Mind the gap – a spiritual perspective of chronic illness

If you don’t think you are “spiritual” yet have chronic health issues, please don’t be put off by the title but bear with me and try applying a little curiosity around this approach to healing, trusting that I’m not trying to convert you to my views but to help open up your own. We can be put off from the idea of having a “spiritual perspective” because we think it has something to do with being religious (I’m not!) or a little too “woo-woo” (OK, maybe a bit…) and, I admit, I used to be too. Yet, really, we all have one; which is demonstrated just as soon as we consider “is this all there is to life?” and a part of us, no matter how tiny, asserts “no, it can’t be”; in fact the very will to heal comes from this place. This is you, getting in touch with your spiritual self; which started to happen to me about three years into what felt like a devastating health crisis.

Where do we go when we die, why did we come here, is there any overriding sense to it all?

These are all questions that have vexed mankind forever and we may think we are shunning them successfully, with our fingers held firmly in our ears…but we’re not, how can we ever, especially as we inevitably get closer to our physical demise? If we don’t address these questions with our conscious minds, our subconscious minds will continue playing with them…and chronic illness can be a sure sign that this happening not so-very deep under the surface. It’s a vast topic, one I have been considering for most of the 12 years that I have had chronic health issues but I will try to give you some clear pointers towards themes I have recently become especially aware of in the context of healing these troublesome, persistent kinds of illness that just go on and on over years and decades “for no apparent reason”; in my own case, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, neuralgia, electromagnetic hypersensitivity and a host of other autoimmunities. What if there is a whole other way of looking at such challenges and they will only be “done with” once we have got out of them what we came here to experience in order to get to know ourselves better, presumably because we weren’t satisfied to have a mundane experience this time around the block (I’m going to ask you to suspend any preconceptions you may have about reincarnation)?

As soon as you become even minutely aware of a sense that there is a “perfect” you, like a blueprint version of you that exists at some other level beyond the physical, you cannot fail to become aware that there is a gap…between that pristine ideal and the “you” that you are having the experience of, every day, as a human being. I think that applies pretty much universally; we all consider we are having a “less than” experience of something…whether it’s our living or working circumstances, our financial situation, the heinous mess that the whole world seems to be in…or our health. That’s the gap that I allude to in the title above and, though we may step around it, its like an elephant in the room and never goes away while we consider there to be a gap at any level of our being since our attention upon it makes it so (that’s just basic quantum physics at work). But where do we get our ideas of perfect health (or ideal anything else) from; how do we think we know what that feels like, as a direct experience for point of comparison…unless we have experienced that ideal and, thus, yearn for it like something we “lost”? In fact, the whole of humanity seems to be wandering around acting as though it has lost something terribly precious! In my long experience (though I won’t labour the point), everything has always pointed at the possibility of simultaneous experiences of many different versions of myself, both in other lifetimes and as an “absolute” version of myself beyond the physical verson, with which I am (at some level) constantly comparing and cross-referencing myself.

Sometimes, my most pristine version feels like she comes up into my awareness so tangibly that I can almost touch her but she is frustratingly elusive when it comes to manifesting the feeling as my current state of physical health.

Once you start to explore this a little deeper, perhaps over many years, many meditations, many direct experiences of what feel like remembrance of “who you really are” and “what you have experienced” at the broadest level (in other words, not limited to physical experiences you have had in this body) that gap can start to feel like the Grand Canyon. What we have manifested here as our familiar, collective state of human existence doesn’t look a lot like what anyone imagines to be heaven most of the time; or, at least, not in a consistent way. You might not be consciously thinking about this gap or, even if you are, might not think you are able to do anything about it but it’s probably in there, niggling away at the subconscious level. This in itself can start to rock the boat of your health; but once you allow your awareness of “gap” up to the surface of the conscious mind, things start to get interesting. Having allowed even the merest shaft of light to hit the spot, your every effort as a human being from now on is, at some level, designed to help close that gap up, integrating all you know and remember you are capable of experiencing, beyond the physical dimensions, into your physical life to try and make these two things more similar. You could say, you have become more mindful of the gap; and you are now working on the discrepancy. While the gap still persists, this can feel like work that never ends; it can lead into chronic fatigue (the tiredness that so many people think has no logical cause…) and feelings of bearing the brunt of some rock-heavy burden that nobody else can see. You can feel tired, bruised and battered before you have even started your day, weary to your boot-straps, bedraggled with the effort…and on and on it goes, as long as you perceive a gap inside of yourself and suspect you must serve as the bridge to make yourselves whole again. For many of us, this becomes the catalyst for our most accelerated phase of evolution so far; as we make peace with what we can, learn to love ourselves and all others and as we do all that nitty-gritty inner work that nobody else can do for us…and so we make headway, slowly or even, sometimes, in significant leaps.

