When speaking with a friend recently about the birth of her first grandchild, and hearing the joy in her voice, I was reminded of a time when her life was turned upside down by breast cancer. I recall the fear and the tears that were shed during that very difficult time. But as I think back on all of the events that I have witnessed since the moment when she told me that she was ill, I can think of so many blessings that she has experienced. Forged from the crisis that is cancer priorities shifted, damaged relationships with loved ones were rebuilt, and a fresh, gentler life evolved.
A terrifying diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, or critical injury will radically change one’s life. And the treatment for an illness or injury can cause as much distress as the condition itself. The fear, pain and desperation when facing the unknown will most certainly cause a tremendous and critical change in a person’s beliefs, perceptions and actions. And for many, emerging from those changes are undeniable blessings.
I have worked with clients who have taken this journey, and each one of these folks has a story to tell about a significant and positive change that developed as a direct result of the experience. One woman who had a particularly challenging relationship with her father before her diagnosis discovered a loving parent who supported her throughout the process. An attorney that kept making the promise of slowing down in the future was stopped in her tracks by a near fatal accident, and now enjoys a more peaceful life that allows her to live in the present moment. And the chronically ill father whose estranged son became his pillar during his treatment, mending several years of contention. Transformation is born of crisis.
When we suffer a health catastrophe, we can expect to be frightened and angry. But along with the anguish we can also experience unexpected joy and compassion. By opening our hearts and living in the moment, we can receive the care those seeking to help are offering. We can move from a place of distress and sorrow to a place of acceptance and peace.
Self-care practices such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, massage and energy work will help shift our attitudes from despair to gratitude. Combining holistic practices with science based medicine will treat and heal the whole body – physical, mental, and spiritual. Caring for the mental and spiritual body, as well as the physical body will ease the journey through illness or injury, and provide opportunities to discover the blessings that are created from crisis.
Love & Light to All -