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Elke Zilla

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The Healing Power of Hope
By Elke Zilla   
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Last edited: Friday, November 20, 2009
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2009

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A new perspective on alzheimers disease...one of hope and deeper understanding

THE HEALING POWER OF HOPE

By Elke Zilla

Hope does not deny the present darkness, but it reminds us that dawn is coming”…Martin Luther King Jr.

While waiting at the lab for tests one day, I shared a journal entry with a lovely older man seated next to me. In anticipation of my next article, I had written,

We can never fully understand why things happen. Things happen for different reasons; reasons beyond our grasp; reasons perhaps unique to our soul’s code. For all of us, uncertainty is a reality of human life, but if we live in the apprehension of illness we surrender part of our lifetime to fear. The biggest challenge for all of us is to trust enough, to relax fully into life and embrace the healing power of hope through whatever pervasive concern is inviting our attention.

 

The gentleman completed reading, and sat silently for a few moments.  Then, he candidly asked a question that ran through me like a dagger, “Is it possible that your personal, optimistic crusade through illness might give false hope to those whose prognosis is much more serious?”

 

Flabbergasted that he had questioned my unwavering dedication to hope, I tried to make some sense of his words by asking myself the following questions:

 

False hope…what is that?

Is it wrong to extend hope to another who is moving through a more advanced stage of the same illness?

Does one person’s good fortune and healing mean the other must be denied and forgotten?

Would I see anything differently if my prognosis were dire?

Do I have the audacity to declare that no matter what the circumstance--all will be well? .

 

During my journey with cancer, I have had enthusiastic, compassionate teachers. The little seeds of hope they offered have served as catalysts for change. These nuggets of encouragement elevated me to higher ground and ultimately have had a tremendous impact on my body at the cellular level. It is my joy to share the inspiration and wisdom that so many have given me. As so lovingly demonstrated in our own Cancer Relay for life, we all pass the baton as participants, luminaries and pacesetters on a track that completely infuses the healing process for ourselves, our team mates and those whose names we honor. There is no place in this race for false hope. The victory lap begins and ends in the mind.

 

The mind always believes and has faith in something. The question is, “Do you have faith in the power of fear or do you have faith in the power of possibility?” More specifically, “Do you have more faith in the power of cancer to kill you than you have faith in the power of love to heal you?” When we perceive things differently and optimistically, there accrues unto us a peaceful presence, a power to remove whatever challenge might otherwise hold us down or sway its authority over us. You’re not denying that the illness or difficulty exists, but you’ve denied its power over you. And it is this state of sublime peacefulness that opens you to answers.

 

Several months ago I attended an extraordinary sold-out event in Toronto called Dreamhealer. The conference was facilitated by Adam, a 24 year old molecular biologist from Vancouver.  Adam is a profoundly gifted energy healer who shares the miraculous story of how he discovered his ability to heal injuries and illness. His workshops focus on dramatic visualizations, self-healing and empowerment. For me this was uncharted territory--experiencing how our thoughts and intentions influence the body’s biochemistry, activate the immune system and restore the body, mind and spirit to their natural states.

 

In my group were people from all over the world enduring various stages of illness; many of them were in wheelchairs. There were also a number of conventional healing practitioners. It was fascinating to explore together our intrinsic powers of transformation and regeneration while learning how to attain new levels of spiritual and bodily health. The contagious optimism, invaluable resources and life-long friendships that were offered continue to invigorate and support me through some of the more challenging hours.

 

None of us can know the true path for another human being travelling the course of an illness, for from our limited perspectives we are not party to the ultimate wisdom of all things. It is not helpful to compare one person’s stage of sickness to another’s, or to measure one person’s choices of treatment against someone else’s.  If it is appropriate, we may offer to help.  Possibly the greatest gift we can give to a person in pain is to hold in our own minds the vision of that individual moving beyond the present darkness fully into light.

 

I fondly remember how such an experience left me with extraordinary reverence, compassion and hope for the human spirit.

I’m in a little room. I’m looking at another lovely older man, my father.  I’m holding his hand. We have just moved him to another bed by the window. The view is lovely; the final prognosis is not.  He won’t be coming home again.

 

The doctors are gentle in disclosing the inescapable final analysis, “We don’t want to hold out any false hope. We don’t know how many hours he has left. Your father’s body is failing him.”

 

For the first time, I surrender into helplessness and deep sorrow. My attempts to revive his burdened breathing and infuse his shrinking frailty with a fighting spirit have, at last, fallen short. The diagnosis of false hope is now trampling my quiet resolve, mocking my fortitude and festering through the veins of my faith.

 

Then, I feel a slight squeeze of his hand and a new moment is born, a holy instant reminding me of the true significance of this gallant passage.  I am granted the privilege of being present for my father’s last breath.  Throughout his beautiful transition, I came to a much richer understanding--that undying hope lives on until the last inhalation.  

 

The epiphany of that moment helped me grasp the importance of living and dying well. When love is abiding, there is no such thing as false hope. Our last hope can always be granted: Let us go in peace, in a comfortable, soothing environment; one in which we can experience our genuine eternal connection to Love, knowing that our life has had meaning and that we will live on through the splendor of our loved ones.

 

We can never fully understand why things happen. Things happen for different reasons; reasons beyond our grasp; reasons perhaps unique to our soul’s code. For all of us, uncertainty is a reality of human life, but if we live in the apprehension of illness we surrender part of our lifetime to fear. The biggest challenge for all of us is to trust enough, to relax fully into life and embrace the healing power of hope through whatever pervasive concern is inviting our attention.

Herein lies the peace of God

All is well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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