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The Symbolism of Illness
Our illnesses are meaningful, symbolic and have a spiritual purpose. They offer the possibility of greater healing. Physical illnesses are designed to help our souls grow, make improvements in our lives or create a way for us to leave our present lives. The choice to work out life issues through the body is just one choice that our souls can make.
“Health is one of the arenas in which we can learn about ourselves and the world. Other arenas include relationships, work, and money. More general life arenas exist: the mental, psychological, and emotional. We tend to focus on one or two of these areas in our lives, although we may have issues or problems in several of them.
This will become evident as you look at yourself, your family, friends, and acquaintances. Certain of your friends or family members, for example, don’t seem to have much trouble with their health, but they may have a terrible time with relationships. Someone else will always be having problems with money or with settling on a satisfying career. Still another may find his or her spiritual life to be the greatest challenge.” (Trowbridge 1996, xii)
In Chapter Three, I explained about living many, different lives (and provided proof of this), in order for our souls to develop in the direction they need to grow. Our souls have specific work to do in each lifetime and unless we do that work, there will be a conflict between our soul and our personality, which can create illness. Having said that, some souls choose to come into this lifetime with an illness, for the growth of their souls and those around them. A developmentally delayed individual may forego intellectual development in order to focus more on the emotional side of being. A physically disabled individual may be creating a path in which the intellect or the imagination is given more priority. A serious illness can teach an individual to be less selfish, more loving, humble, helpful, appreciative, courageous or able to live in the present moment, to name a few.