When we’re sick, do we take advantage of the opportunity that being sick provides?

When we’re sick, most people descend into one of a few attitudes about it . . .

For many it is a total nuisance, annoyingly becoming an unwanted disturbance to the normal day-to-day activities of life, for some it is a moment to fall into victimhood at the woes of their bad luck or ill fortune, and for others it becomes an odd moment of glory as they receive attention and recognition they might otherwise not be the benefactor of in their lives. Whichever category one falls into, none of these behaviours do anything to take advantage of the greater and true opportunity that being sick provides.

Whether it is being put out of action by a sprained joint or broken limb, a simple cold, coming down with influenza, an infection of some sort, a heavy episode of anxiety or depression, or the more long-term illnesses, being unwell is a situation presented to us by our Soul, the essence of our being.

It is a moment that asks us to stop and take stock of how we’re living; it is a moment to reflect and review what is important and what is not. But how many people really see being ‘sick’ in this way? And if we do in some way approach it like this, once we’re well again how often do we just get on with our life as it was pre-illness, not really adapting, adjusting or refining anything about how we’re living to accept and allow for the growth that was offered us? Perhaps our sleep routine needs to be re-considered for us to wake up each day feeling truly rejuvenated, or our food consumption may need tweaking so that we feel lighter, rather than the usual post-meal heaviness or drowsiness so commonly associated with eating: maybe we need to observe more honestly if and when we’re pushing our body beyond what it has a true level of vitality for.

Being sick when felt for what it is truly offering is an incredible moment in our lives to shed and expand, but what is it we are to shed and expand to?

This will be unique to every one of us based on our life’s experiences, our relationships, our cultural and religious upbringing, our education, and so on and so on.

Throughout life we pick up and absorb so much into our bodies that actually doesn’t belong, such as our own and other people’s emotions, the education system’s understanding of what we have to do to be smart or a good student, religious institutions’ ideology about what it is to be a ‘good’ person, the bombardment of industries loading us with a cocktail of different notions of what it is to eat well and be healthy, the media’s version of what’s going on in the world of politics and humanitarianism, etc etc – the list of ‘things’ (energy) that we can absorb is endless.

We are essentially not born with all of this ‘stuff’ in our bodies, although we do of course carry some imprints over from previous lives, but for the most part we arrive clean and fresh for a new start at life, another opportunity to master what we are here for, which is to rekindle our energetic awareness of life and apply it in such a way that we live the greater responsibility that this awareness imbues our body and life with.

Therefore, being sick is a moment that is absolutely ripe with potential to shed what is not ours and expand to a level of awareness that is true and accessible for each and every one of us.

When we choose to take it, these moments of being unwell offer enormous space to reflect and consider what is there to let go of – to truly address and respond to what we are being asked of via our Soul that needs releasing from the body. When we take this space it is about pressing pause on all that is our normal in life and reviewing how we actually want to live our life, what we choose to subscribe to and believe in and or follow, from the simplest and seemingly mundane things – such as ‘do I want to keep getting sucked into watching series after series on one of the television channels, do I really want to be having those 2 coffees a day, should I be doing more or less exercise, is my body really being supported by the exercise I’m engaged with or not?’ … to the bigger considerations such as – is this friendship healthy for me anymore, am I totally exhausted by the pressures of my job and do I want to consider change? – to the really difficult stuff to break free of that comes from family and institutional ideals and consciousnesses.

The toxins we absorb throughout life come not only from the substances, foods and environmental pollutants we ingest, but also include the energetic toxins of the previously mentioned emotions and consciousnesses we are surrounded by in our world, and these lay an energetic imprint that is equally as harmful to our health and wellbeing as the aforementioned substances. Of course, accepting this aspect of sickness requires a broader consideration of what life is about, but nevertheless it is happening whether we choose to believe it or not, and therefore has its unavoidable impacts.

If we really felt what is available in the moments of being unwell to the point of needing to stop, what is called for is a deep level of repose. The dictionary describes repose as a state of rest, sleep or tranquillity, and if we add to that the energetic qualities of contemplation and reflection, what you have is a beautiful and very holding space for great healing to occur.

When illness and sickness are observed with this level of love and care, the experience can be one that is very different to the usual approach taken, one of knocking it over and getting back on as quickly as possible, with zero reflection on the reasons why we became unwell, with our body needing the stop, depriving ourselves and those around us of the truer intelligence we could be living in our bodies with thereafter.

What if being sick is actually a very significant time to not only become well again in the traditional sense of not being sick, but is far greater than that, and it is about bringing the body and being to a new level of love; a level of love in the body that emanates more truth and shares a greater reflection to everyone of what it looks like to honour the body and the being in a way that is responsible to the true expression that your body in particular is here to impart, free from certain ideals, beliefs, consciousness, institutionally promulgated limitations, heavy emotions, and the toxic waste that is accepted as a normal part of life to absorb.

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  • By Annette Baker, Relationship Counsellor

    Annette's love is supporting and confirming people in returning to the truth they already know deep inside. This she does through her own constant and dedicated relationship to understanding and living the greater meaning and purpose to life.

  • Photography: Cameron Martin, Video and Photography