The Isolation of Chronic Illness
Over the years, during my lengthy illness and recovery, many of my friends and family faded from view, and were only present during regular social functions such as dinner parties or family holiday get-togethers. It didn’t help that much of my diagnosis, relating to the cancer and tumors did not come from the conventional medical system, but instead, from holistic healing practices and intuitive inquiry methods. For some, the evidence provided through diagnostic imaging and testing, would have provided the proof that might have made these ailments real to them. I imagine that many dismissed me as being a little crazy. In the beginning of my illness, many would ask noncommittally what they could do, never fully expecting me to answer, and they rarely, if ever, followed up. I believe that some of this is stemmed from the fact that they might have been somewhat doubtful of their own abilities to help or were too focused on their side of the relationship, and the loss of friendship my incapacity represented to them. Regardless, their response left me feeling disappointed and sad. Some became tired of the same old response, when they asked how I was. When you are chronically ill, unfortunately, the story (if you are honest with others), is the same for a very long time. I trained myself to ‘sugar-coat ‘my responses and paint them in a positive light, even if it wasn’t true. Others replied, when I told them I wasn’t well, “but, you look OK”, as if they couldn’t really believe I was that sick. Apparently my pain and physical dysfunction was hidden by outward appearances, as well as my highly functional past. They weren’t around for the eight to ten hours I spent per day, lying on my bed, or stuck at home, too fatigued or compromised to do much more.
Sources from Within
To a large degree, throughout my sojourn, I felt invisible, overlooked, and isolated. After years of what I like to call “situational depression” and wallowing in my misery, I realized I had to buck up and soldier through this, even if it meant doing it alone. I dug deeper and deeper, as journeys such as these typically necessitate, until I found the most important ‘person’ of all, and the one that was the support I needed- two important aspects of me, my High Self and Innate Self. I wasn’t really alone. When we discover our true spiritual nature, we realize we are never separate from aspects of ourselves (and their connection to the spiritual sources we need), that are ever-present and available to us, who never abandon or judge us, and actually play a very important role in helping us heal. They are not sources outside ourselves, but within us all. Connecting with these parts of ourselves allows us to stay ‘at home’ within ourselves, no matter what is happening externally, no matter what our friends or our family members do or say. Amidst the disturbances in our lives that illness creates, we tend to disconnect from these aspects of ourselves, as a means of self-protection from the disappointment and the hurt, withdrawing even further from what can truly help us.
Our Higher Self
Our Higher Self is the most spiritually evolved aspect of our being and represents the divinity within and our “god-like” self. It is seen as a portal to the most sacred part of who we are. The Higher Self is the overseer of our lives and can see into our past, present and future. It works by integrating with our human self and becoming its vehicle of consciousness. The Higher Self is objective and has our best interests at heart, no matter how we feel about ourselves, whether we think we are capable of healing or not. When we step out of a subjective, self-centered ego state and relinquish our desire to control our lives and our health and surrender ourselves to our Higher Self, we have an opportunity to heal and transform.
Our Innate Self
Our Innate Self is known as our “smart body”, or “intelligent body”. It represents the bridge between our cellular structure, our DNA and our consciousness, and is an inseparable part of us. It acts outside the influence of the brain. Our Innate knows what we and our bodies need to fulfill our soul’s divine purpose in this life and for us be healthy. We have a relationship with our Innate, and it knows everything about us at the energetic, spiritual and physical level – it knows what is best for us. It knows what we are allergic to or what supplements and medications might be supportive to us and those that might be harmful. Our cells seem to react to our sense of innateness because they respond when we recognize when we are ‘home’ and are thus, able to bring us back into a state of balance and health. Fortunately, we actually do not need to know exactly how to do this to achieve health or well-being, because our Innate Self does.
Connecting to Sources of Support
By consciously invoking our Higher Self to be present and participate in the healing process in concert with our Innate Self, we are deferring to a greater source of spiritual knowledge and wisdom that knows exactly what is for our best and highest good, and what we need in order to heal. Through these aspects of ourselves, this information is communicated directly to our DNA and our bodies, in quantum, energetic way. We can do this in many ways, through prayer or meditation, or in moments of self-reflection, when we use a form of “self-talk”, or dialogue with these aspects ourselves, which we consciously direct. When we ask for assistance from them, we are inviting the insight that is most often needed into our awareness, and that can fuel the impetus for change and healing. Through our consciousness, we are able to bring the more ethereal, intangible aspects of our divinity into a more tangible and active relationship with our human self to manifest both the support and changes we desire. In this way, regardless of what happens to us on the outside, we are never truly separate from the sources we need to support and heal us.
Excerpted in part from Althea’s soon to be published work, INTERNAL MIND-BODY MEDICINE: Altering Genetic Destiny and Disease Outcomes from Within (Althea S. Hawk, ©2015)