A health crisis can cause our lives to come crumbling down around us, and it will inevitably be a catalyst for change. Healing requires an excavation of our lives and getting rid of those things that do not aid our recovery; our new lives are often unrecognisable compared to the old ones that we left behind. However, as our world is ripped out from under our feet, we often find that we become more reflective and that our spiritual connection deepens as we try to seek meaning and purpose in what is happening to us.
Spirituality can be a sensitive subject to talk about and it is with great delicacy that I will broach the possibility of a link to healing; I realise that some people may be triggered and will immediately switch off, whilst others may find solace in these words. I can only speak about my own experience and fully accept that this may not be the case for everyone. I do not believe that spirituality should replace conventional medicine, but I do believe in taking the best of both worlds and that all options should be used on the path to healing. I am open to trying everything and anything to heal, and I find that having an open mind is a real asset as I try to create the right environment for my recovery.
Spirituality is the part of me that is drawn to hope and miracles, it gives me peace of mind, it encourages me to reflect, it helps me to deal with life’s challenges, it reminds me to choose higher thoughts and to hope for the best prognosis rather than the worst.
I believe that there is more to healing than just dealing with the body, and so I have naturally gravitated towards using a holistic approach; I work with fantastic medical nurses, doctors, and consultants, but also with many amazing holistic practitioners. Good health requires us to address not just our physical bodies, but also our mental, emotional, and spiritual needs; and by doing so we can understand what active role we can play in our recovery.
I am not suggesting that every illness will be cured, but I also recognise that incredible healings do take place. Our lives often change externally when we change internally, and we can use illness as a period of spiritual development; it can be a real eye-opener as we are forced to slow down and let go of what isn’t working for us. This doesn’t mean that you have to like what has happened to you or that you don’t want to get better, but you are accepting that you are on a path to change. In her book Radical Remission, Kelly Turner shows that spiritual belief complemented the healing journey of many of the cancer survivors that she worked with, they believed that things could turn around and that miracles were possible. The potential to heal was indeed a reality!
Spiritual activities are part of my daily routine, and I do them to varying degrees throughout the day. This can be done through prayer, yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, listening to music, inspirational reading, acts of kindness, and the list could go on; but what matters most is to quiet the mind and go inwards. These activities induce relaxation, slow the body and mind down, and help us to release healthy hormones such as melatonin, dopamine, serotonin; all of which give a welcome boost to our health.
Healing requires patience, and change will not happen overnight. What has healed others may not heal you, but at the very least you may feel better equipped to cope with your illness and the road ahead. Find what works for you, leave room for mystery, hold on to the belief that magical things can and do happen; you have nothing to lose, and it may even help more than you could ever have imagined…