However, the body has memory; the body, in fact, is a giant storage bank of emotion going back over the whole of your lifetime and it holds onto these memories even longer than we do at the mental level. That initial reaction to suddenly realising there is a gap, between the ideal we somehow remember so well and the experienced reality of our physical life, can become a learned experience of horror, even terror, of negation or rejection, even of momentary hesitation about how to be human or whether we even want to be. All of these emotions get stored up in the body; and similar triggers in the environment start to set them off on a regular basis. Now, we are no longer comfortably numb; and it’s a case of waking up to a broader reality at the very densest level of ourselves, since we are dealing with slow-vibrating cellular matter here rather than our thoughts, which can be changed far more quickly. This cathartic wake-up stumble often occurs as a result of a sudden yet evolutionarily crucial, if momentary, lapse in knowing how to put that next human step forward, often brought about by intense stress or trauma. Sometimes, that hesitation can occur for just long enough (many times over, like an echo in the body) for the physical body to get out of step with itself long-term. One missed footing is like a dancer in a beautifully choreographed piece stepping into the movement a moment too late and the whole dance going to pieces; and this is what chronic health issues are born out of. Or its like the tightrope walker who looks down at their feet, the climber who questions how they are still hanging on the precipice…you get the idea. Let’s go back to that gap: like a person seeing a gap beneath their raised foot just as they are about to get onto the exact same commuter train that they always catch; having never paid it any attention to it before, they momentarily panic, they hesitate, they put their foot all wrong and suddenly they are trapped in the door or their leg gets caught in the gap. Oh no, diasaster…how will they ever get out…and so more panic ensues. Again, sound familiar?

Chronic illness is the snowballing panic scenario of some sort of missed footing event that could have taken place months, even years ago, possibly as a result of a momentary lapse in being so blissfully unaware…but now it continues under its own momentum, remembered by the body.

Suddenly, everything is out of sync, like the very cogs that keep life turning don’t quite engage with one another, and we find ourselves struggling to find our way back to where it all ran smoothly. Or (this is important) maybe we don’t even want to go back to that state since it ran most smoothly when we were unconscious…back when we didn’t even see the gaps between one version of reality and another, nor did we care since we somehow seemed far more limited in our awareness, almost asleep in those days. Back then, life itself seemed less vivid, less vital than it does now, like we weren’t fully taking part in it, and we really don’t want that again. Now we have expanded our view, even if we haven’t made it fully conscious yet, we are perceiving gaps all over the place so we feel unsure-footed wherever we go and this continues…until we can only take it one way and that is consciously “forwards”, such as there is direction in a “place” of such abstraction. In other words, we realise at some point that the only way to break out of the physical/circumstantial stalemate is to take it further ourselves, as an active participant in our experiences, by becoming the most conscious creator we have ever been in human form, meaning we not only see that the gap is there, but we welcome the opportunity of working with it.

This is to take our awareness of the gap from subconscious into conscious and then to the superconscious level as we elect to work with it as the active creator-being that we now realise we are.

In other words, we are now an active (rather than unconscious) participant in this reality and we get to play with the gap. We realise that the gap is the very reason we came here; what we wanted to “take on” as our speciality and so we use what chronic health issues have taught us about the apparent discrepancies between spiritual and physical perspectives of experience to help create the talking point between them, to seek what is in common instead of what is most different. We do this so powerfully because we are acting as us, within our very own body, making the conundrum manifest as our ever-improving (or at least always evolving) state of health and overall wellbeing. You could say, the meeting is now open, the round-table discussion underway, between aspects of ourselves that have been closed off from one another (…if only due to certain limiting belief filters that our human aspect used to have in place…) for the longest time. These “talks” hold our very future in the their hands and it feels like so much more than a matter of our personal physical health; in fact, we perceive its thematic relevance to everything going on all around us in the world right now and take comfort from the fact we are far from the only person going through this evolutionary process; we are part of a combined effort to heal on a very grand scale.

