Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Who Holds the Greater Faith?

Over the past year I’ve become more and more intrigued by poetry.  I didn’t much like it while in high school, and I avoided any and all poetry courses in college…so what’s the difference?  Maybe it’s maturity (ha ha), a clearer understanding of writing styles, or a greater appreciation for all things creative.  I’m inclined to go with the latter since it seems to be the path I’m on these days.  Poetry is simply one more creative medium or language that those facing a health challenge can use as part of their treatment regimen.

One of the great poets of our time is David Whyte.  In a poem I was given during a recent workshop, Whyte states the following, “The universe is holding its breath waiting for you to take your place”.  That’s such a powerful statement.  Can it be that the Universe has more faith in us than we do?  Would you ever believe that your faith could be trumped by the Universe?  I think there is a bigger question for us all to consider and that is, “How long do we expect the universe to hold its breath for?” 

We all have a place that is rightfully ours and can’t be filled by any other person on the planet.  True some get a bit misguided along the way but eventually they find their rightful place and all is well; at least that’s the hope.  How do you see your life since your diagnosis?  What is it that you believe the Universe is holding its breath waiting for you to do?  You’re not bucking for sainthood so don’t think about it in terms of miracles unless you are one of those who walk the earth believing you are a miracle.  What would it mean for you to take your rightful place?  Are there times in your life when you have allowed the universe to exhale because you did show up?  What would it take to do it again and again, only this time with a health challenge as part of the equation?

It’s poets like David Whyte that get us thinking deeper about our lives as spiritual beings have a human experience.  The great poets throughout history have been dropping bread crumbs forever and we haven’t been hungry enough to eat those crumbs…I think the diagnosis changed that forever!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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