Being chronically-ill can be a very lonely business. I feel it has been an important thing for me to find a way to be more connected, not to people as much, funnily enough, but to the Universe. Now there’s a statement I thought you’d never hear me say!
“Has she finally lost it?” you are thinking! Well, maybe; I am doing what feels right for me, and I think developing a feeling of more ‘connectedness’ somehow has given me a lot more strength. However, there is more to it than that.
The simple fact is that many people who develop chronic illness of some kind, especially pain and over-stimulation type syndromes (over-reactive, like many of us, which then can lead to under-active syndromes ie. ME etc in some cases) have a history of separation anxiety or abandonment. The illness is particularly likely to begin in our forties, but can reach right back to our earlier years. That’s what the psychologists tell us anyway and many of you have shared your stories with me and I do a see a seam of that running through certainly.
I counted up once and have basically lost 4 mothers or mother-figures, 4 fathers, 4 siblings and was ripped from my childhood home repeatedly and then completely at 10. Very careless ;). Seriously, that is a LOT of separation anxiety right there! Thankfully, I have got some of those back now :). But, it doesn’t have to be as overt at that, of course. It might be that you feel unsupported by a partner in your illness, or are hiding stuff from colleagues at work, even that you lost your beloved pet or a job. Those are all separation and abandonment, aren’t they?
Anyway, I think a lot of people could benefit from more support and a stronger sense of belonging. For me, that has come through the meditation. It has a way of somehow connecting you to what they call ‘Source’. Now that could mean God, Nature, Qi or whatever suits your way of thinking about it. For some, meditation is a powerful prayer to their God; for others, including me, it makes you feel part of a much bigger whole and therefore less alone with the illness and your thoughts. There is no right or wrong way; just what you choose to believe in. Belief is a very powerful thing and can really help your healing if you recognise and use it. Instead of thinking of myself as an orphan Annie now, I choose to see myself as a sort-of ‘child of the Universe’, connected to all things. Very spiritual! But, it works for me and I am mentioning it in case any of you feel a bit alone with all this and need that extra level of deep-rooted support. It is there for the taking.
For me, I got this through meditation, but it didn’t happen overnight. Over time, just being told you are connected to everyone and everything, as in the ‘butterfly effect’ where a butterfly flaps it’s wings in China and the sea changes in Africa or something like that!, just starts to sink in. I am now a tiny pixel in the computer wallpaper of the world. Whatever, it feels nicer anyway 🙂
Which Compassion Meditation?
There are hundreds of different so-called compassion meditations, I’m sure. The meditation I found that helped me most with this was actually part of Vishen Lakhiani’s Envisioning Method. This is a 15-20 minute meditation process that involves 6 steps and is aimed at people who want to change their life. I think it is mostly aimed at entrepreneurs so some of the latter steps may need a bit of tweaking for us, but the stage 1 meditation: Connection and Compassion is the bit I am referring to here.
Vishen set up MindValley, actually, which is a fabulously ethical resource for mind body healing and, in fact, I will be coming back to two specific programmes via MindValley I found really helpful. For now, though, just concentrate on the Stage 1 of the Envisioning Method, which, happily, you can get for free 🙂 You do get loads of marketing emails from them, but you can unsubscribe to those quite easily so don’t let registering put you off. I set up a special email address, actually, during all these trials otherwise I would be inundated now!
The Connection & Compassion meditation basically has you extending a bubble of pure white light from your body to extend over the whole planet by the end. I liked it. It did indeed make me feel connected. Combining that with an affirmation of love and joy makes it doubly powerful. Have a go and see what you think. In fact, also do the full meditation at the end if you like. This is basically moving into creative visualisation techniques and I think they can be very helpful in their own right. We will be coming back to those later.
Here’s Vishen’s Intro video for you. I find he talks a bit fast for me, but the stuff he does is good and I like his ethics (if not his US-feels-too-much-for-us-Brits marketing!):
So, have a go at feeling more connected to the earth in some way. Go for more walks and really look at Nature around you. Look at the stars and realise how tiny your problems are in the big fat scheme of things. Try and practice compassion: think of someone you have hurt or who has hurt you, maybe, and send them some love and forgiveness. Let the hurt go; life truly is too short. We are somehow stronger together than as individuals, so work on asking for more universal support and I’m sure you will receive some.
In essence, today’s lesson is…
You don’t have to do this alone. If you feel a need for deep support beneath you, connection and compassion meditation can help.