From now on, every small triumph in how positively we experience ourselves (not necessarily “a healing” by conventional terms but a state of calm acceptance, compassion, understanding, reconciliation and even joy from within the current circumstance) is a triumph for all since there is a collective-evolutionary trajectory that everyone dealing with bewildering health challenges are contributing to; which we now see clearly, since an inevitable part of gaining the “spiritual perspective” is coming to recognise how we are all connected, thus one healing contributes to the healing of all.

We can’t fail to know when we are getting somewhere since these positive interactions between our physical and nonphysical aspects show up as our vastly improved wellbeing, our inexplicable radiance or a certain sparkle in the eyes, sudden surges of energy (even though we are often majorly fatigued), a propensity to connect with likeminded people from all walks of life in quite unexpected ways, as new bursts of creativity and moments of insight or synchronicity that lead to unexpected information or opportunities to heal what was previously stuck in the mud, using solutions we would never have been able to imagine beforehand. We may come across as a little crazy in our buoyancy and optimism, or people assume we must be making up all of our physical symptoms since we seem to alternate periods of profound disability with being some of the most cheerful, energised and inspiring people around; plus we seem oddly driven and tenacious for all we “should” be feeling defeated or worn out by circumstance.

These intermittent peaks of experience are all the more astonishing for their context within a life that is otherwise often desperately challenging and which some people, watching from the outside (if they only knew the half of the pain and physical limitation that goes on), would assume to be incredibly compromised yet we start to feel strangely unlimited within ourselves, in spite of our state of health. These moments when we know we have got it all together feel like we are doing big-big work, and not just for ourselves, and we wouldn’t swop that feeling for all the numbness we used to call having “OK health” in the time before we got ill. We even allow ourselves to consider that maybe, at the higher level, we chose for this chronic thing to hang around for so long (and that it may do so for even longer…), so that we could have the deepest experience of it. That very realisation starts to suggest itself as the ultimate breakthrough point that is ours just as soon as we decide to take it to the next level….yet none of our optimism is conditional upon this ever happening since we are peculiarly, inexplicably, fine with where we are, rigth here and now (which is the whole point). It’s also, resoundingly, about learning to live without fear and conditionality constantly calling the tune.

These heightened moments often show up as plateaus of spontaneous remission or at least times of dramatic improvement “for no obvious reason”.

We do notice ourselves having these incredible breakthroughs that come and go, though they may seem as nothing to those who measure success using comparisons, targets, material gains, guarantees and permanence (concepts we have put aside in favour of being fully here now, not living in the past or the future). Very often, a plausible “reason” for improved health will come along in perfect time so that we can explain away this sudden breakthrough to those who like to have a reason…though the real work has been done where the gap resides, in places unseen to the naked eye.

But I’m jumping ahead of myself here; what does it take to achieve this state of grace consistently in the way that we think of as “fully healed”, and am I even equipped to write about it since I’m not even there yet? Well, yes, I think I am since I have experienced it many many times over, just not at every level of me all at once (when I do, I will certainly know about it). It takes doing this gap-bridging work fairly consistently…or, I believe, to a crucial tipping point (or an alchemical melting point…) of the physical and non-physical aspects of experience, across all the layers of human consciousness, and for a sustained-enough duration of time for the body to completely rewrite its “old” memory. I suspect this is the key to healing the body’s chronically ingrained trait of “thinking” there is an unhealable breach between its human reality and some sort of original blueprint that it compares with (an idea of separation that has been the scourge of mankind since our very first thoughts of being chucked out of the garden of Eden). A lot can be done with the conscious mind, choosing where to place your focus, what kinds of thoughts to see through and which to let go of the moment they start to occur. The biggest trip factor is becoming unconscious again, even for a short time; which I don’t often do when I am awake, in control of my thoughts and well-versed in how to relax the body if contraction starts to occur. I choose not to hang out with negative people, or drink, watch TV or read newspapers…you get the idea…and I manage to stay mindful, most of the time (or recognise the signs when its slipping).

