The Wisdom of Illness: A Conversation With My Higher Self

By Susan Christhilf, On September 23, 2011

Years ago, when I began my work with flower essences, I was introduced to a whole new way of looking at health and healing. Far from orthodox medicine, the field of vibrational therapy shed new light on the nature of illness, its implications, and an alternative method for addressing it.

The basic premise of vibrational therapy (such as time-tested techniques using sound, color, flower essences, etc.) is that humans are multi-dimensional creatures. The physical body is encased by a subtle body, layers of rarified energy that surround and penetrate the physical vehicle and that process and house all of our mental, emotional, and spiritual experiences. Similar to nesting dolls, these three components – along with the physical —are interconnected. What we experience on the outer, more subtle layers of ourselves eventually filters through and manifests at the physical level, the densest of the four levels. It follows, then, that healthy emotions, thoughts, and a sense of spiritual connection tend to foster health in the physical body. Likewise, discord among these levels may also produce physical imbalances that are acute or chronic.

My initial curiosity in the function of flower remedies prompted me to ask questions related to my own health and healing from a “vibrational” perspective. I was familiar with the one-to-one correlation between mind and body (i.e. allergies reflect a sensitivity to people and surroundings, joint pain reflects inflexibility toward life), but wanted “deeper” answers to my specific questions regarding personal healing. I sought the counsel of a wise and trusted friend, and the following explanations were derived from communication with my Higher Self via the tarot (Spiritual Tarot by Echols, Mueller, and Thomson).  My hope is that it will support others on their own path to wellness.

Q:  When is it advisable to use medicines that strictly address the physical body versus vibrational remedies such as flower essences?

A: Physical medicines sustain the physical body; flower essences support and sustain the more subtle aspects of the human. These aspects, in turn, support the physical body. The “deeper lesson” inherent in one’s physical illness cannot be fully learned – nor full healing achieved – by just relieving the physical manifestation of imbalanced energy. One or more of the other three aspects are always tied to it.

It’s true that a physical approach to illness buys the body relief (though often temporary) and may even buy the body time (as in the case of terminal illness). But until there is a new awareness – an understanding of the gift inherent in illness, spoken by the voice of your Soul through your physical disorder – and a change of perspective and of heart (such as forgiveness of Self or others), then physical medicine does little for the Spirit orthe body because other aspects of the Self have been left unaddressed. The tendency to rush for physical applications to illness and to receive instant results does you a disservice. A broadened perspective must be considered and both caution and wisdom employed as you work toward healing of the whole person. Otherwise, struggles to heal may result in frustration rather than victory.

Q:  But what about when my symptoms are so overwhelming or so exhausting that I can’t even focus or actively turn inward to explore the lesson implied

A: The greater the overwhelm, the less the sense of Self and the greater the tendency and ability to resign yourself to a Greater Source and become vulnerable to true healing. To “become vulnerable” doesn’t mean to resign yourself to illness, but to let down your defenses and free yourself from the self-imposed bondage to any fear of the unknown. Look beyond your physical maladies and risk looking at your other less-explored aspects. Become acquainted with your Inner Self, heed Its call, and tend to Its needs.

Unfortunately, although you as humans are fully capable of achieving true healing, you often lack the drive to do what really needs to be done to return to balance. You approach healing half-heartedly and tend to want success handed to you rather than to earn it. You delay your own spiritual growth by neither attuning to nor addressing your deeper needs.

Q:  Where does one start her course of “healing through self-exploration” when she is devastated by illness or suffering?

A: She starts at her beginning, i.e. where she is in her life right now. She should proceed by using common sense, setting one foot in front of the other. Most important, she must start by stopping any feelings of being devoid of love or value. She deserves a return to wholeness, no matter what her past. Wholeness is not only her birthright but also her divine mission!

Q:  When are there not deeper implications to physical illness?

A: One of the three subtle components of yourself is always at the root of physical imbalance. The question is to what degree are they involved?

