Bolen tells the story of the death of her son. When the eyes of the patient or others who are there turn inward. What are our dreams saying? Audire dissentiunt mediocritatem an nam, at erat accumsan usu, volutpat petentium suavitate ei nam. How we respond to unchosen circumstances shapes who we are and provides intimations about the meaning of our particular life. Anything said here is in the public domain. A diagnosis such as cancer, or waking up in an Intensive Care Unit after a heart attack, or any other close call brings home the reality that life is a terminal condition. When they are, the soul looks outward for a moment, and we hope that we can truly share the depth into which illness is taking us.
Maybe it will come to you through synchronicity to affirm what you intuitively know and to support you to do whatever it is that will heal you. Close to the Bone follows the patients and their loved ones on a path which, soon after diagnosis, brings them into a kind of underworld of experience, a state of emotional trauma that has the potential to strip away what become merely superfluous concerns, focusing the individual on what is truly important. It is this experience, along with the archetypal underpinning provided by mythology, that is the soul of the book I hope this book will be an inner companion during a time of descent or difficulty. We go to doctors and to hospitals with the expectation that they will take care of our bodies. I believe that illness can be a call to consciousness, a wake-up call some would say, and that illness involves a descent into the depths and an exposure to what we fear.
What did we come to learn? Bolen affirms that the price of going into the scary places, of feeling like a piece of green meat on a hook, is high, but worth it. At such moments, we are as if naked, and all too often when we speak of such matters, the impulse of others is to hurriedly cover up our words with a thin layer of reassurance—to which we respond by withdrawing. I tell about the events at the time my son died and how he was heard from after his death. The patient and those accompanying the patient through this crisis are considered to behave well if they do not get in the way of whatever the doctors want to do with the ailing body. How we respond to unchosen circumstances shapes who we are and provides intimations about the meaning of our particular life. I also changed the subtitle of this revised edition from Life-Threatening Illness and the Search for Meaning to Life-Threaening Illness as a Soul Journey, which is fitting.
Such a crisis is not restricted to the person with the illness, nor is it just about the fate of a body. Bolen tells the story of the death of her son. Soul questions arise about the meaning of life when the mind is ill or the body is ailing. This book is meant to help and heal, to make people less afraid, and to encourage them to trust the wisdom they have inside--what they know in their bones. Who or what did we come to love? The recovery from the heart surgery has been remarkably smooth. We can connect to what we know in our bones. Life-threatening illness is a crisis for the soul.
We may see the truth of what matters, who matters, and what we have been doing with our lives and have to decide what to do—now that we know. This expanded edition includes a new section about forming circles in the time of crises, plus more stories that support the process of hope and the desire to live and change as well as a very personal passage in which Dr. When life is lived at the edge—in the border realm between life and death—it is a liminal time and place. Sometimes the soul is healed and the body does not recover. It tickles me to wonder whether this might mean that it will also come with angels. The first scary symptom, ominous scan, or abnormal blood test begins a descent into the metaphoric underworld. Essent nominavi appellantur et per.
Sometimes, we are caught looking inward, feeling something move in our own depths—a thought, a memory, emotion, an intuition, wisdom—and someone says, A penny for your thoughts? In this way I am, to say the least, a very reluctant learner. Mel prima vivendum aliquando ut. The E-mail message field is required. Psyche's Journey replaced Harbinger of Truth as a chapter title after I had more to say about the meaning of the four tasks in the myth of Eros and Psyche and the analogous difficulties that follow a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness. In either case, the outcome depends upon paying attention, becoming conscious of what truly matters to us, and acting upon what we know to save our life or heal our soul and our relationships. Whether the life-threatening illness is psychological or physical, when depression colors or influences thought and action, people often give up on themselves and on the future. Many days I am fed up, tired and want something different, anything different.
Now that there are medicines for it, it can become an underlying chronic condition much like diabetes and heart and pulmonary disease. Not just cancer, but also diseases that affect the health of body and mind strike people in their prime adult years. If a serious illness is a potential that will only be known after the biopsy or after the workup, a person who lives in the present can often put dire possibilities easily out of mind: an attitude of why borrow trouble? When something is expressed at a soul level, it is not something for the other to fix or minimize or deny or take personally; what is said and felt needs to be received, heard, accepted, held—as in a womb space, where the insights into ourselves and what matters to us can incubate, grow, and develop fully into consciousness. Illness is both soul shaking and soul evoking for the patient and all others to whom the patient matters. It is not an everyday word; it is one whose meaning I want to evoke out of the remembered experience of the reader and the collective memory of the human race, which we all have access to. I would much rather have a hip problem than heart disease. Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved.
Moreover, if the battle for a medical cure is lost, doctors often abandon the field, all but avoiding the patient, who is now a reminder of defeat. Soul Questions I believe that in any particular illness as in every individual life, the soul questions are the same: What did we come to do? Nam no nonumes volumus quaerendum, cu meis graeci audiam vis. To be out of touch with soul makes living an authentic, creative, interdependent, meaningful life impossible, and if we are susceptible to expressing spiritual isolation and emotional pain through physical symptoms, we shall likely get sick. As in her critically acclaimed best-seller Goddesses in Everywoman, the author weaves myth, experience, and story to produce a book which at once illuminates the experience of the seriously ill patient and shows that facing one's mortality can be a life-transforming, and even a life-saving, process. It is then not enough to treat a depression only with medications or to only pay attention to the physical signs and symptoms of disease, when giving up on life having any meaning, now or in the future, is the underlying life-or-death issue. In Close to the Bone Conari Press, April 2007 , Bolen recognizes that a life-threatening illness is a crisis for both body and soul, that it can be a wake-up call or a turning point.
Most people think that doctors have the final word about length of time remaining and might think differently if they met people like themselves who once were given months to live and years later are thriving. We will all face health crises--our own and others. Soul-searching questions are those that people who are addicted to work or to alcohol or to superficial activities are warding off by their addictions. We can connect to what we. Illness as a Psychological Ordeal The travails of being a patient and the physical illness together are an ordeal that can have a transformative effect on the soul. This is not to say that illness is ever welcomed. Since hope and the desire to live are supported by stories about what worked for people who outlived their prognosis, went into remission, or made remarkable recoveries, I added more information and stories to Sometimes We Need a Story.