The trickiest time, I have found, is immediately after waking up since consciousness can be a little vulnerable to lower vibrations at those times (and you can take that to refer to waking up “in the morning”…or waking up “in life”).

Now, bear with me again if you have any cynicism around this topic but, when I sleep I believe I go deeply into the essence of myself beyond the physical where, yes, everything seems more pristine than it is here (that’s not to say it isn’t perfect here…but we all know it doesn’t always appear that way and we are conditioned, to varying extents, to believe what we see through our filters). We all do this in sleep; its where reconciling things beyond what “appears” to be happening in our fragmented-seeming lives, takes place. I often wake aware that I have been in that other “place”, experiencing a level of bliss and expansive oversight “there” that is much harder to identify within the maelstrom of everyday three-dimensional human experience. If I can keep that expansive feeling going, it can feed into my daytime experiences but it is all too easy to allow an automatic contraction, like a shrinking back into the seeming “smallness” and “helplessness” of the human condition, to occur at the first sound of an alarm or anything that brings me crashing back into my ordinary daily experience. However mindful you have become, when the body is locked into some sort of chronic health pattern, this kind of contraction is very easily fallen into on waking because of those first automatic reactions, hard-wired deep inside the nervous system and misfiring cells, which trigger off pain and other symptoms before you are even fully awake. For instance, I often used to wake with terrible irritable bowel and adrenalin charging through me, like a panic attack; these days, I’m more likely to wake with intense neuralgia, a migraine or muscle pain, which can still be a sharp contrast with how relaxed and physically unlimited I have been feeling in my sleep. This can easily trigger an emotional contraction that is like a bucket of cold water on any expansive feelings left over from the night before. Therefore, those first moments after waking can be crucial to the kind of day I have, symptom-wise, since any abruptness to how quickly I land back into the body or get dragged back into “human” thoughts or conversation can make re-entry a very bumpy ride and I may have lost the feeling of expansion by the time I have consciously settled back into the driver’s seat of myself. Days like these are a big part of what perpetuates chronic illness when, really, we should be in a position to start over each day with a pretty-much blank slate of health.

Over the years, I’ve used many techniques to ensure this “re-entry” process is as smooth and free of predispositions as possible, including conscious relaxation of all the limbs and slowing of the breathing, playing visual mind-games, dropping into an impromptu mediation or using a guided audio, never rushing myself awake and, of course, never waking to jarring alarms as well as asking people around me to be respectful of how they engage with me until I am fully back in the body. A tool I am using right now is CBD oil, which I drop under the tongue if I sense nerve pains or any other symptoms of physical contraction switching on as I surface. This enables the central nervous system to relax and wind down to its pre-waking state; keeping stress hormones at bay and buying me those extra few minutes in which to smoothly re-enter my physical form whilst remaining fully conscious. Not only is this making a lot of difference to my mornings, thus my whole day, but it is retraining my body to a whole new “regular” experience of what it feels like to blink open my eyes and realise “I’m here” all over again, which is the daily rebirth scenario we all go through yet, largely, take for granted unless we have a pain condition. It allows me to pick up where I left off with all the deep-integration and healing work I had done up until the day before, rather than starting from scratch with the groundhog experience of being “newly in pain” every morning; which then builds momentum into the long-term healing process as the body entrains to another way of being.

As this gentler waking-up experience becomes my new normal, I am managing to spin that other-worldly feeling out so that it becomes part of my waking hours instead of an alternate experience that is quite separate from it; allowing the insights of my dreaming hours to continue to feed into my innate knowing beyond the limited reality represented by my physical senses. As a result of using this same method in the daytime, whenever I feel contraction occurring or as an impromptu meditation whenever I feel like it, these two worlds are starting to merge and collaborate like never before and my health is stabilising in ways that are starting to become more noticeable.

What is this stuff that I am talking about integrating from one version of reality where I am already my unlimited “best-self”, to the other where I am here as a physical human being experiencing pain and limitation?

Well, for me it’s the realisation that has dawned on me, over the last decade that, though my life may seem imperfect in so many ways, it is actually perfect down to the minutest detail, as are all lives. This declaration, though probably horrifying to some of you with chronic health issues, is something I truly believe to the depths of my soul since it is my understanding that I chose to be here at this time, in this body, having these experiences, for a reason most particular to me and my soul growth. If the experience feels mindlessly repetitious and pointless at times, I believe it is simply because I have (as yet) failed to grasp some of the shortcuts to accepting all that I am and that I experience…largely because I sometimes slip into these old, ingrained mindsets of fear and victimhood (typically at times when I fall into unconscious thoughts or receive some sort of shock, which is when the gap seems to be at its broadest and most daunting).

