tells us that nature is the greatest of all medicines. Not only does nature provide opportunities for exercise and Vitamin D, but its most powerful resource resides in its ability to heal the mind and the heart.

In her book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trailauthor Cheryl Strayed hikes from the desert of California, through Oregon, to the Bridge of Gods in Washington. Her purpose was to heal the wounds from the death of her mother, as well as veer off the destructive life path upon which she had found herself traveling. She was alone, with only little prior hiking experience.

One of my favorite quotes from her book states, “I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back, and, most surprisingly of all, that I could carry it.” I love this quote for so many reasons, but mostly because when we strip ourselves of all things but basic necessities we find that they can fit in a backpack. Nature provides the rest.

Using nature to heal can start with taking in deep breaths of fresh air for calming or walking to get your body moving, but it can be taken to much farther depths. The beauty of nature heals.

Never look at the ocean and take it for granted. It’s vast expanse can swallow you whole.

Never look at the snow white peak of a mountain top without wondering what clouds feel like. These are giant masses of creation that will always win if challenged by humans.

Let the beauty of a sunset strike you like a  masterpiece.

Observe strange plants that thrive in sunshine and snow.

When you walk, dig your shoes into each step of dirt and your head will become more clear.

Moving past heartache takes one step at a time, as does any journey. In nature our problems seem a little smaller because we realize how much bigger the world is, and how many people are surviving their own heartaches too.

Our minds can be like prisons. When we slow ourselves down, take a walk in the rain, and feel the strength of nature, its power can soak into your soul and help you move on from whatever is holding you back from healing. There are many things we can control but nature is not one of them. Use its energy to empower your wounds to become scars.

Recently I traveled to one of the darkest places in the United States. It is a small town in West Texas, close to Mexico called Marathon. I have never seen a more amazing sky.
Human beings are made of the same elements as stars: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Stars were made to shine their brightest through the darkest of nights. Go somewhere where you can see the Milky Way. Look at our own galaxy from Earth and get lost in nature and out of your head. Let go of what holds you back from being whole so you can heal.
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Rebecca Lynn Schultz is a freelance writer and poet from Chicago, Illinois. She holds a bachelors degree in education, and had the privilege of teaching English, Literature, and Journalism. Although she enjoyed the academic atmosphere, the love for both creative and nonfictional writing moved her out of the classroom. Writing has always been her passion and artistic outlet. Her poetry can be poignant, with a focus on relationships and a compassion for humanity. Her most important job is being a mother of three and she can always be found with a book or pencil on hand. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

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