A few years ago I got a sudden illness and nearly died. With a new diagnosis, it was time to investigate everything that could help me get well. My journey led me to doctors and hospitals and afterwards to all kinds of advice and therapies. But healing, I discovered, wasn’t all about taking enough pills, or having enough procedures (though these things were often vital), but also about absorbing myself in nature, family, books, music, pets, faith, tears, laughter, food, writing… and so much more.
I wasn’t replacing modern medicine in my healing journey (I still take the meds and go to the check ups), but I was embellishing traditional medicine, by seeing that all things and experiences in life were potential medicine (or poison), all with the power to make me feel good or bad, better or worse, stronger or weaker. As a patient, a parent of three children, a wife, an adult child with two parents getting older, and as someone involved in my community, in support groups, and in all kinds of projects, I had to figure out how to get enough of the good stuff into and from all these roles in life, so that my daily menu created a life of nourishment and not drain.
It wasn’t easy. There were changes needed in all areas of my life, and still to this day there are changes needed, from unhealthy practices in these roles, or the states of mind associated with them, to healthier ones. I am a work in progress, as are we all.
But overall my health has improved a lot. Of course there have been fresh challenges and some very large ones at that (my marriage broke down for one) but one thing I have come to see, is that as sure as there are new problems and challenges, there is life, waiting in the wings with its healing toolbox, if only I could just remember to take a look.
And that’s often the hard bit. We learn, we forget, we rise, we fall and then we have to do it all over again, sometimes re-learning the same lesson and sometimes having to learn something new. But if only we could remember through the growing pains, that life is always offering its own healing as we go. If only we’d stop fumbling in the next dark struggle on our own and instead reach for the toolbox as we go and allow its contents to heal us on the way, we might feel a bit better.
I know now that I am not alone in this struggle, that there are many people out there seeking healing, not just from medical illnesses, but from broken marriages, unfulfilling jobs and disappointments in life, and often fumbling in the dark and by themselves, lost, lonely and not feeling good at all.
I meet these people all the time in audiences who I am asked to publicly speak to, or from media interviews I often do on radio or in newspapers, where someone hears my name or story and contacts me by way of appreciation for sharing both the struggles and the attempts to overcome them. But what of those times where I do not have that large venue to tell my story, or that avenue to connect with those who are struggling? There was only one way to go, and that seemed to create a blog.
So this blog is an attempt to journey with those, who like me, seek the healing of life as we go along its bumpy path and when we ‘go straight’ for a while to simply enjoy, knowing that just as an unexpected bump will likely appear again, we will be able to dip into the healing of life again to bring comfort to our bruises.
If you, like me, would appreciate discovering, re-discovering and being reminded that there is healing in every day and for all the bumps in life, then you might want to sign up to this blog, which you can do here
Then we can enjoy the wonders of life’s healing toolbox together!
Le grà, Pauline
© Pauline O’Shea
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