It includes receiving inspiration from my non-physical self; an aspect of me that not only helps me see the bigger picture of “what is going on” so that I can keep some perspective and make better-informed, higher-vibrational decisions, but which brings me the kind of creative inspiration that brings enjoyment, wisdom and deepest satisfaction into my everyday experience of life. It’s a process of coming to understand that what we think matters literally becomes “matter”…and sticks around, often for far longer than we want it to; so in order to create what I desire, I need to focus on what truly matters to me, not what I dread or wish wasn’t already happening. Its about realising that my body is not who I am; rather, that my body is something that I have and that I can affect the way it manifests when I step into my confident creator shoes. So, it’s a burgeoning realisation (and acceptance) that I am the creator of my own circumstances; yes, all of them….and then a case of approaching them with curiosity instead of a victimhood mentality. Its also about allowing feelings to occur freely yet remain soft…not always rushing to grab onto them, make sense of them, interpret, label, write about or diagnose them, which is a skill set that can be practiced, with massively positive outcomes when it comes to creative healing.

There are certainly tools that can be used to enable this integration or gap-bridging to take place more easily and these include staying present in the moment, being fully aware, noticing things in and all around you (without having to make them into a mental concept…), and then allowing appreciation to occur, even in the most unexpected places, without preconceptions about pain, risk, unpleasantness and so on taking over what we think is “happening”. This is more challenging than it sounds yet worth it, since it is like a golden key to unlocking an entirely different experience of life; even in the hardest of circumstances.

I won’t understate it; yes it is hard doing all of this, all of the time without fail and I wouldn’t be human if this wasn’t so. I have seen the power of these approaches demonstrated countless times when I have applied, say, an attitude of open-curiosity or even gratitude to whatever “the present moment” happens to bring to me, then watched my experience of that thing transform from awfulness into something tremendous before my very eyes. Yet I have proved far less adept at applying these approaches consistently to every experience of wierd and alarming new symptoms or intense discomfort that presents to me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m getting pretty good at it, but my task here is to make it as consistent and reliable as the old-fear reactions and negative mindsets used to be…and its work in progress. The more you do it, the more you continue to do it…but it can feel like keeping several plates spinning at once to start with, which can lead to a lot of broken crockery…which is fine, as long as you don’t get tripped into more negative thinking about those broken plates on the floor. Which is why I am still having the experience of it (illness, that is…); I believe I chose to work on this version of “gap” as a specialism in this lifetime, perhaps with a view to helping or encouraging others to cross the gap by keeping in this positive, expansive, creator-space… and that, overall, I’m doing a pretty good job.

This also means I don’t seek to have the experience of physical pain taken away from me “at any cost” or “just to get through it quickly”, without wanting to understand why I have been having it or how it has all been to my grandest design; that would be pointless and would, I believe, set me up to go through the same experiences all over again next lifetime around (yes, I do believe that). I clearly wanted to have this experience in order to work with it so a shortcut, quick-fix, cheaty ending doesn’t feel like what this is all about! So, I don’t take pharmaceutical drugs since that would just muddle up the symptoms with equally confusing side-effects (and negates the amount of respect I have for my body), and I don’t drink, eat, shop, deny or blame myself into oblivion. Rather, I use natural supplements and diet, positive forms of movement such as walking in nature, yoga, learning an instrument, doing art and photography, writing copiously plus following a healthy set of lifestyle choices to heal myself to the best of my ability…and then I face up to pain, I work with it, I hear it out and I appreciate it for what it tells me about myself, and about the gap.

I allow all those moments of recognising that heaven not only exists here on earth but that it is a far more potent experience for the contrast; and that my life is littered with such moments when I remain attentive and open to them.

