Driving to work this morning, my mind contemplating long life and health, grey clouds covering the sky, and a very light drizzle of rain, my ipod changed to perhaps one of the most recognised songs of my generation. The long and simple riff bringing a smile to my face, I turned up ‘Sweet Child of Mine’. My smile widened as synchronicity brought the words to mind ….
She’s got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I’d probably break down and cry
Sweet child o’ mine
Sweet love of mine
She’s got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me
of a warm safe place
Where as a child I’d hide
And pray for the thunder
And the rain
To quietly pass me by
Sweet child o’ mine
Sweet love of mine
Listening to Marianne Williamson’s audio version of ‘Return to Love’ a phrase had struck a meaning in my mind. To paraphrase … the sky is always blue; grey clouds may cover the sky, but behind them the sky remains blue. Such is our life. Such is the pure love of the creator. Such is our pure heart and soul. Always blue, but covered and hidden by grey clouds. Her book, her reflections on ‘A Course in Miracles’ renewed in me the desire to start reading again this incredible work of love. Whatever one may think of this work is irrelevant, subject to one’s opinions and beliefs. I had turned to the back section, the Manual for Teachers and have been reading about health and healing. The words, although previously read, struck a new meaning in me. This was what had started my mornings contemplation. That, together with my parents birthdays this week.
My father turned 80 on Sunday. An age he never expected to reach. I remember him telling me long ago that the doctors had never expected him to live longer than 45. My father has severe and chronic asthma. One of 9 children, 5 who lived beyond the age of 10. My mother turns 84 next Sunday. Her father had lived to age 86, if I recall. My father had uncles and aunts who had lived well into their 80s. These ancestors were the generation born around the turn of the twentieth century. Living a relatively well and healthy life. In fact I am blessed with a very healthy blood line on both sides. I recall recently a conversation with my father after he had attended a Ministers retreat. Many of the ministers of religion were living well and healthy into their nineties, alongside their wives. Here is a generation that is celebrating over 50 and 60 years of marriage. And still going.
My mind returned to my years of nursing. Wondering at why supposedly fit and healthy men died of heart attacks at 40 while those who drank and smoke lived well into their 80s. At that time, personality types were part of defining health. Type A, the more rigid, stressful types succumbed earlier than the type who accepted life and lived it full. What is interesting is that this is no longer recognised in mainstream medicine as being a ’cause’. Instead ‘lifestyle’ issues of smoking, alcohol, obesity and lack of exercise are quoted as being the main risk factors. Stress has lost its ‘place’. Yet natural therapies well recognise the unhealthy impact of stress, which often leads to unhealthy lifestyles. Yet why did the supposedly unhealthy, high risk factor generation live long and the healthy die young? A seeming contradiction, and perhaps an indication that we are ‘missing the point’.
A healthy life is one where life is well lived, in touch and flowing with the natural rhythm of life. Not fighting the nature inherent within. Yet sickness continues to consume society. Healing is sought but few acknowledge that ‘healing’ can occur. As I read ACIM, I wondered about childhood tragedies. To this I have no answer, though many ‘ideas’ that most would find perhaps unacceptable. But then I have been blessed in not having to experience losing a child close to me. In this aspect, my thoughts in this blog post are not relevant as such.
ACIM talks about sickness as being of the mind. Natural therapies and quantum physics abound today with new thoughts that acknowledge the impact of the mind on health and well-being. Indeed, this thought is not new at all, but dates back through history. So I contemplate the following … We are created perfect in the image of our creator. As children we are innocent, full of love and joy and happiness. The eyes of the child see only perfection. Untainted by societies beliefs. We grow older and take on unhealthy beliefs of not being perfect, not good enough. We listen to those who are disillusioned, controlled, in despair and believe that this is reality. What is reality is in fact the child’s mind. The illusion we wrap ourselves in is like the clouds that cover the blue sky. We no longer live from the heart and soul but from the mind. Our beliefs change. We persuade and are persuaded. We change, we grow sick and old. We inevitably create sickness in our body. Our minds think negative thoughts about ourselves. Our cells listen and behave accordingly.
