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Our Health Journey - Our Spiritual Journey

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Wayne, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi All,

    I’ve thought quite a bit over the years about how our health journey correlates so closely with our spiritual journey. It seems once we enter the world of ME/CFS, our entire lives become dramatically altered. The extraordinary experiences that follow almost makes it an imperative we draw upon our spiritual resources in ways we’ve never had to before.

    We are often forced to realize that health strategies that have worked for us in the past no longer work for us in our new situation. Many of us discover that conventional health practitioners are helpful, but many of us realize early on they are of limited help, so we look elsewhere.

    Since necessity is the mother of invention, we find ourselves thrust into a whole new world of creativity (in my view, a spiritual quality). We start to hone in on different concepts of health and well being, and begin to implement a new kind of discrimination regarding them. We then begin to contemplate how to best incorporate potentially beneficial health therapies into our lives. If we're open spiritually, I think we'll at times likely discover and implement certain health strategies far different than we ever imagined we would (perhaps even to the point of feeling strange).

    Painful realizations often accompany our health journey. We are often forced to reevaluate virtually all our relationships, from our co-workers, our family, our friends, our health care providers, etc. Who are the ones that are being helpful, and/or have a sincere interest in us, our health and our well being? If we’re fortunate, we’ll have people in our lives that are in this category. Sadly however, it appears most of us are forced to “weed out” toxic people and influences in our lives, in ways we’ve never had to before.

    To me, these kinds of profound dynamics constitute a spiritual journey. And I’ve come to view the many members who come to this board in this light. As with any spiritual journey, our health journey becomes a highly individualized one for each of us. One person’s hard-earned discrimination and realizations will often be much different than another’s, and so their approach to different health care modalities will be different.

    Because of the wide variety of experiences we all have, I find it fascinating to read different accounts of PWCs health choices and perspectives. And I’m very grateful so many take the time and energy to post about them, especially given how much effort it takes to share. It is so clear to me they make this effort however, because of a sense of “service” (another spiritual quality) to others on this board, to in some small way help another on their own journey.

    I’ve come to regard this PR board as a very useful spiritual tool for many of us. As such, I believe the board, and the members who frequent here should be given the highest degree of respect, even when we run into concepts that are different than our own. Just as it’s generally understood we shouldn’t denigrate another person’s religion or spiritual beliefs, I think it should be just as unacceptable to denigrate another person’s health choices, especially since these two kinds of choices often significantly overlap each other. To me, it’s just common courtesy.

    I’ve seen occasional instances on this board where posts have been made intended to deliberately denigrate certain health protocols, health perspectives, and/or the people who give them credence. To me, this is just so unacceptable, and lacks even minimal standards of regard for another human being. One of my hopes in writing this today, is that it will discourage these kinds of posts in the future, and strengthen a resolve amongst us all to not have them be a part of our forum.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all who post here in a constructive manner, to help me and others on our journey. This includes information support, emotional support, and even spiritual support. You and this board are a lifeline for many of us.

    I sincerely believe we all have something to offer here, no matter how limited we sometimes feel. What may seem like the littlest of things to us can be a very big thing for another. Things like acceptance, acknowledgment, kindness, humor, respect, etc., should never be underestimated. I am especially grateful to those who have the ability to share these qualities with others.

    Again, thank you, thank you, thank you. :Retro smile:

    Best Regards, Wayne
     
  2. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Thank you Wayne for putting this all into words... beautiful. :hug:

    I am feeling so ill this past week, from the stress of dealing with mold remediation, commotion of workers clomping up and down my stairs and sledge hammering my walls, both inside and out, reverse air machines running 24/7 in the rooms above my garage refuge... and an abscessed tooth on top of all that. :(

    I really needed a reminder that I am not alone on this long exhausting journey. So thank you for that.
     
  3. illsince1977

    illsince1977 A shadow of my former self

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    Wayne-

    Beautifully put. Thank you for putting words to our journey.

    It's important that we have a place to discuss all sides of our attempts at therapy. Staying open minded and respectful of what works or what doesn't work for each of us will make this space happier for all of us. We are all dealing with brain issues here, as well. It would be nice if we could all remember that this illness could affecting all of our emotions and be generous, courteous, patient and tolerant with one another.

