This blog entry includes excerpts from a requested interview from E.Hilburn for an article about spirituality for patients of Hidradenitis Supprativa. I appreciate her reaching out and her positive feedback.
Harm No One
“The central tenet of our faith is “Harm none, do what you will.” This is much deeper than it initially seems. Especially because many people who follow Wicca believe in forms of faith healing. But we can sometimes question the “need for the disease.” Is a person unwell due to a deeper issue that we may not be able to ascertain or understand? A good resolution for this concern is to offer healing energy to that person and that person can choose to accept/reject healing.
I can offer a more pragmatic example here: I was aware of a person that I met socially who was quite close with my parents, Gavin and Yvonne. She shared many acquaintances with our family. I was wary of her, being a little more reserved and introverted than my parents are. She reported having cancer and talking about treatments for years while not showing the typical adverse effects of having an aggressive cancer or cancer treatment. It came to pass, that she enjoyed the benefits (receiving charitable donations and healings from the community) of being ill, she did not, in fact, have cancer. This person may be a pathological liar, also, but I use this example to illustrate the above idea that healing may not always be beneficial to a recipient, so we advise those that ask to tread carefully.”
Ms. Hilburn also asked how I seek and find comfort through my faith.
“My greatest comfort comes from striving for balance between the physical and the spiritual. Some days it is an act of faith to sweep the floor or wash dishes, because I am doing something beneficial for my home. Some days, I can meditate and find that spiritual guidance that we all seem too busy to do much about. Winter is a tough time for me because I cannot dig in the dirt and love our planet as much as I would like to. Take solace in doing your best every day. …
My faith teaches me to believe in multiple lifetimes and that we are here to learn powerful lessons each lifetime (reincarnation). A major/chronic illness offers a powerful, painful lesson that one hopes a person would not encounter in the next lifetime. I am afraid that sounds dismissive, but it is not meant to be. Let me share part of my personal journey to see if it is at all helpful.
I am blessed with a fairly strong constitution and decent health. I am a vegan who exercises infrequently. I love to be outside and hiking is a favorite activity, although I am slow. What I am not good at are interpersonal relationships. I have finally come to terms, after 50 years of this nonsense, that “love” as one might see it on television or in other relationships of one’s friends, is not something that I am able to experience. For all of us, “love” comes with some form of pain. However, for me, it is more profound. It is not “oh, I had a bad fight with my lover last night and I’m crying on the couch with ice cream today.” It is a much deeper journey, and one that I am navigating through my faith. I believe that a journey with a chronic disease is a much deeper lifetime lesson also. One where you can never trust your health.
Along with “Harm none, do what you will.” we also believe in walking in balance on this earth. A physically uncomfortable journey might encourage you to celebrate the spiritual. I am not particularly good at being still, but perhaps you are. Perhaps you can find a way to meditate and enhance your breathing techniques to become spiritually stronger while your body fights its battle. I believe in the power of faith, respecting most faith paths, and would encourage you to explore these options as you cope with your illness. Blessed be all who seek.”
We all come to healing in different ways. My healing this lifetime does not seem to be physical, but emotional and spiritual. Some of the people that have caused the most pain have the strongest claim to spirituality. I have had to find my way within my faith to come to terms with this challenge.
When I do feel lost, I start with “what am I learning?” What does this person or event have to teach me? Working out in the mundane world, when I struggle with issues at work, I consider that each time, I am becoming better at my job. When I struggle with personal issues, I hope that I am becoming better at my faith.
Things that I tackle:
- When I am confronted with anger, it is so infrequently about me, as a person. I can choose to respect the law of three looking at that finger pointing upward to find an opportunity for spiritual growth. If I can encourage the other person to come along, so much the better.
- When I am struggling, even in the depths of a problem, my mind frequently reminds me to pay attention to what I am learning. We teach that our lifetimes and reincarnation are learning opportunities, and in the last few years, I have been presented with so many opportunities to learn about what grief really is.
- When I am feeling depressed, am I truly depressed, or is this time for the introvert to “cocoon” to rest and recover from the demands of daily life? I am learning, in the process of self-care, to take time to truly shut down. (And, yes, those of you that know me can see me cringing using these terms.) I am in a significantly better place than I was a few months ago, once I gave myself permission to spend more time in my spirituality and less time being “busy.”
Before the Vernal Equinox, spend some time considering how to reach your healing — what hurts? Why? How can you find a balance with your spirituality and healing? Even starting with intentional breathing is an improvement over doing nothing at all. Gavin and Yvonne were such fans of “Walk in balance,” so how can you find your healing balance?