Illness has the unique power to transform or destroy lives. It’s never a pleasant experience, but there’s nothing like a bout of illness to get us straight back in touch with our priorites. Many cancer survivors find that they come through their experience with a whole new outlook on life. Being faced with our own mortality often forces us into a ‘life audit’, where we think deeply about what’s truly important, whether we’re truly happy and fulfilled, and how best to spend the rest of our lives. It’s true that sometimes this process can result in powerful transformations. Unhappy marriages may finally break down. Careers may change, but once all the inevitable turbulence has calmed down, the person often feels more alive than ever. That’s the healing power of illness.
But why do we wait until we’re faced with a potentially terminal illness to do the life audit?
Many of us live such busy lives that we get lost in the day to day stuff and never find the time to sit down and reflect. Again, illness gives us a perfect opportunity to do that. If we’re lucky, someone else will take care of us whilst we recover, giving us some much needed time and space. As I write this I have my first ever bout of laryngitis. I have totally lost my voice, so today I’ve had to only try and speak when it’s been really important that I do. Far from it being frustrating, I’ve enjoyed giving myself some peace and quiet. It’s made me realise that much of what I say really isn’t that important, and enabled me to delay a conversation I don’t want to have.
The Healing Power Of Illness On Our Spirituality
Sometimes illness is so transformational, it changes our spiritual perspective completely. Until I was 14 I was going to be a Vet. It was all I’d ever wanted to do and I was absolutely determined that I was going to Vet school.
Then I got sick, and in the space of two years, all of this changed:
- I totally lost faith in Doctors, and after a Homeopathic Doctor a family friend recommended finally took me seriously, got hooked on the idea of doing something similar to him when I left school.
- My parents were so impressed with how fast my hypnotherapy worked, they both quit their jobs, trained as hypnotherapists and set up a practice.
- At the hypnotherapy training, they met a lady who invited us to a free lecture about Reiki. My dad and I went, signed up for the training course, and were the first two out of our family to train in Reiki. It saw off the last of my CFS.
- We met a Medical Herbalist who treated my dad for sinusitis, and me for hayfever. She mentioned that a new Degree course in Herbal Medicine was starting at Middlesex University. I got on it and graduated 4 years later.
- The son of the family friend I mentioned earlier got meningitis and somehow survived, although he was in danger of losing his toes. My dad gave him Reiki and he didn’t lose as many as expected.
Twenty years later, my son was born by emergency C section. Faith in Doctors was well and truly restored, but even moreso when we found out he had PKU, a rare genetic condition affecting 1 in 10,000 people. The odds of him being born to one of just a few hundred Medical Herbalists in the UK are millions to one. I have a child whose condition supposedly can’t be helped by natural medicine, and yet following another strange chain of events, it’s looking like we might have accidentally found a treatment!
I can’t help but think that there’s some kind of divine plan sitting behind all this! There’s more to it than i have time to explain here, but my entire life, and that of my family was completely transformed by me having CFS when I was 14!. Reconnecting us with our Creator, whatever name you want to give it, is, to me, the ultimate healing power of illness.