    Some folks become insistent that the their answer is really the answer, until they crash again! I myself have fallen prey to that narrow mindedness. Each of us must put others' successes into our own context while at the same time remembering that our treatment failures may be someone else's successes.

    Hope/cynicism! It's a balancing act most of us must engage in on a daily basis. Spiritually it's like being on a high wire. Kudos to anyone walking this tight rope with or without the balance or nausea issues that can accompany our OI.


    Dreambirdie-
    I hope all you're putting up with this week brings you the relief and improvement you seek. You are in a stressful situation with all that noise and junk in the air. I had an abcessed tooth once that I had to have pulled. I'm sorry you're having such a tough time this week!
     
  4. asruth

    asruth

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    Wayne,

    That was beautifully put. We are on a journey, and it can be shocking to our nervous systems to have what we put out there attacked. We get that enough with what we're going through. I'm all for supporting each other as best we can.
     
  5. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Dear Dreambirdie,

    :hug: HUgs :hug: right back at cha! ;)

    Thanks for the kind words. :Retro smile:

    Warm Regards, Wayne
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi 1977,

    Thanks for your kind words. I agree fully with what you expressed above. To me, health is about as complex as life itself. A thousand years from now, I'm sure people will still be discussing and disagreeing about different aspects of health. It seems unlikely anybody will ever have the final word on the mysteries of either life or health.

    Perhaps by then however, there will be more humility amongst health care professionals regarding new and little understood diseases and/or treatment modalities. And hopefully, the derision that PWCs of our era have had to endure will be relegated to a sad chapter in the medical history books.

    You know, it's sometimes easy to refer to the complexities of life and health. In other ways, sometimes life, and how to live it, can be broken down to some pretty simple principles. Your comments above fit that category. Thanks for sharing.

    Best, Wayne
     
  7. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Asruth,

    Thanks for your kind words, and welcome to the Phoenix Rising ME/CFS forum! :thumbsup: It's always nice to see a newcomer. I feel flattered you chose to make your first post on this thread.

    It really can be shocking to be attacked on a forum like this, or from anywhere else for that matter. Because our nervous systems can be so easily shocked by such things, I think it behooves us all to act in a very (perhaps even ruthlessly) self-protective manner when necessary.

    Living with ME/CFS often calls for uncommon resolve and strength to address the myriad challenges we encounter. Remembering and/or learning to draw on our spiritual resources during these times can make all the difference in how successful we are in meeting some of these challenges.

    I think when we draw on our inner resources, we become creative. And when we become creative, we are more attuned to the rhythms of life. And when we're more attuned to the rhythms of life, we become more adventurous, and open to new concepts and possibilities.

    To me, doing all the above entails exercising a certain degree of spiritual freedom. And if we want to have this kind of freedom for ourselves, then it is best to grant it to others in all circumstances.

    All the Best, Wayne

    ETA I hope I'm not rambling or belaboring my points too much here. But I do feel pretty strongly about how important it is to respect other people's health care choices. And I believe doing so is in harmony with some pretty fundamental spiritual principles.
     
  8. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Thanks for posting, Wayne. I never quite thought about posting on PR as a spiritual thing, but I do feel it's important to pay it forward, and make the path easier for those who unfortunately have to follow in our footsteps.
     
  9. KC22

    KC22 Senior Member

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    Wayne,

    Beautiful piece of expression of the journey we are all taking. And yes, we are all at different places and trying different avenues to health. While one way may work for some, it may not be the right way for others. It is the person's choice and thank you to all who are sharing. It is greatly appreciated that many are sharing and trying to help another.

    This coincides with our spiritual journeys, too. Every person chooses their path to enlightenment, and it too, should be respected. This disease has definitely put me on a spiritual path. Being able to accept my symptoms in the moment is something I am most grateful for. When I am fighting it, the symptoms only magnify. An example of this happened on Sunday when I went to visit a friend who was diagnosed with cancer and only 3-4 months to live.. I really wanted to go to the hospital to see her. I thought they had valet parking, but not on Sundays. I had to park far away and walk to the hospital. By the time I got to her room, I was feeling very sick, rapid heartbeat, nausea, etc.... I sat with her for about an hour and it calmed down. When I left, I walked extremely slowly and tried not to feel how miserable I was. I remember looking up at the tree and tried to concentrate on its beauty instead of my pain and illness. It worked and I made it to my car.

