Illness and Injuryas a Spiritual Path
It seems as though so many of us are on life’s troubled path that is wrought with difficulty, pain and trouble. Too often our course in life seems to be more of a distraction that pulls us away from our happiness and spiritual growth than foster it. But perhaps, in reality, this path of hardship and sorrow may be exactly the path set before us on our journey of peace and spiritual development.
Sometimes we are inclined to see those who suffer and judge that they have brought on their troubles because of wrong decisions or behavior. Sometimes this is true. Many or even most of today's chronic and degenerative health problems are the natural consequences of poor or unhealthy lifestyle choices. Eating too much processed foods and sweets, inadequate exercise, not enough sleep, and poor management of stress will all lead to the eventual breakdown of health.
Other problems are truly beyond our direct control and can result from circumstances or behaviors of others. Regardless of how we got there, illness and injury can and must be our starting point to a better life. Heck, life’s journey would be futile if “you couldn’t get there from here”. So no matter where you are in the course of your condition, the starting point for your healing is exactly where you are, right now!
How to Get Started
Remember, this is a spiritual journey on the path to happiness. First, you must understand that there is no magic pill. It is not likely that your recovery will pivot on the precise combination of essential oils, the correct pH of water, the right combination of vitamins or herbs, or even the masterfully delivered chiropractic adjustment or physical therapy procedure. People come through my office every week looking for that one thing that will require minimal effort on their part (“Here, just take this pill and you can expect a remarkable recovery”) and produce maximum improvement. Rarely, does this happen. Many are not yet ready to come to grips with this reality and will keep searching, going from doctor to doctor and laying out hundreds even thousands of dollars in hope of finding “the cure”. And trust me, there is a never ending line of those with palms opened to take your money.
I am not saying that there are not good and effective treatments and therapies out there. I am saying, that there are many treatments and therapies that are not right for you. And what is right and beneficial for one may not produce the same results for another. Boy, it sure would be easier if there was consistency in treatment and results. But it is kind of like raising kids. There are general principles that hold true, but not every approach works equally well for every kid. Yes, they all need good nutrition and to learn to work and be respectful. But what motivates one may discourage the other.
Simple But Not Easy
Something that I emphasize with many of my new patients is the importance of listening to your inner voice. I often view myself as a pretty good resource for ideas. Admittedly, I do not have all the answers. My diagnoses are not always correct. I, like you, am trying my best to do my best, but often fall short. With this said, please understand, that each of us has been endowed with a true source of inspiration and light. This is often referred to as our conscience or the Light of Christ. My experience has taught me that this subtle inner voice always (ALWAYS!) speaks the truth. When a course of action or direction is needed, posed by a question as simple as “What should I do?”, answers will come. The challenge is that these answers are not always a direct answer to your question, nor do they always make sense. For example, Question: “What should I do for my tired and aching back?” Answer: “Go do the dishes, your wife has had a difficult day”. WHAT!!! How does me getting up and doing the dishes have to do with helping me feel better. Understand, that God and Spirit see the big picture. My tired back (after a 40 mile bike ride) wanted to rest, but helping in the kitchen brought greater peace and harmony to the home and let’s face it, my tiredness was an inconvenience not a crisis.
But what if your problems or issues are serious? What if you are in crisis? I promise you the same holds true. Listen to the subtle prompting and follow them with exactness. It may not make sense. You may find yourself rationalizing or justifying why you can’t follow these subtle promptings of the spirit. However, this I have also learned, the more I follow, the clearer the direction I receive. And when I don’t follow or drag my feet in following, it is like turning down the volume for further guidance.
I view it like this, we have problems, all of us, no exceptions. I believe that it is through our challenges and problems that God gets our attention and in essence invites us to be humble and come to Him. For me, it seems my prayers are a little more intense during difficult times rather than when things are going pretty good. With that in mind, if we could view hardships as invitations to come to God, draw on His Spirit for guidance and inspiration, then we can be lead to greater peace and happiness. I do not believe that all of our problems will be resolved as neatly as a one hour TV show. But I do believe we will be better off and will find answers and solutions that may have eluded us.
Whatever your course of action, you must feel good about it. Sometimes, answers to your biggest and most pressing questions will not be forthcoming. Your willingness and obedience may first need to be tried and tested (by God). I will often ask “What should I do?” If I leave the question wide open, then I can follow and not have to exert specific demands for specific questions. I have even found that as I follow the mundane direction, insights and inspiration will come to me (that I believe may not have come otherwise). Here is something else I’ve discovered and many others have concurred with this. I’ve learned that when I receive an answer to a prayer or impression, the answer is the first thing that flashes in my mind. Whether it’s a name or an image of something. The first impression seems to be pure and true before its diluted by my reasoning or polluted by the adversary. This has been proven many times in my life.
The direction to follow inspiration is simple, but it is not easy. I strongly believe that this is the path that will lead us to greater health and happiness. And I believe that the illnesses and injuries that afflict us just may be the pathway to greater light, peace, love and understanding. It is said that Christ learned by the things which he suffered, and so it is with us. But only if we learn to listen and obey.
Dr. Kyle Christensen
July 11, 2013