Sometimes the implications of illness are situational or “superficial.” They directly relate to choices you have made for or about yourself or about your perspective of the world. For example, the cold you have this week is from the stress of pushing yourself beyond your limits last week. Lower back pain may indicate the harboring of resentment toward others; a broken leg, the fear of moving forward in life; infertility, a blockage of creativity; acne, conflict in expressing your “true face” to the world. Other times, physical imbalances indicate deeper, less conscious issues. Examples may include karmic influence, prior trauma, long-forgotten or unresolved issues (usually emotionally charged), the inheritance of toxic energy states, etc.

The good news is that regardless of the source, its depth, or the degree of your ailment or illness, when your thoughts become sacred, healthy, and affirm life, you open yourself to whole-person healing and, in the process, reveal more of your divinely-inspired True Nature.

Q:  But why do chronic ailments persist even if one acknowledges the implications of that illness?

A: This issue has many facets and its answer is not the same for everyone. For some, pride stands in the way of their receiving healing aid. They reject the healing assistance offered by benevolent forces or even by helpful others. Other people may let feelings of low self-worth convince them that they are unworthy of the healing that would be fostered by spiritual self-exploration. Still others may let a victim mentality tie them to their illness.

Perhaps the greatest obstacle for healing is disbelief. One may have little faith in her potential for healing. But rest assured, peace can be found in the midst of – or even as a result of – suffering and degeneration. (Consider the cases of terminal illness in which withheld forgiveness is finally granted and peace is found.) When you resolve to find balance again – or even simply open to the potential of healing! – and choose to see yourself or your circumstance with compassion, then real healing ensues. Illness always offers the opportunity for you to find your often obscured Pure Self – your Divine Identity – again. But you must use the available tools to help pull yourself from the mire of dis-ease and discontent. You will find stability in the midst of crisis when you are willing to surrender to a Higher Power or transformative lesson.

The key to your success is to fully incorporate into your life the wisdom associated with your malady.  You must ground your new insights (related to the dis-ease) by mobilizing and applying them to your life. You must put into action what you know to be true. (Let your stiff neck teach you to see the world with more flexibility; let a broken hand teach you to reach for what you truly want in life, etc.)

Healing is always a matter of patience and persistence. “Patience” means you are willing to put yourself in the natural flow of Divine Timing (which may move slowly or with more immediate effects).  “Persistence” means you recognize healing as a cycle of transformation and are willing to explore it.  These are the two crucial aspects of applying the wisdom of your illness.

Q:  Does continued degeneration indicate that the body has reached a “point of no return”?

A: There is no such thing as a “point of no return” in healing. Healing is a process, and it may come with or without physical improvement. This process translates as an opportunity to make choices that evoke Soul advancement and a conscious return to your Original Nature. The physical vehicle may succumb to degeneration and even death, but the three less-dense components of the individual may have already achieved healing. Sometimes, becoming vulnerable to death is the greatest form of healing for a person, allowing him or her to merge once again with the All That Is.

In light of the above session, I realize that it brings me great comfort to see life as aprocess of healing, rather than merely as occasions to conquer every physical ailment that comes my way. Physical dis-ease is a by-product of being fully human. It is an opportunity – a privilege, really – to explore and reveal the Original Self, to make peace with who we are and to define who we wish to become. It challenges us to see beyond the physical and to risk revealing the highest, most luminous qualities of our individual Souls. To me, “wholeness” is not necessarily a life free of illness because those very issues draw us closer to our Source so that we may draw out our greatest potentials. To do so is to achieve true success in healing and to recognize that, at our most basic level, we are already whole.

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  1. Greetings!
    How nice to find my article reach others through the Healer’s Journal! I’m so glad to be able to share the information from my article, “The Wisdom of Illness.” I note, though, that the title was changed without my knowledge or consent and that another contributing author had a similar comment about her own article on this site. Great care was taken in the choosing of my title, and I hate to see it changed, especially without permission. Can this be altered on your webpage? Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
    It looks as if you’re doing good work here on this important website! Kudos!
    Susan Christhilf

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