I was reading Caroline Myss’s book Anatomy of the Spirit when I came across a story she told that moved me to tears.
Caroline told the story of a a Native American man during World War 1 who had had a rough time growing up, becoming an alcoholic at a young age.
He eventually enrolled in the military, and ended up being captured by the Germans and tortured over the next couple of years.
He survived this and was brought back to the States at the end of the war, in a coma, remaining this way for 2 years.
When he came out of it, he was limp, with very little interest in life. He hobbled around with leg braces because of damaged legs and feet from the POW torture.
He decided to return to the reservation, say hello to his family and tribe and then go spend his remaining days in a VA hospital.
When he arrived at the res, his family and tribe looked at him in shock. He was a ghost. His spirit was gone from his body.
The tribal leaders got together and came up with a plan. They knew what he needed to do to “call back his spirit.”
They escorted him to the local lake, took off his leg braces and threw him into the water saying, “You must call back your spirit with all the strength and might you have.”
He remarked later that the hardest thing he ever did in his life, harder than being a prisoner of war, was that moment in the lake.
He fought not only his life, but for the spirit within that had been missing for so long. He found the strength and came to the surface taking a deep breath of air.
He went on to become a healer and leader in the tribal community. His vitality returned, he life force returned, his spirit was once again inhabiting his body.
Why does this story bring tears to my eyes?
When I was experiencing technology sensitivity and chronic pain, I felt and knew that my spirit was not in my body.
My vitality was not there, my creativity gone, my energy a faint candlelight in the background.
I had gotten use to it it to some degree, and found myself with a certain amount of comfort in it because it was now the norm, but inside my heart was yearning to find that spirit again.
It was a Friday afternoon when I sat on a friends couch after being on the computer much of the week, feeling sick from it, when she looked at me squarely and said, “Angela, you look like my son when he’s on heroin.”
That was the day I decided to call back my spirit. It was the day I listened to my intuition and took a daring step. It was the day I chose to jump into that lake and fight with all my might to find ME again.
It was the day I signed up for the program to rewire my brain and heal my body. It was an act of incredible faith and trust. And the effort didn’t stop there. It was almost a year of efforting, of calling back my spirit.
And it was worth every ounce of that effort.
My spirit is back, in full force and then some. I feel the most alive I’ve felt in years. I have the energy I had from when I was in my early 30’s. That aging thing about getting fatigued and needing rest days? Gone. At 47 I feel like a F#$%^G ROCK STAR.
Health challenges are one avenue of losing our spirit, and there are many others too – divorce, loss of a loved one, finances, many stressers all piled on top of each other, or one after another.
You’ll know your spirit is lost when you have that feeling of dread in the morning, a heaviness in your chest, lack of energy to do what you used to like to do, fear stopping you from doing what you love, lack of interest in being social, and more.
And it doesn’t have to stay that way.
You know you’re ready to call back your spirit when:
- You’re just down right tired of living with what you’re living with/feeling what you’re feeling
- You’re hearing quiet voices in the back of your mind telling you to read that book someone recommended, call that counselor you’d heard about, take that program that speaks to your heart, take some time to yourself, etc.
- You feel inspired and a little envious reading about someone elses vibrancy and energy.
And if you’re mind says, “Well, they can do that because… but I can’t because.” STOP IT. That’s your ego keeping you in the comfortable place. If you’ve tried before and it didn’t work, don’t give up.
If you could look past the fear for one moment, what is the one action step your heart is telling you to take to call back your spirit?
I promise, it’s so worth it.
Categories: Creativity, Health & Happiness, Inner Wisdom & Intuition