This point is crucial and has been the longest-running thread of my recovery journey so far. Not only have I allowed fragments of heaven to appear to me daily in a way that is truly magical but I have focussed on them constantly, which is how I came to be a photographer and then a professional artist and designer over the course of the last decade’s illness, though I was doing nothing like that before. By focusing on these things, my world has literally transformed and no longer looks anything like the physical reality that I used to reside in; there is literally no comparison. It was the countless hours I spent painting, which became like a form of meditation long before I practiced such a thing, that first put me in touch with my non-physical self and opened the door to my spiritual awareness, though I was a cynic beforehand.

I also recognise how this health-conundrum is just my version (we all have one…) of how humanity as a whole is playing out a story of out-of-syncness between the physical and spiritual aspects; and that, at every scale, these situations are simply crying out for a bridge of communication, appreciation, recognition and acceptance between them (you could equally say “love”), to bring their edges closer together. The gift is that I have borne witness to the growth of my own consciousness at a super-rapid rate since my illness began, compared to the three and a half decades of virtually sleep-walking through life that went on beforehand. Back then, I barely paid attention to anything that wasn’t right beneath my nose or to do with matters of personal “fight-or-flight” survival (dressed up as many different things). Now, I consider the broadest imaginable picture of everything and how it all interconnects in ways that are as astonishing as they are beautiful, spinning out vastly from the pinprick of embodied consciousness that is my human self. This in itself has been a healing mechanism, although it was never premeditated to be that way…it just was, and still is.

If you are struggling to get a handle on anything that I am saying here then there’s a book I’m going to recommend, partly because I happen to be reading it right now and it has synced with so many of the new layers of deeper understanding I have been having. In fact, I recommend all of Neale Donald Walsh’s books but the one I refer to is called “Home With God: In A Life That Never Ends” (God in the sense that you are an aspect of God…and stepping across the gap I talk about reunites you with that aspect). It explores what life is, and what death is, in a way that may help you to remember what you already know about these things, which is what all of his books are so very good at doing; and they are life-changers since they can quickly dissolve away whole layers of selective amnesia, if you let them. What I have shared above will make so much more sense since read in parallel with his book since I write from the same premise that what we tend to think of as human life is most certainly not all there is, even though the profoundly intense physical experience of it can, sometimes, seem to demand all our attention.

What about the collective aspect of those times when somebody falls into the gap; how do we behave and why is this important?

I really thought about this when, with perfect synchronicity, I happened upon a video on Facebook (one I alluded to above) since it was all about someone, quite literally, falling into such a gap. It was a piece of CCTV footage showing a guy getting onto a train, only his leg gets caught in the gap between the train and the platform, exactly as I described in the analogy above. Thankfully, the quick-witted actions of the station guard resulted in the train being kept stationary while he coordinated all the passengers to get off and push the train sideways to release the man; an incredible demonstration of the power of positive collective effort …and it worked. In a nutshell, this is why it feels timely to share opinions such as these with anyone who will listen and why, in my view, this more abstract kind of “healing remedy” is as important, or even more so, than recommending supplements, diet plans or treatments. “The gap”, as made manifest in an illness context, can mean that a person feels they are all alone or beyond help; which they never are and it is so important to create that sense of others being around from whom they can gain inspiration and support. It can even manifest as a very-typical mindset that involves thinking that they are “fighting” or “at war” with illness, that they are its victim and must struggle or valiantly push and shove their courageous way to some sort of recovery position (you see this mentality brandished as the brand name of so many blogs and in article titles). This serves to entrench that person in their own belief system about their circumstances and causes them to identify “who they are” and any successes they happen to have, even at a professional level, with their illness, thus pretty-much ensuring their vested-interest in the continuance of the very issues they want to be rid of. Yes, you can make a whole lifetime out of choosing to live in the gap, making it quite a homely or communal place to be, even defending your position there, but the view is always going to be pretty limited and you can expect that it won’t change very much either due to the limit of your focus. The gap can be the most creative place to be if you keep it soft and playful, full of unlimited potential…but I recommend staying well away from labels that turn illness (or anything else you don’t wish to perpetuate) into “who you think you are”.

We each have a choice when it comes to how we deal with the gap, but it helps everyone if there are more diverse options on the table than just the mainstream approaches, which is what my blog serves to offer; an alternate point of view. Recognising when others are falling into “the gap” and then doing all we can to help each other out is what it’s all about at this time of our collective history; even if we simply offer what we have and let them decide if it’s a fit. Ultimately, we are contributing to the collective experience just by doing the deep personal work; something we come to understand more as we take the spiritual viewpoint, which reminds us we are all aspects of the same thing. This makes every contribution valid and important, whether we shout about it in spaces like this or do it within the privacy of our own lives (with the intention of what we achieve for ourselves becoming immediately available to others).

