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When you say "sending healing thoughts" or "positive energy," what exactly do you mean?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Just wondering. I'm assuming that when someone says/agrees to "pray for" someone, they will actually sit down and pray, in whatever way they normally do. But when someone says "sending healing thoughts your way," I'm wondering if that person actually sits down and visualizes the person and/or their situation and "sends" energy to that person. Or is it more a figure of speech, a way of letting someone know you're thinking about them?

I often read these phrases online; since, obviously, we can't be there personally. I've done it myself. For me, sometimes it actually means praying; since I am very loosely Christian (VERY loosely) and other times, it means sitting for a moment and quietly directing my thoughts/good wishes to the person in question. If I'm in a ritualistic phase, I might light a candle and say that person's name/user name.

Also, when you ask someone to "send healing thoughts" or "vibes," what are you hoping for? Do you think you can sense it when people are sending you energy?
post #2 of 20
Well I don't know what others do. But if I say I am sending energy or good thoughts your way, then I actually do just that. It may be a quick prayer or a small ritual with something etched into a candle, and then the candle being lit. That all depends on the circumstances and who the positive energy is for (I wouldn't do a small ritual for a hardcore christian for example, out of respect).

I assume that a lot of time people are just saying it to say something nice though.
post #3 of 20
It's not something I ordinarily say, but on the rare instance that I do it's basically web-speak shorthand for "I hope for a positive outcome for whatever you're going through," and not an indication of some spiritual beliefs.
post #4 of 20
For me, it means I take a brief moment and visual a healing wave of energy going from me to the person. Ususally I repeat this visualization throughout the day. I don't pray, so I don't say that I will pray for someone. Sometimes I will say "My thoughts are with you" if energy-sending isn't needed or welcome.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
So this is I guess what I'm trying to figure out. Is "sending you healing energy" shorthand for "wishing you well;" or does it mean something specifically religious/spiritual, in the way that "I will pray for you" does? Sometimes I see "sending you healing energy/vibes" sounds more concrete and implying action than "sending positive thoughts your way." Maybe for lots of folks, it is shorthand for well-wishing, as Liquesce noted.

I think I'd like to learn to be more conscious about actually stopping and thinking about a person and what I've read or learned about what's happening to them, which is where my query is coming from. I can be a bit literal, so I'm not sure if I'm reading these well-wishes correctly. It doesn't seem as straightforward or concrete as "I will pray for you," which sounds more like a promise or committment.
post #6 of 20
I do some of both. As a Pagan, I take seriously the "sending energy your way" and will keep it up as long as I can, returning to it if I get distracted.

But since my family and a good number of my online friends are Christian, I also say (and follow through) on the "I will pray for you".

Since I've got my Facebook network going, I have been intending to create a "prayer bowl" where I can place small notes with the names/situations/people that I want to pray for. Unfortunately, I haven't set it up just yet.

With a toddler and a cat, and a full-time job, I don't generally light candles / leave candles lit right now.
post #7 of 20
Well, my spiritual tradition teaches that "energy follows thought" so usually I will think a loving thought about the person I'm saying that to; perhaps picturing them happy, healed, or just connecting to a joyful peaceful place in my own heart and then bringing that person to mind within that place.

I also practice distant Reiki, but that's not something I would necessarily do unless someone asked for it specifically, or if it's someone that I'm confident would want it (usually from previous experience with that person).

In some instances, I might also say a healing mantra and dedicate the mantra to that person.
post #8 of 20
If it's something casual I'll visualize the person in question being wrapped in a sort of "safe/healthy/happy" blanket or visualize their icon/avatar being illuminated from within and without.

If it's a person I know well (either online or irl) or a situation I feel very strongly about (like a friend going through a divorce, or a person I know less well facing cancer) then I'll actually light a physical candle on my altar and meditate more "formally".

Unless something specific is mentioned (a candle, a novena, etc) I assume that any statement is really just offering good will and support... be that a kind thought, a visualization of energy, a "God be with you", or similar.

ETA- In my mind "I'll pray for you" and "Sending you energy" are on the same footing, neither feels more like a promise of specific action to me. A prayer could be as swift/casual as a "god go with you" or as formal as a novena or rosary cycle and a sending of energy could be as swift/casual as a visualization of the person surrounded by light or as formal as a reiki session, candle burning, or meditation. I think for me the difference is that some people associate "pray for you" with members of specific religions while "healing vibes" is more generic. Especially in an online format where you may not know the details of someone's religion maybe people tend towards the more generic term?
post #9 of 20
I do actually sit for a few minutes and send Reiki energy to the person and/or situation. When you get attuned to the Reiki 2nd degree you are shown the symbols for long distance healing. So you can picture the symbols, say the symbols or visualize rays of healing energy however is comfortable. I usually try to envision the person and if I don't know what they look like, it doesn't matter, I am directing my energy to their Spirit. I have faith it will reach them.
I do try not to say that unless I am really going to send energy. So I usually do it as soon as I have said it.

