Have you ever heard the saying: "Nothing ever goes away until we've learnt what it was designed to teach us"?
Last year, I became convinced that this was indeed the case.
A few weeks after my daugher was born, I began to suffer with what I thought was haemorhoids. I later figured out it was actually an anal fissure (Kind of embarrassing, right?!). Anyway, whatever the name, the consequence was the same!! PAIN!! Sometimes it was unbearable. I would be doubled over in agony, or curled up in tears, barely able to take care of my newborn daughter or my older sons.
I began to dread going to the toilet (which probably just made the issue worse).
For about six months, I struggled with this issue, on and off. I learnt a few tricks that helped somewhat, drinking apple cider vinegar, laying flat on the bed and bending my legs up to my chest and rocking from side to side, magnesium supplements, yoga poses to help elimination...
The "episodes" gradually became further and further apart, but one day, curled up in pain, I was scrolling through twitter on my phone, when I read a tweet that said: "Don't pray for a lighter load, pray for a stronger back".
It was like a lightbulb lit up my brain.
I was focussed on the wrong thing entirely. I was cursing the pain, dreading it, fighting it, pleading for it to go away...when I could have been focussing on me, on using the pain to grow stronger, to dig deep to my inner reserves.
You won't believe it...but I got better that day, and I have never been afflicted with the problem since.
I finally learnt the lesson it was designed to teach me.
So, earlier this year my husband began to get these mysterious lumps on his lower leg. After a week or so, they became large, open, festering sores. They pained him terribly. In the evening, he would lay on the bed, groaning. He tried many Tongan herbal remedies with only minimal success. When he travelled back to Oz, he saw the doctor there who prescribed antibiotics, which didn't make any difference, so he eventually threw them out in frustration.
Month after month went by, still they wouldn't get better. The rest of us fetched his food, got him drinks, gently massaged his legs...
One night, while he groaned and muttered in pain, I said, exasperated: "Well there must be some lesson you're meant to learn from all of this!! You'd better hurry up and figure it out!!".
My husband was stumped. He couldn't think what he was meant to learn...
A few weeks ago, after yet another remedy had failed to make any difference, I stood up in a moment of clarity and inspiration, walked to my first aid drawer and pulled out the hydrogen peroxide. I filled a dropper, and began to drop it onto the sores. It immediately fizzed and foamed. Then I got some coconut oil, mixed it with some cayenne pepper and began to massage his entire leg and foot (avoiding the actual sores) with it.
My thinking was that the hydrogen peroxide would kill the bacteria that seemed to be festering in the sore, while the coconut oil and cayenne pepper and massage would stimulate blood flow to the lower leg and encourage healing.
That night was his first pain-free night in over 8 months.
I continued with the treatment, morning and night. Within a few days, the sores were noticeably smaller. As I write this, there is only one sore left, and it is gradually healing over.
One evening I was massaging his leg, and thinking over it all...and I suddenly realised that perhaps the lesson was for ME, not him!! Here was a very real reminder that it is my calling to be a healer, a medicine-woman. I had been so busy running the shop that I'd kind of forgotten...
Obviously, I'm not going to forget this lesson anytime soon. My husband spent 8 months in pain, in order for me to learn it!!
I contend that there is indeed a reason for suffering. There's a reason for wars, for heartbreak, for famine, for disease....
The reason is that there's something important that we're meant to learn from it (either personally or collectively), and until we do, the issue will continue to manifest in some form or another, no matter how desperately we seek to suppress it, hide it, "fix" it or ignore it.
"Problems" are simply teachers...in disguise.