Finding The Gift In An Illness
Yesterday, I met up with a friend whom I hadn’t seen for almost three years. She seemed so different from when I last saw her – her energy is expansive and bright, and she has an aura of peace about her. The transformation from the last time I’d seen her was stark. Her depression, the heavy sadness and pain which hung about her three years ago is gone, replaced by a certain presence and relaxed self-assuredness.
She’s a model of someone who took responsibility to change for the better when confronted by what seemed like bad news. A year ago, she was diagnosed with cancer. Refusing invasive treatments, she opted to heal herself through addressing her emotional issues. She attributed her change to the cancer. “It’s a blessing,” she said, without a hint of self-pity.
When she had received the diagnosis, she was not surprised. She understood that deep, unresolved pains in our hearts can manifest in our bodies as cancer.
I’ve known of people who opted for alternative healings when faced with cancer. But opting for alternative healings aren’t always responsible. If you’re simply buying up ‘miraculous’ herbs and passive treatments, you’re just going the same route as opting for modern invasive techniques – i.e. removing the symptoms without addressing the deeper issues behind it. What struck me about my friend was that instead of merely buying hope to get well, her focus has been to work through her deep pains.
Her courage is inspiring. It isn’t easy to opt for this route. When your family and friends are pushing you to go for medical treatments, you have to cope with isolating the people who love you at a time when you need their support the most. It takes a special person to have the utter conviction and steely determination to follow their truth.
She seems happy. She wasn’t happy before the cancer. It shows me that it’s what inside our hearts that matters, regardless of our outer reality. How we respond to what is happening outside of us, our bodies included, determines our happiness. She seems more alive, and in touch with a spiritual truth. All the hard work of addressing her inner conflicts is freeing her, layer by layer, to be her true, magnificent self. She laughs easily, and she has a sense of fun. It’s reflected in her body language – open and accepting.
Acceptance is both the key to healing ourselves and the place to be when we’re healed. A lot of self-destructive behaviours stem from a reluctance to accept what is. When our truth stares at us, do we look at it responsibly or run the other way? Taking stock of what we’ve created in our lives and listening to the truth of our hearts – Is what I’ve created in line with my values or is it making me unhappy? – is the first step in healing, growth and transformation. If there’s a conflict between what is and what we want deep down, where is the block that has created this conflict?
Asking ourselves questions like these can begin to put us back into our place of power where we can then take steps to move towards a life of happiness. Without that acceptance, we would miss being in the right place from where powerful changes can be made.
Acceptance comes from a willingness to be totally present in our bodies. When all our essence is contained in our vessel, that vessel becomes a clear funnel through which our higher consciousness can express itself to give us authentic form.