I believe that when you are sick enough for a long enough time, you have an opportunity to open up to it. Or you can say, the illness breaks you, if you can allow it. I know this seems strange, like not a good thing, but let me explain.
This happened to me about three years ago.
I had been sick for the third time in my life for the past four years. This was the point when my illness wore me down enough so that I could see and understand the truth in my own heart, the voice of my soul.
I believe chronic illness has the potential to do this. It slowly wears you down and digs out the part of you that was buried under layers of a life that was not your own, a life of expectations and hard work, of just getting by and pushing through.
You awaken out of your sleep or numbness that comes from growing up in these modern times, like how you feel after an eye surgery.
You go in to correct your blurry vision that has been slowly deteriorating since childhood, much like my inner knowingness and truth. They use lasers of light to rip back the outer coating of your eye and heal the part that’s broken.
You keep your eyes closed for a whole day, like the darkness that comes with living with a chronic illness and then finally, you are allowed to open them. You can see clearly for the first time in as long as you can remember.
You realize that there must be something to learn or take away from all your years of suffering and discomfort.
You have come to a point when all you want and yearn for from the depths of your soul is to be happy, to feel good and to be free.
What freedom means to you, you’re not sure of yet.
And then you look around and you understand that your illness going away is not enough to make you happy.
None of the things that you thought or were taught to think were important in your life truly matter.
Your house is not important and neither are the clothes you wear, the places you go out at night, the job you have just to make money, or your career.
And then you wonder if maybe that was the whole point of the illness after all, the grand master plan. To remember what really matters, what’s really important in life.
For me, it was feeling happy, feeling good, and having people around me that loved me and that I loved back. Forget all the rest. It didn’t matter.
This is what happened when I had what I call the turning point or hitting the bottom. Or a breakdown.
I call it a breakdown but what really happened was a breaking open of my heart and soul.
I was so sick and so tired. I was so tired of trying to figure out why I was sick. I just couldn’t stand it anymore.
I was in my bedroom, crying, feeling so incredibly hopeless and desperate when it hit me like a rock.
I realized that I didn’t have the answers, that I had no idea where to go from here.
I felt even more hopeless. But in that darkness of despair, something opened in my heart; a space for change that had previously been closed due to all my pushing and grasping and searching for a cure.
I remembered God. Or at least the possibility that there was someone or something out there that could help me. I was certainly not getting better doing it on my own.
I looked up and cried out to God for help. I begged, sobbing on my hands and knees, “help me, help me, please. I don’t know what to do.”
I started praying to my relatives that had passed away, anyone I could think of. For a moment I felt their presence. A brief feeling of love and compassion, like they had actually heard me.
I then surrendered.
Not completely, but enough to open myself up to the possibility of a divine intervention. I would soon learn that was all I needed.
Just this little opening in my heart for something different led to me finding a book that completely changed my life.
It was my official “spiritual awakening.”