With Cindy Lindsay Rael
Illness carries with it a lot of shame. But shame is an illusion, as is the illness. We can find our way through with our soul mates, non-judgment, love, self-love, reminders of our divine soul nature, some helpful mantras and processes, and surrender into our journey with joy.
The true soul nature of us is still there while we are ill. It is just in transition. With some help, it can be growing strong, even as the body weakens. Let us help each other to see and embody the divine nature of our illness journey. And no matter where that journey leads us, let us see and know God within ourselves.
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As I said in the last episode of soul talk, I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I want to do a series of short talks here about the process of illness and facing doctors and test. So many of us go through that. It deserves some reflection.
I am noticing that there is a lot of shame that comes up in illness. I have clients who have talked to me about this and I am feeling it myself as I go through my own health trials with breast cancer.
It is hard enough to focus on our healing journey with all that has to be faced and done. And unfortunately, feeling shame can be a profound part of it. So today let’s talk about it and see what we can do about it.
The Private Nature of Illness
First of all, illness can be quite a private thing. There are feelings of vulnerability, disbelief, fear, and helplessness that come up with a diagnosis. Further, often people are in pain, or exhaustion or in states of negative emotions. These are all difficult things to work through.
But the private nature of illness can exacerbate their effect on us. Many people do not share their vulnerable places and feelings with others. To have to tell others about their diagnosis just feels too private and exposing.
Some of us were brought up to ‘tuff it out’. We were taught not to show our weak places and to ‘play through our pain’. To have to admit to someone else that we are not 100%, is embarrassing. We don’t want to be seen as helpless, sick, fearful, emotional, or a complainer.
This can be worse if there is no medical diagnosis for our illness. Even worse still if we are told that is just in our heads. Now we are not only sick, but we are crazy and apparently to blame for our illness.
Talking to Soul Mates
So, what can be done about this? I will talk for myself here. I am very private, a virtual hermit. In addition, I am quite the independent, self-reliant type. I am also a healer who is now seriously sick. I did not want to tell anyone, especially clients. In my head my thought was ‘who would come to a healer who is sick?’ You can hear the shame working here.
I went first to my soul mates. My husband and the set of friends I know will love me without judgment no matter what. For those of us who do not talk much about our private matters, we do need a few eternal friends, whom we do not judge and who do not judge us.
My first suggestion is to develop and nurture those true friends now. Before you need them. Just share love. When you need, share with them. When they need, hear their needs as well. (For more information on developing soul mate I did several earlier soul talk episodes).
My soul mates stood with me in the shock, the fear, the confusion and shame. While I was in shock, they thought clearly about next steps and helped me take them.
But also, they saw me. They saw me as the healer, divine soul, the loving person I try to be. They did not see me as my illness, but as my greatness. They reflected that to me. In my weakest moments they saw and reflected to me my strength. They reminded me that I am a spiritual person and that even illness is spiritual journey. They made this journey feel spiritually heroic and meaningful. By reflecting to me the me they know, they helped me gain a spiritual perspective to my illness that helped me regain my sense of self. I am healer who is sick and that can be a kind of blessing; of knowing, of empathy, and of going through and clearing in me to be in a higher place.
This becomes especially important in the vulnerable times when old blocks and emotional issues come forward. Illness can really bring up things we thought we had dealt with. There we are again in some old fear, or pain we thought we were doing pretty well with in our life. For me it was my deepest block of unworthiness which played on me and attached to self-identity and my finances.
If you are the soul mate to someone who is facing an illness. First, feel with them the shock and sadness. At first, do not diminish their experience saying you’ll be fine, it will be ok. But do say things Like we will do this together, you are not alone.
Second, help your soul mate to know what to do next and to do it for their highest self. In all this, see and reflect to them their divine soul nature that you love and know. Don’t minimize the experience, maximize the person. They are still them, even under this pain. Reflect that to them.
I have some clients who were ill for so long, that others just lost steam to call, visit, and help.
One client who was close to death for many years with Lyme disease. Her life narrowed down to just trying to survive the illness. It became all about incapacitation, Dr.’s hopeless pronouncements, and cures that did not work. She was not only debilitatingly ill, she was in a profound and prolonged grief and loss of her normal life.
She found as she went deeper into the illness and grief and the years stretched on, that her friends could no longer take that journey with her. They stopped calling and checking in. They just seemed to disappear. Of course, this loss of friends and support added to her grief. She felt as though she was going through the underworld and was detached from all normal human life. I am happy to report she did find her way though, and that is a testament to her strong soul.
As soul mates of those in chronic illness we need to stay the course, stay present, and stay willing.
But for spiritual people there is sometimes an added shame—spiritual shame. We sometimes wonder what we have done wrong that God would bring this to us. There are various beliefs about that in various spiritual traditions.
In my tradition people often say, “it’s your karma.” When you are seriously sick, to hear “it your karma,” can feel very shaming. In the fearful and pained mind set of illness, that can be heard as “You did something wrong in a past life.” “You were a bad person who now needs to suffer and pay that.” It can feel like blame.
Of course, it is karma. Everything is karma. Karma is the auto play of the illusion on us to get our soul lessons. Thus, these people are not wrong; it is karma.
However, to release the shame of that we need to switch our perspective. It is karma. But It is also the great opportunity of the lessons of our soul. It is our soul journey. It is what our soul is calling us to experience so that we can grow and become even greater than we are now.
For me, I needed to switch from the shame that I am a bad person or bad healer. To: I am the divine soul who is called to know, even more deeply, the nature of illness and healing. I am being called to face my human fears, and shame and overcome them because my soul yearns to go higher. And my soul (and every soul) is greater than those illusions.
