“Accept!” I hear the word clearly in my mind, exactly as my late Japanese master, O Sensei, would have said it.
I am working with a client, pausing with inner inquiry to discover how he might further healing of a very serious, chronic disease. We’ve been working together for a few months, seeing steady improvements in both energy and pain reduction. He has whole heartedly accepted and applied all the wellness strategies I’ve recommended, such as limiting work hours, scheduling rest, using visualization, meditation, self-talk exercises, targeted whole foods, and supplemental support, etc. In truth, his level of acceptance and implementation of healing strategies appears stellar! He’s accepted the disease, the doctors, the treatments, and every self-help strategy I’ve suggested with extraordinary graciousness, patience, and perseverance.
However, as many people who have suffered chronic illness discover, it’s not enough to simply go through the outward motions, and comply with (accept) treatment protocols and strategies for healing. No. In fact, there must exist a complete inner willingness in order to allow the condition to fully transform and heal. This bears repeating.
There must exist a complete, inner willingness in order to allow the condition to fully transform and heal.
Hearing that single word in my mind, with my teacher’s distinctive, thick Japanese accent, brought about a cascade of understandings about the healing process. I could see that although my client had exerted so much self-effort in his healing, there was still a place inside which was not quite ready to open up, and fully accept his recovery. There lingered a small shadow, seeming to whisper, “Ok, I’ll go through the motions, but, is it really worth the effort to struggle up the looming mountain ahead? I’m so tired.” This is the voice of utter fatigue brought about by chronic illness. It can affect our spirits, including our very will to live life.
Acceptance has many layers, all of which are quite “real” to the person suffering with a chronic illness.
There’s the physical reality of it. We take time out of our daily routine to go see our care givers. We may have to travel there, or set up remote access. We change our diet. We may start taking medications, herbs, remedies or supplements. Perhaps we change a behavior, like working too many hours. We implement strategies for healing. All these are physical and observable.
There’s the mental reality we experience, often diving into research about our condition, and learning all we can to empower ourselves in healing. We think about, talk about it, read about it, rationalize it, try to figure it out, and hopefully, come to terms with the condition and make a plan for healing.
Then there’s the emotional reality, which is a too often neglected level in treatment of chronic illness. I’ve found that clients who’ve had a long battle with disease, or even just been unwell for a long time, go through the classic stages of grieving: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and hopefully, acceptance. (For more on grieving, see The 5 Stages of Grieving.)
Finally, there is the spiritual reality, which is usually the most subtle and unseen aspect of a client’s healing. It’s extremely personal, often private, and possibly “subconscious” to even the client himself. It is this aspect of our Inner Being which holds the key to successful recovery. The unspoken whisperings of the “subconscious mind,” the old patterns, ancestral-genetic code, and if you are of the mind to include “past lives,” are all embedded within what we may term the “inner spirit” or “individual soul” of each person. This vast and unseen reality has the potential to thwart, or support, all our actions toward healing on every other level, whether physical actions, mental stance, or emotional well-being. It is this level of inner work which we must not neglect in our efforts to heal the whole human being. Fortunately, it only requires turning within. (For more on Turning Within, sign up for my free course here.) For all who travel the healing journey, it is the spiritual level that is the key to inner strength and life will itself.
Healing chronic illness requires a holistic viewpoint and a complementary, team-based approach, with the most important team member being the patient’s own self.
The moment I heard the word, “Accept!” I immediately realized that my client must have a vestige of non-acceptance lingering in his spirit. After such a long, wearisome battle with disease, I could not blame him. In fact, I knew somewhat of how that felt, having dealt with some chronic issues in my own life. As I brought it up this concept, “Accept,” he nodded knowingly. Having recently done a lot of inner work to overcome that very same niggling shadow of doubt, whether it was worth it to continue to fight, he just smiled. He could see, as we often do, that there was just a little way further to go in fully accepting the goodness of the healing practices he was committed to, and saying, “YES!” to his own healing.
Pausing to accept the body’s satisfaction of the in-breath. Quieting the demands of the inner boss to accept the comfort of a deep rest. Slowing down to savor the flavors and accept the nourishment of great food. And regularly checking deep within to be certain we actually have our own inner blessings, and receptivity….. acceptance…. for healing.
When we deeply and completely accept the present moment and ourselves exactly as we are, we can experience incredible and exponential healing on all levels. Accepting life as it is, this moment, we can move on.
If you find yourself wanting a deeper level of acceptance and would like to explore it in a safe environment of healing and compassion, please contact me for free initial consultation, or to book a healing or mentoring session.
All Blessings and Love,
Dr. Jeannie Arunimā ♡