Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Challenge of Illness - John O'Donohue

We never value or even see some things in our lives until we
are just about to lose them.  This is particularly true of health.
When we are in good health, we are so busy in the world
that we never even notice how well we are.  Illness comes
and challenges everything about us.  It unmasks all pretense.
When you are really ill, you cannot mask it.

Illness also tests the inner fiber and luminosity of the soul.
It is very difficult to take illness well.  Yet it seems that if
we treat illness as something external that has singled us
out, and we battle and resist it, the illness will refuse to leave.
On the other hand, we must not identify ourselves with our
illness. .....very ill people are often more alive to life's
possibilities than the medical verdict would ever allow or

When we learn to see our illness as a companion or friend,
it really does change the way the illness is present.  The
illness changes from a horrible intruder to a companion
who has something to teach us.

...Sometimes, when you see a thing as the enemy, you
only reinforce its presence and power over you...
Held openly, as a friend, this bit of unknown aliveness
may take you on an amazing journey to places you may
never have anticipated.  Such attention enriches and
deepens genuineness and presence.

Illness also focuses us onto our "inner landscape", into
resting deeply in the inner silence of the "Soul."  It is a
remedial silence that allows us to endure, to move through,
but not necessarily getting rid of the illness.  We can't have
an agenda - only deep acceptance of the companion - and
learn to navigate it.

John O'Donohue
From Eternal Echoes


Photo - Mystic Meandering


  1. Thanks...having enduring chronic conditions, I'm glad to consider this viewpoint. While it feels strange, because I'd really like (REALLY) to keep these entities as foreigners to my being, separate and perhaps to someday disappear, I will try this viewpoint today.

    1. Yes, I understand... I too endure "chronic conditions", and then sometimes get slammed with other unexpected things out of the blue. In a sense they are "foreigners to your being" as you say, but everything is also allowed. The challenge becomes to accept as best we can and learn to navigate it. After all it is what's so. Which also means getting the medical help that one needs to navigate it, not laying on one's back like a beetle :) LOLOLOL Everything has its own course, so patience and endurance are needed as well...

  2. wishing you health and healing, growth through adversity, all held within the arms of love.

    1. Thank you Dean, I appreciate that... Am slowly moving through - hopefully. Learning to be with what is...


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