Nobody has ever calmly, serenely drifted away into a relaxing heart attack. Your body and your emotions are intimately linked.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have suffered a few rather painful events over the last year. These were lessons that I was blessed with when I just couldn’t learn any other way. Sure, it would have been nicer if I had just come to grips with my personal issues in a more healthy and wholistic manner, but I was in a hurry to get my inner demons dealt with and so Divine Providence obliged.

First there was the gall bladder attack, which was about as much pain as I am able to imagine a man can experience. I’ll spare you the gory details but basically it was hours of wincing out to doctors that yes, my pain was still at a 10 of 10, please do something.
This was all the encouragement I needed to sign myself up to have the vestigial organ removed. This, in turn, led to a nightmarish surgery and a period of time where I could barely move for fear that something would come loose inside.

By the time I got home from the hospital I finally got my wits about me, and was able to set my mind to the healing process. This I did in record time, and within a week I had almost no pain and even the ability to bring the groceries in myself.

I was able to do this by acknowledging a simple truth: both the attack and the surgery, as horrible as they were, were both were meant to heal my hurts. The physical injuries were part of my spiritual healing process. Once I acknowledged and truly accepted this, it all became easier.

I’d spent so much time in the past trying to be calm and positive that when a healing opportunity came up I’d ignore what was festering inside. I wouldn’t want to feel the anger I had hidden inside, for instance, so I would turn away from it. This didn’t make the anger go away. In fact just the opposite: it shielded the anger from any attempts to heal it.

The memories I didn’t want to face were there, waiting for me to deal with them. Instead of dealing with them, I just kept asking for healing and enlightenment… so eventually my body said: “Fine, if you won’t deal with these things, I will.”

Once I understood that, the rest was easy. I spent each day of recovery asking myself:

  • What is this meant to teach me?
  • What is it in me that needed this to happen to move things in a positive direction?
  • Can I forgive myself and all of those involved for that old hurt?
  • Can I love and accept myself even if I can’t forgive, even if I never get better?
  • Can I be grateful for this process?

The chronic pain would allow me to dip in and out of sleep, where I could consciously examine what I was just dreaming about and acknowledge what my mind was doing way deep down inside. Finally I could come face-to-face with old shames, old fears, and old wounds. Finally I could let them go, one by one, and replace them with love.

Apparently I got so much out of the process that I repeated it by giving myself the shingles recently, which is ridiculous at my age. Still, I engaged in the process above and have healed very quickly, with a lifetime of revelations and only the mildest of nagging symptoms. Having said that: if you ever get the option of suffering from the shingles, I really don’t recommend you take it. It isn’t all that much fun.

I think the only reason I’ve been doing all of this is that I’m impatient to grow, and I’ve been willing to deal with everything all at once. This could all be the consequence of impatience, and perhaps I should just be patient… but hey, the progress has been amazing. Patience is overrated, and I love adventure.

Ultimately, as spiritual healing modalities go, I wouldn’t recommend disease for everyone. Still, if you’ve got to suffer, you might as well make the most of it.