For me, it implies and action I am taking. I am of course wishing well/the best etc. But I am also taking action to send you energy in hopes that it affects you in a positive way such as calming your nerves, helping you sleep, allowing peaceful thoughts to enter your mind during the stressful time, pain relief, headache relief etc etc.
post #10 of 20
I pray for the person and send Reiki energy their way.
post #11 of 20
I'm another Reiki person, so I'll focus and center myself, draw the symbols on my palms, and send out energy for a few minutes. (There are different ways people do that, but that's what clicks for me.)
post #12 of 20
WOMBATCLAY has nailed, to a tee, exactly what i do and how I think. I often saying I'm sending "healing vibes" and I mean it - literally. Most of my friends are absolutely not not Christian so if I were to say I'm "praying for them" most of them would wonder, "to whom?" I send vibes, I pray, I send Reiki energy ... all good stuff. I don't use the phrase as a mere pleasantry, that is for sure.
post #13 of 20
When I say it, I actually try to visualize the person and send healing vibes/energy to them wherever they are. I guess it could be like a prayer, you're actively thinking of that person and sending it out into the universe that you want them to heal or whatever.
post #14 of 20
If I write "Sending healing vibes your way" I definitely take the time to visualize that person and picture them surrounded with healing light, and then actually healing, i.e. cancer leaving their body, depression going away, a baby being born healthy, etc. It is not just a pleasantry for me, but a promise of action.
post #15 of 20
I send up a prayer at the time of my post and then throughout the day I try to send good thoughts toward the ones in need.
post #16 of 20
To be honest, I have no idea what "healing thoughts" or "positive energy" are. I might use phrases like those as a way of avoiding saying "I will pray for you" to people who would be uncomfortable with the idea of prayer, but would be okay with non-specific good vibes. If neither seems appropriate, I will just say I will be thinking of you or something like that.
post #17 of 20
I am not in any way religious and don't really believe in an energy source of the universe or anything. For me, it's strictly something I'd say when someone specifically asks for prayers. I can't honestly tell someone I'd pray for them, since I don't believe in a higher power. I feel like I should say something nice without lying about the prayer thing.
post #18 of 20
I would usually say "I'm thinking of you" vs. "sending positive thoughts your way" etc. When I pray for someone, I generally unintentionally don't tell them. I reserve prayer for big deal issues, whether irl friends and family or online. I'm very reluctant to pray for people these days, long personal back story, but mostly has to do with still working things out with God. I kinda feel like God and I are on a break, so if I'm going to 'call' him, it better be for something worthwhile. (Of course there's tons more to this that I'm sure will bore you/make you think I'm crazy. Feel free to PM me though.)

When I talk to people who I'm not sure if their religion or I know that they're not religious, and I want to ask for positive whateverness (i.e., before an recent interview), I'll say "pray for me/sacrifice a goat/send positive thoughts/whatever my way" sorta light humored way of asking "please think about me because I have X going in my life."

If I were to say "send healing thoughts" or "positive energy" I would think of that person being healed in a specific manner and send specific positive energy. I don't like broad statements, so I would think of that person being healed from whatever is specifically ailing them, ex. cancer. For "sending positive energy" I would picture that person experiencing joy. All of this would closely resemble prayer for me.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for taking time to respond to this. I am so conflicted about religion and my place in it that these questions keep popping up. This whole "sending healing vibes" your way is something I've mostly seen in connection to the internet, so I've been wondering if it's a part of online culture and just not sure what it means.

It seems to mean lots of different things to different people, which is what I suspected. For my own spiritual path, I just didn't want to start saying those phrases and then not following through in some way and I think I actually have done that, without meaning to. Now I want to take the time to do some of the things different posters have mentioned and I have done in the past, just maybe be a bit more deliberate and consistent about them.

For me, prayer feels good when I remember to do it. I really have no idea who I'm praying to, but on a good day that doesn't matter so much. I currently identify as a "Christian panthiest" and attend a very liberal (very, very liberal) Christian church. Let's just say it can be challenging to stay focused.

It's a new phenomenon for me, knowing the intimate details of peoples' lives and never having met them. So "praying" for someone because I've just found out they have cancer, but I've never physically met them and maybe I don't know too much about their belief system and they're thousands of miles away. It becomes more of a meditation on healing or something, but that doesn't make it less real. Of course, on days when I'm more confident about God, I realize he/she/they know the person I'm directing energy towards, so it doesn't matter.
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by carfreemama View Post
So this is I guess what I'm trying to figure out. Is "sending you healing energy" shorthand for "wishing you well;" or does it mean something specifically religious/spiritual, in the way that "I will pray for you" does? Sometimes I see "sending you healing energy/vibes" sounds more concrete and implying action than "sending positive thoughts your way." Maybe for lots of folks, it is shorthand for well-wishing, as Liquesce noted.
Yes, for me it's just a way of stating my well-wishes. It's a way for me to tell someone I'm hoping for a positive outcome without having to use "prayer" terminology, since I'm an atheist and don't feel comfortable making it sound like I'm going to pray to a god about the person's problem.
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