I decided this morning I am going to do my best to portray something I feel is important for those of us on the path to awakening and wholeness. It has to do with illness and death. Two days ago, my dog Lily walked from the back of our place basically two miles back and forth to her favorite canal and lake behind our home. I was startled, to say the least, because she has spinal degeneration and three days before she had laid in her bed and slept for 12 hours as if she was dying. This has never happened in all the 14 years we have had together. Then, two days ago, I carefully walked her outside our fence and off she went no problem at all. She usually does not take off in front of me heaven bent to take a walk, but she led the way and I let her. I had the uncanny feeling she was making the most out of her last days, but I shook it off. Then, yesterday, she either could not put any weight on her front right leg or her back left leg and once again was lethargic and unresponsive.
This is what led me to write this post. In our modern world, we are so black and white. Being ill, or the process of death is a bother because we want to be up not down. It isn’t like that, however. I have a client and a Spiral member both of whom have had to stop their lives to include an ailing parent or relative. I am stopping my life for Lily’s final days. They could be four days or four years for all I know. I have a Spiral member who has tumors and blood clots that threaten her life daily. I know it is hard when the process of daily life is interrupted, but there is a gift in every advent of life’s journey. Downtime is contemplation time…being…being…being. The time to be with our inner world, which is, believe me, so precious is seldom explored. Uptime is to be with our outside world…doing…doing…doing. To live only trying to be functional again and to hold that our lives are interrupted by illness whether ours or another or by death is a misnomer. Why do spiritual initiates spend years meditating? Could it be in our modern world illness and dying are the closest moments we get to be with the richness of our spirit? Is there a way to take advantage of this opportunity? One of our Spiral members had her heart completely reconstructed. It is taking her years to rebuild. When I had terminal cancer in 1997, it took me five years to get back on my feet. It was hard, but in hindsight, the love my children and I shared, the richness of others’ love was undeniably one of the landmark transformative moments of my existence. Not the disease, but what the space-taken opened me up into. Think about it.