Beyond the spiritual nature of illness there is the mundane illusion to deal with: doctors, appointments, medications, insurance companies, and bills. Too often in the US (and other countries I am sure), prolonged illness can leave people financially destitute.
We can see this financial aspect evidenced from how many people need to do internet funding campaigns to pay for illness.
It is a very good way to share love and hope. But it also can be humiliating and feel shameful. For me, I was beating myself up for not having proper insurance. I was beating myself up choosing a very alternative life style which could not afford savings or retirement. I was beating myself up for not being able to handle this all myself. I also feared others would judge me for these things as well. Why not? I was judging myself.
Because I could not pay for my time off or my medical treatments, my friends put up a GoFundMe site, from their pure love. But then there it was. My self-flagellation turned into my very public shame.
As a result of that GoFundMe, people wrote such beautiful loving things and offered so generously. I was so touched by this. It did begin the healing of that shame. But I still had to get through the shame to really receive the love and help they were so freely offering.
To do that I had to get over myself. All this beating myself up is a symptom of one of my deepest blocks: unworthiness. I started with talking with one of my soul mates who had faced severe financial difficulties in her life. Just knowing she would know and not judge that lifted a part of the shame. It was out there, and I was still loved and valued.
In addition to benefitting from the many prayers sent my way, I used these two mechanisms from Sri Kaleshwar for releasing unworthiness and other deep pain.
In the first one, you take a strong shower. Then sit with your thumb in a rose and decharge all your pains, fears, and painful thoughts. You do this by naming it and praying strongly for its release. Do this for as long as it takes—even hours. Then you give the rose to the feet of a Shirdi Sai Baba murti.
I have used this one before when this unworthiness came up strongly while I was in Sri Kaleshwar’s ashram in Penukonda. Now I am doing it again. And I will continue to do it anytime this old block of my own illusion is holding me back.
We are divine, shame and unworthiness are pure illusion. We are particles of God. We are the Divine Mother in form. But sometimes we need to find that again in ourselves.
The second is another way of giving it away to the Guru. Sri Kaleshwar said that we need to try to handle the suffering (because it is our soul journey) but if becomes too much, we can give it away:
“Sometimes whenever you’re going in a really hard time, just simply open your heart and ask Him, “Hey, I can’t handle it–it’s pretty good done. I’m pretty good over-tired. Please take away this pain.” The master’s energy is there. But try to handle as much as you can–it’s your duty.”
I went to my alter with Sri Kaleshwar, Shirdi Sai Baba, Jesus, and Mother, but you can go to your form of God. There I bowed down to the floor and, in my mind, I had a frank and open expression of my pain. But after that I also sought to give that pain away. I said things like: “You gave this, show me the way through it; I want to grow from this; If this is what it takes, ok; But please Baba help me through, take this from me.”
After a long crying and begging session. I felt the relief waves wash over me.
Shame of Not Being Who We Once Were
The final shame I want to address today is the shame of feeling we are not ourselves; we are not who we once were. In illness we may lose or have to stop our work or activities which defined us. Our bodies may no longer look or feel the same. Our whole daily routine changes. We just are not who we used to be.
As long as we expect ourselves to be the old self—we will be in pain and shame. We are different. We will be different. That was the divine purpose of all this. To find a different state of self.
This is not easy. And all I can do is share is my own journey in this one and hope that it helps. First, I had to take my consciousness off of the painful and shameful differences. This required some redefinition of things and switching of my negative thoughts which were defining these differences. I used a powerful mantra given by Sri Kaleshwar which helps release negative thoughts. I have mentioned this one before on Soul Talk and I am happy to give you this mantra if you write to me at email@example.com. I needed to stop the thoughts that were playing the negative side of these changes and this mantra really helped.
One example is, that at first, I was thinking of my impeding mastectomy as a kind body mutilation and a loss of my attractiveness. The first time this cropped up within my thoughts, I told myself this was ridiculous. “Come on Cindy, the doctors said it was necessary and this was the way to be free of cancer.” But over several days it continued to pop up when I was tired or awake in the middle of the night. Each time it popped up I did the mantra and it shifted. After a few days of this it just stopped popping up.
But then a beautiful divine soul from Laytonville offered me an even higher step, a redefinition of my mastectomy. After we talked, I could see the mastectomy as part of my spiritual journey; a kind of surrender and offering. Since my spiritual journey is the light of my life, my mastectomy became part of that light. What a gift to be given to be able to see and understand it that way.
I want us all to feel that gift. To know that whatever we are facing, it is a spiritual journey we can meet. We can do it. We are divine souls here on a mission and this is part of that mission. What we have to face is not a shame or a loss, it is our chance to find the truth of our own souls even in the process of illness or facing death. We can advance our soul energy, that is what this is meant to do.
So, let’s help each other to remember this. Let’s talk about it with our soul mates. Let’s hold each other in non-judgment and love. Let’s remind each other of our divine soul nature. That soul truth of us is still there while we are ill. With some help it can be growing strong, even as the body weakens. Let us help each other to see and embody the divine nature of our illness journey. And no matter where that journey leads us, let us see and know God within ourselves.
Cindy Lindsay Rael
has been an energy healer and teacher for 25 years. She has studied with Sri Kaleshwar since 2001. She is a graduate of Kaleshwar's Soul University in India and is a certified teacher of the ancient mantra and yantra systems. Prior to her work in the Vedic tradition, she studied, conducted healing, and taught in the Inca traditions of Peru. Cindy also earned a PhD. in Psychology and was a university professor and consultant.
Cindy conducts both distance and in-person healing sessions and teachings. To read more on her approach to Sai Shakti Healing see www.divinesoulhealer.com. In addition, Cindy offers Divine Baby Blessings to pregnant mothers and works with many issues of the Holy Womb (www.wombhealing.com).