Shifting Our Perception of Pain — Justin’s Journey

Pain Explosion Artwork by Julian Robles

Pain Explosion
Artwork by Julian Robles

Alia’s Comments: My two most recent posts about emotional and mental pain elicited such a response for readers that I almost put up a third post featuring more of your responses. Thank you again everyone who contributed to this valuable conversation. I sensed that there was something more to say regarding our journey toward wholeness but I didn’t know exactly what form that would take.

About a week ago, my friends Justin and Julian of “Stillness in the Storm,” posted a very personal account of Justin’s six-month face-off with extreme, unbearable, physical pain — the kind that could be described as “a living hell or nightmare” that had taken over his waking reality just as he and Julian made their decision to come to Morocco back in mid-January.

Tomas and I live in the same apartment building as Justin and have interacted with him several times a week for the past four months and WE HAD NO IDEA that this was going on for him until we read it on his blog.

Justin told us he was “good at hiding his condition.” Yeah! Really good at it, unless, of course, I was so involved in my own inner process that I failed to notice HIS! These patterns have a way of isolating us and thereby denying us the support of others during our times of greatest need.

Again, this post may not be for everyone. However, I will cite two great reasons to take a look at this post. 1) Justin has been able to write a detailed accounting of his entire process — from hell to equanimity (and physical healing.) For anyone experiencing this kind of intense, unremitting physical pain, Justin’s journey offers a step by step “guide to the territory” that might yield insights into your own circumstance. 2) Julian Robles has illustrated this post with more of his amazing artwork and photographs, some of which reveal more of the extraordinary beauty of the Rif Mountains near Chefchaouen (the Blue City.) Thank you Julian; they are magnificent!

Justin — I honor and respect you for finding an honorable and integrous path through your pain, working your own alchemical transmutations, until you shifted your perception of the situation, which brought you to a more whole and balanced place within yourself and your world. Thank you for doing this vital work.

As “A Course in Miracles” tells us: “When I am healed, I am not healed alone.”


Readers Respond to “A Personal Apocalypse”

Supporting One Another in Love

Supporting One Another in Love

My last post struck a resonant chord with many readers and several replied by email (as well as in the comments section of the post) with heartwarming stories of their own experiences, past and present, useful suggestions and techniques for dealing with such dark period, including links to other sites and videos that had encouraged them and helped them in their hours of need.

I asked permission to use the relevant parts of the email messages for this post in order to “share the wealth” of information and inspiration that came to me as a result of my personal accounting of my bouts with periods of debilitating fatigue and (for lack of a better word) depression.

I also want to express my gratitude to Robin Williams who, in transitioning out of physical life, seems to have given an infusion of loving encouragement and hope to millions who are struggling with these issues.

My last “episode” that lasted four days brought me to a new level of awareness with my own energy field. I have had several opportunities since then to face off with and bar entry to (or banish energy from) my personal energetic space. Each time I have done this, I have gained more awareness of what my own energy feels like and I’ve come to understand the phrase “eternal vigilance” at a new and heightened level. Each time I have stood for my Self, I have been surprised to find that whatever discordant energy was vying for entry or attention – vanished without argument.

These are great gifts – to know, not only that I am responsible for keeping my energy field clear but that I actually CAN. And from you, Dear Readers, I received the great gift of LOVE coming in the forms of your support, helpful hints, prayers and accolades.

Without further ado, here are some of your gems that currently fill my treasure chest. Names have been withheld but the words are verbatim as they came from you. There is such rich abundance here for anyone faced with any form of “dark night of the Soul” syndrome. Please receive all of this bounty as though it were directed to you, personally. It is here for all of us. NOW, let’s remember to draw upon this rich store of treasure in our time of need.
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A Personal Apocalypse — Unveiling/Revealing

Amen, Sister!

Amen, Sister!

This post will not be for “everyone.” If you find yourself not resonating with the content, please come back later. However, I know there are some of you who will find this information a welcome relief and an accurate description of symptoms that may similarly plague you. Perhaps you have banished these “demons” long ago. Wonderful! Bravo! For me, it has been a 60+ year journey during which time I have suffered greatly under my own harsh judgment that “something must be really wrong with me for feeling this way.”

What I am referring to is a certain ”pattern” or “syndrome” that would come upon me suddenly and inexplicably (and most inconveniently, I might add) wherein I would feel so fatigued and devoid of any positive initiative that all I could do is take myself to bed (if possible) and amuse myself (usually reading) until “it” was over – normally about three days.

This has been a life-long problem, although I can’t remember it prior to my teen years. I have probably “lost” hundreds of days throughout my lifetime and every time this pattern would recur, I would heap more judgment and disdain upon myself. Since I came to Morocco, this pattern has intensified to the point where I just gave up relying on my body to support me. I never knew when or for how long I would be “down for the count,” “out of commission,” feeling completely “useless.”
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Ramadan IV — The Festival (Eid ul Fitr) and a Few Final Thoughts

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak

In Morocco Ramadan officially ended Monday, July 28th with the sighting of the new moon in the next month of Shawwal. Tuesday, July 29th marked first day of Eid ul Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast. Greetings of “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid) abounded, in person and throughout social media.

As there wasn’t too much that I could observe on a first-hand basis about this aspect of Ramadan, I will relate a couple of stories that others reported to me and conclude with a few final thoughts about this unique month in the Islamic calendar.
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