We cannot deny that there is much illness in our world today. Despite all types of remedies, natural and man-made, there is still illness. Illness increasing alarmingly in diversity, so that healing it, curing it, becomes an ongoing challenge if it can indeed ever be healed or cured. Much time, effort and money is spent in trying to do so as is becoming increasingly evident. How many people in fact actually stop and look at that? Stop all the flurry of activity, the ingesting of drugs or miracle cures, the practising of exercises or techniques to look at what illness can actually represent. Especially now, during the ongoing world-wide pandemic and the onset of a seemingly mysterious illness known as Long Covid, many people are being forced by lethargy and utter exhaustion to reduce their activities very considerably and are being necessarily introduced to something called “rest”!
As is apparent these days generally, the need for rest, for “time out” may be recognised but not always heeded. Rest is being forced upon us!! Rest creates space for reflection, time to inwardly consider things, but one must be prepared to take that opportunity. Rest is invaluable and if not recognised as such may well be forced upon us by illness. We are too weak, too frail, too sick to do anything other than rest, to be still.
There is stillness in illness – vital to recovery. Too often we are prescribed pills, remedies or whatever and encouraged to continue on our way, negating the need to reflect, to consider what might have caused our illness and what benefit there might be in becoming still through illness. Illness generally brings about change. Through becoming ill, and particularly through stopping for a time if indeed we have the opportunity to do so, we can begin to perceive things differently, consider things we have been too busy to look at. Experience a different perspective.
From a personal experience of the illness associated with Long Covid, the following realisations have come to light. Firstly, not to scorn illness or those who are ill, not to see it as a weakness but, from a spiritual perspective, as a gateway that can offer another reality. The importance also of allowing illness to take its course, in its own time. Acknowledge its presence, treat it as required, but not rush it, not attempt to get back to normal. After all, so-called normal seems not to exist any more. Illness has a starting and an ending. We need to value the role of illness in the healing process of the body – physically, mentally, emotionally and ultimately spiritually. To break the connection with worldly events for a period of time and to look within. Discover what is needed from an inner perspective to recover from the illness or resolve it over time; the many burdens we carry on many levels in our lives and perhaps need to let go of. Essentially, to become still. In that stillness lies the opportunity for a new reality to emerge, slowly but surely, which is disconnected from our everyday lives and offers a totally different perspective. A sensing, perhaps fleetingly, of a reality that sparkles with a freedom and peace not previously able to emerge.
In stillness, the stillness of illness, allowing our body to be pervaded by something entirely new; the stillness of illness becoming the stillness of life.