4 minutes to read

Clarity: The Unexpected Gift of Chronic Illness

In each of my Healing Touch sessions I work with my clients to set an intention around what they want to experience. A goal I hear often is the desire to move forward.

But how do you move forward when you’re feeling so exhausted the next steps are not clear?

My client Anne was struggling with this question as she continued to heal from Lyme disease. Anne and I had been working together for several weeks to alleviate her physical symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, and gastrointestinal issues. Our sessions also uncovered a deep sadness that Anne felt about being ill, and led to opportunities for self-forgiveness and emotional healing. Both proved to powerfully accelerate her progress.

As she continued to move forward, she was finding more connection between past patterns and future goals. In one session, Anne shared that she had a habit of being swept up in the momentum of external events; she was able to pinpoint that, since the age of eight, she was always looking for the next step rather than being conscious of how she was feeling in the present moment.

Now, at 23, she’s spent five years dealing with Lyme symptoms that have often been debilitating. One day in the shower she even thought “What if I died? What would I want to be my most important accomplishment?” It was in that moment that she realized she wanted to take her education in a totally new direction, connecting her love for the arts with a deep desire to become involved in environmental activism.

Anne has decided to be proactive. She doesn’t want to think about Lyme as “chronic” because that implies that it will be forever.

“I prefer to think that I got Lyme, I had it for a while before I started treatment, but now I’m in treatment and it will eventually be gone.”

From this mindset, she realizes that her true goal is to be part of a community that heals, inspires, and changes people. She’s arranged to spend the upcoming year in Europe working at a peace and reconciliation center with people from around the world, learning about conflict theory and mediation.

“This illness has helped me realign with my calling. When I finally put on the brakes and paused, I saw that there was something really unhealthy there. I found the silver lining.”

Anne’s silver lining has been a renewed sense of clarity.

When Anne returns from Europe next year she plans to start working on a masters degree in nonprofit management. She told me about sharing her new plans with her parents. At first their conversations were turbulent because her idea seemed irrational to them. They thought Anne was planning to pursue the arts in a more traditional way, and didn’t understand her change of heart. But Anne knew there was a consistent thread that connected her goals; she just hadn’t been able to articulate it clearly.

On a vacation with her family in the mountains, Anne was hiking when she experienced a great sense of certainty. Standing at the base of the mountains, she felt more in touch with her Hara Line – that part of our energy system that connects us to the Earth and holds our life purpose. She had another conversation with her parents.

“I sat them down and told them what I wanted to do.” She said her dream was to start her own nonprofit one day that will combine her interests in environmental advocacy and art.

“This time,” she said, “it was a thought-out plan rather than a loose idea. And when I laid it out for them they were completely on board.”

Anne’s journey has been a perfect example of how dealing with a chronic disease can lead to the unexpected gift of clarity.

“Healing Touch has given me the space to be hopeful about my future AND has opened my mind to the creative space that brought these ideas to me.”

Next week I’ll share 5 ways that Healing Touch can help you the same way it has helped Anne these past few months.

Katie Oberlin

A Healing Touch Certified Practitioner, Katie received advanced training in shamanic healing at The Power Path School of Shamanism in 2014. Her travels have taken her to power spots in the southwestern United States, as well as Mexico and Peru, where she has worked with shamans from the Q’ero and Shipibo indigenous healing traditions.