    There are so many times we have to choose to accept our symptoms or not. The tree was much better than the sick feelings I had. We are reduced sometimes to living minute by minute.
     
    Wayne likes this.
  10. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Hear, hear!

    I have found that having ME/CFS has opened new doors on my spiritual journey. It almost requires mindfulness and living in the moment. It has forced me to reexamine many of my beliefs and values. It's funny that as my contact with the world has shrunk and my activities have become so limited, there has been a corresponding opening of my spiritual self. I count it as one of the few good things to have come out of this.

    I completely agree with you on the need to treat one another respectfully on this forum. We are creating a community here, and how we behave towards one another determines what kind of community it will be. I hope that we will be a community of support, warmth, and caring. Anyone with this disease is faced with overcoming so many challenges on so many fronts, we need a place where we can feel safe and supported. If we don't profide that place for one another, where will we find it?

    I think we also have to be generous in cutting one another lots of slack. When you're exhausted and in pain and feeling sick, it's hard not to feel cranky sometimes. And sometimes we feel vulnerable. So when someone on the forum gets snarky, we are inclined to take it personally and get huffy. I think it's helpful if we can take a deep breath and remember that the other person may just be having a bad day. Or we may be having a bad day and be seeing offense where none was intended. In other words, we need to be a little nicer and more tolerant here than we might normally be, just as we would if we were visiting a sick friend. Because really, when we post here we are visiting sick friends.
     
    Wayne likes this.
  11. illsince1977

    illsince1977 A shadow of my former self

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    Wow, Ix. Well said! Thank you! :D
     
  12. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Beautiful post Wayne, as usual. This journey towards wellness certainly does require a kind of openness, creativity, and surrender that parallels (is synonymous with?) the spiritual journey. Compassion, tolerance, and understanding are key--whether directed inwards or outwards. It is often most challenging for me to remember to have compassion and tolerance for myself during the most frustrating parts of this illness.

    I have come to think of this whole experience of M.E. as a gigantic spiritual opportunity.
    An opportunity, like you say, to reevaluate, redefine and transform myself at the base. Everyone's journey will look different, and each will need different alchemical ingredients for their own process.

    I too feel so thankful for all the lovely, brave, compassionate souls who freely give of themselves here. This board has been central in helping me to learn also to receive, and to ask. There are so many voices of understanding here, at the ready to offer a hug, a laugh, a gem of experiential wisdom.

    May we all one day soon reap unimagined benefit from the trials we have been made to endure.

    A Lotus for everyone!
     
    Wayne likes this.
  13. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    Dreambirdie,

    So sorry to hear of the continued challenges! I too have been plagued with a three-stooges-without-the-laughs string of mishaps and disruptions.
    I completely sympathise with the dreadfulness of being invaded and overwhelmed at the same time as being in a horrible relapse. It stinks!
    I have caught myself blurting out loud "I hate my life!!" more than once these last couple of weeks....Know that I am thinking of you and sending you happier thoughts than the one I just quoted :D
    :hug::hug:big hugs for you:hug::hug:
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Eckankar: Spiritual Wisdom On Health & Healing

    Hi to Everyone,

    Thanks all for your responses to this thread. I have a cousin who is dealing with some difficult health issues. Since he knows I've long been involved in Eckankar, he's been interested in any insights he might be able to glean from me and/or my spiritual path. So I sent him the following video today. In four short minutes, I feel this talk by Harold Klemp (spiritual leader of Eckankar) offers some pretty interesting and insightful perspectives on health and healing. Thought I'd share it here:

    Spiritual Wisdom On Health & Healing

    I hope everybody's new year is getting off to a hopeful start. :thumbsup: Personally, I'm hoping to get tested for XMRV in the next couple months. I just get the feeling this could be an even bigger ground breaking year for all of us as accurate XMRV information gets disseminated. Let's all hang on to our seats! :D

    Best Regards, Wayne
     

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