As we do this for others as well as ourselves, we become the living bridge from one reality to the other, softening the edges (you could say, manifesting heaven on earth).

More and more of us are waking up to a broader sense of reality, in other words, a multidimensional perspective; and this can feel so out of step with the version of reality that we are faced with in our every day lives. In fact, that 3D reality has never felt more abrasive or abhorrent, so people are finding themselves overwhelmed and unsure-footed all around us and it can feel like a version of mass hysteria, even though they mostly work hard to continue their everyday lives as if nothing particular is happening. Those that fall into the gap in such a way that it presents as health symptoms are often forced to stop; have no choice but to take time out, pull back, look at the bigger picture, think too much and notice things that used to go on “unconsciously” in the background… and it can either be a white-knuckle experience that never seems to relent, or it can be transformational; like a drill that eventually breaks through into a whole other layer of experience (which was there all along, we just never really noticed it before). In the midst of our breakdown can be the very answer, the relief, we didn’t know we were searching for.

When we look at problems….and their solutions….through the same three dimensional filter that created the problem, we often see only more conundrums and problems to take on; which is what makes healing a “mystery” chronic health condition feel so wearying and demoralising, becoming the task that never ends. When we pull back to take in the vastly bigger picture, not only do we start to see ways out of the problem that we might have otherwise missed (as happened to me when I had my biggest wake-up call in 2011…which is when my recovery process started in earnest) but we also start to make sense, and thus peace, with ourselves and our very reason for being here having these particular experiences. When we stop fighting “what is” and seeing the purpose and even the desire to be having them (even if that desire is to be having them temporarily…in order to approach them in a new and innovatively creative way that serves an evolutionary purpose) then we also start to move faster and more creatively through what felt like a dense, leaden and quite intractable set of circumstances just a short time before.

Maybe it’s just time to listen to ourselves really attentively, at the very broadest level and that’s all our convoluted health issues were ever about; a means of communicating something so important that we really wanted to hear at this point in our lives…and (importantly) us reciprocating by paying attention, rather than medicating it all away. Taking this broader approach is like tuning into that version of yourself that resides beyond all the physical limitations you are dealing with, gaining their insight; and doing so from within your waking-life rather than in a dream state or through death, which is all rather too abstract or late to be of much practical use in this lifetime. That’s why these times are so powerful and why this epidemic of chronic illnesses can be so powerfully transformative since they take people through the kind of life review that they would otherwise do at the very end of their physical lifespan, allowing them to learn their conscious-creator ropes while there is still the oportunity to play with the very frontier between matter and non-matter, made manifest as the physical vehicle of themselves.

Literally anything can happen once this collaboration gets started, and you feel that potential like an fizzing current of energy running through your life as every new circumstance seems to offer-up creative potential instead of just a brick wall of insurmountable challenge. This is what minding the gap feels like…and I don’t mean “minding” as in worrying about it but “minding” as in being aware of it and working mind-fully with it; which is a whole other level in the game of healing!

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2 thoughts on “Mind the gap – a spiritual perspective of chronic illness

  1. Wow this post really spoke to me as right now I am going through the process of waking up spiritually and realising man made religion and our preconceived ideas of the Divine are not even close to what God is! I have bookmarked the book you suggested, I am currently reading the bhagavad gita and it is blowing my mind!

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    1. Thanks so much for that feedback Beverley, I really appreciate it so much. I have actually added to, and edited, the post somewhat this evening as I found I had even more to say! I do recommend all NDW’s Conversation with God books, as well as the one I recommended (the first book – read when I was awakening in 2011 – cause me to break down into cathartic tears as I read the description of creation without all the usual manmade filters). Also Anita Moorjani’s Dying to Be Me; another milestone book for me when it first came out; especially on the subject of consciousness and health. If you find me on Goodreads, I list and review all of my reading matter there. I also have another blog, Spinning the Light (link in the About section), which plays with these concepts even more openly. This is sich a vast area of exploration and it, quite literally, alters everything!

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