This is perhaps a hard thought for those of us who are in pain or suffering. What ACIM tells us is that this is a result of our minds thinking. As many authors have written, if we change our thoughts, we can change our lives. Certainly there are many incidents of miraculous healing. Yet in a world of modern medicine we do not consciously consider healing, rather we consider curing or fighting. I recall words where one has fought the fight against cancer, inevitably continuing to death, particularly within the time frame allotted them by the doctor. Six months to live. How many live longer? We think we have six months, no more, and that is what we believe and the body works to make it happen. Another chooses to live in harmony with their cancer, and continues to live long past what modern medicine determines as being possible. Food for thought.
We all have the power to be healed. To turn our lives around. But do we really choose this option? We may say we want this to occur. But what are the consequences if we do? ACIM asks that we consider, are we willing to take responsibility for our pain, sickness and ill-health? What do we give up by becoming healthy? A strange question, but I began to consider this. What does being in pain, being sick, bring to me? No doubt it supports the ego-minds need for receiving sympathy, for justification, for feeling needed, looked after, supported, avoidance etc, even if I don’t consciously recognise these desires. A hard thought to digest. For this requires that we look closely at our own self. At why lies within us. Within our mind, heart and soul. It challenges our belief systems. Belief systems … BS in reality. That meaning BullSh*t in other words. Falsehood.
I have long noted that I have the ability to create pain in my body. That when I am getting tired or run down or really would like time off, something happens. Usually an accident and I stuff up my back again. I know my body also warns me when I need to slow down. Now I wonder is it my body or my mind talking first? Do I feel mentally tired that the mind creates within the body an imbalance that eventually results in me becoming sick or injured? As I contemplate this, and wonder what it is that I am afraid of that keeps some pain continuing, I think again. Surely I can create a different trigger or warning that will not create pain or illness when it is time to slow down or take a break.
Is it that because of early learnings in the work environment it is considered only acceptable to have time off, aside from earned annual leave, if one is sick or injured? I suspect there is much meaning here. We need a valid excuse not to go to work. It remains, in general, unacceptable to take what used to be referred to as ‘a mental health day’ when work was the last thing we could cope with on a given day. Have we become so hard on ourselves, our western society that we are literally working ourselves to death? And why is it that so many become sick on their annual leave, or soon after retirement? Do we not value the importance of leisure time for ourselves? Or do we allow the body to ‘give in to sickness’ once we no longer are working for any period of time?
For healing to occur, we are required to look closely at our self. To determine what is important. What do we believe. What do we feel is missing from our lives. What do we value most? How do we really view health and wellness? Do we consider that health is the true nature of our life and that we ‘deserve’ to be healthy? Or do we value ourselves so little that we accept that we are ‘part of the norm’ if we are sick or in pain? Kinesiology and many other energetic health fields work with the mind, feelings, emotions, and impacts of what we have taken on through our lives. When we stop and take ourselves out of the ‘need’ to be sick, we can begin to look more closely, to become clearer on what it is that we are creating within our mind and body that is detrimental, that prevents us from living a long full life of happiness. In so doing, we can ‘let go’ of what no longer serves is and choose instead a different path.
What I do know is that there are many views on this subject. That in many ways we can ‘justify’ and ‘explain’ whatever we want. We can choose to accept that modern medicine is correct, or that natural medicine is, or that both are. That we have no control over our health, or that it is the mind that creates. From my experience, there is much that remains unanswered, unexplained. But there is also much that we give our power away to, rather than considering, or indeed take responsibility of ourselves for. So I wonder, what would we lose if we choose to take responsibility for our own healing? Are we willing to give up the supposed benefits that our ego-mind deceives us with? Could we truly accept being healed, pain free, totally healthy? Or is that too foreign to truly understand and acknowledge? If we remember as children the healthy, awe filled and openminded life of care free living we had, why can we not choose to return to that state as we live our life into adulthood and beyond?