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

Lost and Found

I was watching a documentary on PBS on The Buddha.  It was narrated by Richard Gere and was interspersed with various experts on Buddha.  Jane Hirshfield, a poet, said, “To gain everything, you first must lose everything”.  That’s a powerful statement and it has taken me two weeks to play with the idea, allowing it to bubble within my brain and my soul.  Want to know what rose to the top?

When diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness many feel as if they’ve lost everything.  This is based on that saying, “When you have your health you have everything”, but that saying doesn’t take hold for many till they or someone they know gets sick.  I guess the first thing I wonder is, “Is health and illusion?”.  Doctors and scientists say we all have cancer cells in our bodies at all times and until one goes awry we may never know, so up till that point are we well or are we sick? 

What I have figured out is that your health is important; that’s why we strive for health and healing.  The thing we have to lose to gain everything is the false self.  That persona we put out to the world hoping for acceptance, acknowledgment, and validation.  When we allow ourselves to be who we are those we attract will be attracted to our authentic self, not someone playing a role.  Your relationships will be better, longer lasting, and deeper.  That’s gaining everything.

We have to give up the idea that we’re victims to our health and become empowered.  What you’ll find is that when you’re empowered in one area of your life it begins to creep into other areas of your life.  That’s gaining everything.

When we stop thinking that the body is separate from the mind and spirit we turn a corner.  Integrating our body, mind, and spirit allows us to build endurance for the journey to wellness.  This integration is important for reclaiming your health and your life.  That’s gaining everything.

These are just a few of the things we have to give up to gain everything.  I’m wondering what you’ve had to lose in order to gain everything?  This is a rich discussion that I hope you’ll join.