PART 1: JANET’S STORY
Hope, Love, & Faith in the Face of Adversity
The world of the meridians is one of opposites. Yin and yang. Masculine and feminine. Emotions are balanced by thoughts and our physical body is balanced by spirituality.
I live a very grounded and physical life. My personality meridian, the lung/alchemist, is part of the physical world. I understand and connect via the physical body. Since spirituality is the opposite of the physical connecting to my spirituality requires connecting to the hidden will of my subconscious.
Like most people, I discovered my spiritual depths during times of crisis. My father’s declining health, my daughter’s struggle with addiction, and the loss of control that comes when your children become independent. Love, hope, and faith guided me through.
In 2005, my father’s health took a turn for the worse. One health crisis after another left him in pretty bad shape. Since he was already in his 70’s, his ability to fully recover was compromised. As a bodyworker, I took an active part in his healing by doing resistance training and massage to ease his ailing body.
I had always had a fiery relationship with my father and took to practicing the Hawaiian shamanic self-practice Ho’oponopono while I worked with him. Any time that I felt undermined and unappreciated, I would give myself the love and appreciation I needed with ho’oponopono. I would repeat “I love the Janet who feels underappreciated. I love the Janet who feels misunderstood…” over and over until I felt myself relax.
When my father was 81 years old, a few years before he passed, he turned to me unexpectedly and told me that he had discovered LOVE was the most important thing in his life. I was sending love to all the places in myself that were being undermined and underappreciated, and my father heard it. It was amazing to me that the silent work I was doing inside myself could affect those around me in such a profound way. I considered it and honor and privilege to be with my father as he recognized the magnitude of love just before he passed.
When my daughter was at the height of her addiction, I had nowhere else to turn. I realized that I had no hope for her recovery. When I consciously set out to find hope, I found it in spirituality. For years, I practiced energy medicine healing with a shaman, developed a love/hate relationship with meditation, and began to explore my evolving spiritual essence.
After years of hopelessness and frustration, I began to pray. Meditation through prayer made me feel less alone and gave me strength. Once I started building hope in my life, I found that it was contagious. I became close friends with another addict’s mother who was also supporting her son through rehab. After a few months of prayer and building up my spiritual “strength,” my friend turned to me one day and told me that she had never felt so hopeful about her son’s recovery.
I felt a huge surge of love and sensation in my body, like chills. I knew then that I was connecting to something greater than myself. Once again, my internal spiritual work spread to someone close to me without me ever mentioning it out loud.
My relationship with faith also emerged during my daughter’s addiction. When your child is struggling and suffering, any mother would want to help in any way that she could. Unfortunately, one of the first things you learn as the family or friend of an addict is that you can’t heal somebody who doesn’t want to heal themselves.
I had to have faith that my daughter was strong enough to come out on the other side. Anytime I tried to cross the line and do something for my daughter, I was indirectly telling her I didn’t believe she would be able to do this herself. In my self-evaluation, I realized that I needed to change the way I was thinking about her recovery. Instead of trying to help her, I needed to assure her that I believed she was fully capable of doing these things for herself. I began the journey of “embracing my own powerlessness” which is probably one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do
The Power of the Spirit
All of these situations made me realize that the effects of inner spiritual work can spread like wildfire. If you are afraid of dying, afraid of losing those you love, afraid of change, a spiritual practice can help you live in a place of hope. By working on yourself first, you lay the foundations for spirituality, hope, love, and faith to spread.
Unfortunately, the world today is less concerned with spirituality and more concerned with science, facts, and the “external influence”. There seems to be a concentrated effort to discredit any type of spirituality, especially religion.
Where would humans be without spirituality? One of the first signs of civilization was a funeral. Funerals were the first example of humans using symbolic gestures. Early humans used them to consecrate a life well lived and used prayer to guide the spirit into the afterlife.
Science tells us that the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing, the lungs stop breathing… but what about the light that leaves our eyes? Exploring our spiritual side is the only way to find our true purpose in this life.
Stay tuned for Part 2!