Growing up in the tiny hamlet of Bala, Ontario, Canada, our parents sent my brothers and me to church every Sunday [they never joined us … hmmm!], first to Sunday school and then to regular church. I don’t recall being particularly enthralled with the experience, but we did learn about God. We were told that God was an all powerful being who lived outside of us, up in heaven, and that this God would judge us, condemn us and persecute us if we sinned. Again, I don’t recall what I thought of this notion, but I do know that it didn’t inspire me to behave.
At some point during my teenage years, I stopped believing in God. I don’t exactly recall why. It wasn’t an epiphany or major event in my life. Perhaps I just became disillusioned with what was going on the planet that time [the Vietnam War, student protests, the Watergate scandal, to name a few significant events] or perhaps it was just because I was so bloody angry with life.
I remained an atheist until I started seeing Jan, the massage therapist I was referred to in 1993. Jan talked about a different sort of God. This God she said was all around us, not just up in heaven. I have to admit, that at first I didn’t quite get it, and then one day it struck me; God isn’t just all around us. God is in us. God IS us. God is everything. God is like a lake. A lake is the sum total of all the water droplets in the lake. Similarly, God is the sum total of everything that exists; you, me, all the plants, all the trees, all the birds and everything else that exists in the universe.
And so began my spiritual journey, a journey [transformation] that has seen me through a corporate downsizing, a failed business venture, a marriage breakup and now, a significant health challenge.
Some of the more meaningful teachings that have helped me on this journey include:
- The awareness that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience
- The awareness that we all live in Oneness with God, participating in the flow of life
- The awareness that reincarnation exists
- The awareness that life has a purpose, which is to become conscious of who we really are and why we are really here on the planet
- The awareness that the secondary purpose of life is to let go of fear, anger and unresolved emotional pain
- The awareness that our suffering stems from our destructive thoughts which are the product of our egoic mind, which is separate from our true spiritual essence
- The awareness that the power of God lies within all of us
- The importance of living in the present moment
- The importance of accepting the present circumstances
- The importance of non-judgment
- The awareness that everything, including life itself, is impermanent
- The awareness that the single most important thing for our health and happiness is feeling good about ourselves
- The awareness that we could end all suffering on the planet simply by being kind to one another
An important aspect of this spiritual awakening is the awareness that everything has a purpose. Nothing exists or happens randomly and that includes disease. Parkinson’s I believe, has a purpose for me individually and for humankind as a whole. For humankind, it is one of many phenomenon meant to inspire us to change the way we live; to live more healthy and compassionately. For me personally, it is about learning how to heal this condition naturally and communicate my learnings to others.
Having a spiritual perspective on life has helped me deal more positively with Parkinson’s. It has helped me understand and release the anger and fear that are at the root of this health condition, and more importantly, the destructive thoughts that are at the root of the anger and fear. It has helped me to be more loving, kind and understanding. To be more tolerant. It has reduced stress and given my body the conditions it needs to heal. It has transformed my life!
Perhaps the single most benefit of my new found outlook is trust. Trust that my life is unfolding the way it is meant to and no matter what happens, I’ll be okay. With this comes a sense of peace and what could be better than that!