How to turn illness into a blessing
Normally the articles I write are about how to prevent any imbalances in the body by following, among other things, Ayurvedic principles of diet and exercise. But what if you have already fallen foul of some unpleasant ailment – is it the end of the world? Quite often it can be just the opposite… A new beginning…
Many people, when they are told that they have a life threatening or lifestyle limiting condition just give up hope and wither away. Either that, or they put themselves completely in the hands of their doctors and allopathic medicines, often spending years vainly hoping for a sudden miracle cure while the drugs, never really designed for long-term use, eat away at their systems.
Now, I don’t mean to dismiss doctors and drugs totally. Apart from being fabulous for diagnosis, sometimes there is no option and they are needed to save your life, and often there is a need to bring the acute phase of a disease under control while you plan your attack. This can be very true for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, generally regarded as having no cure, mostly because the cure is usually very complicated and different for each individual.
Taking responsibility for your own health and committing to finding these elusive cures can be a daunting prospect, and a huge amount of work and research can be involved over months or years to find the exact answer to your condition, but the truth is that there are a lot less incurable conditions than conventional medicine would have you believe.
So, how can getting such a condition be a blessing?
Well, such diseases are often huge wake-up calls, and those who have come through them and beaten them against all odds are often transformed by the experience on many levels. We have all heard of people who have survived heart attacks and then go on to run marathons and climb Everest. Well, they are great examples of how surviving something can make you all the more appreciative of life in general.
Then there are other benefits… Quite often the road to a cure is not just reducing stress and eating the right diet for your own body. You might also have to look at all sorts of areas to truly balance yourself again, including your emotional state, your spiritual side, and your relationships with your loved ones.
Very often such difficult times can make you realise how much you value and love those around you whereas before maybe work commitments always took you away from our families and you missed the children growing up etc. Realising how life has brought you to your present state can even inspire you to take a totally new and more suitable direction in life, perhaps following an ambition that you always thought you never would have time for.
In 2002 my son Tom had an aneurysmal bone cyst in a vertebra in his neck. To avoid paralysis from the neck down as the bone crumbled and trapped the spinal cord, he had to have a couple of long and tricky operations to crunch the vertebra away from the nerves and totally remove it, replacing it with bone grafts and titanium ‘scaffolding’.
I am happy to say that now he is a healthy and very fit young man with almost no trouble with his neck. However, the main thing that struck me about the whole affair was how it made Tom grow in character. He has always been a great kid, and during his illness he showed incredible courage, maturity and humour, but afterwards it was obvious that he had experienced a transformation.
He seemed to have a certain peace about him, as his experiences had showed him what’s really important in life and what isn’t. He retains that ability to this day, which helps him to remain far calmer in the face of the ridiculous stresses placed upon us by modern life. I think it’s a great example of every cloud having a silver lining.
Naturally, it’s a lot better to avoid these problems in the first place, but sometimes life just catches up with us and we fall. At those times, the very methods that we use (or should use) to keep in balance can bring us back into balance… For example, eating a good Paleo type diet, Ayurvedic herbs, exercise and body typing, and methods for opening the pathways of healing in the body such as yoga, Hanna Somatic Movement and trigger point therapy, among many others.
So, if you can, stay in great health, but if nature does deal you a nasty blow, take heart… It could be the point where your life begins…