The Luminary Journal
By Tuaca Kelly
A few nights before ‘Donny’ and I were introduced I had a dream about him. There was candor, social ease, humor and playfulness in our exchange. We became fast allies. He and I shared appreciation not only for science, nature and opera, but the imaginative worlds were Vulcans, Hobbits and X-Men dwell. His chiseled face, complemented by the prominent muscles he maintained ritually at the gym, and personality made him subject to objectification – which he did not mind. Flirting was a skill he also possessed and enjoyed using. Some passing interludes would lead to a first date. But how far his adventures would go touched upon another looming consideration that had occupied Donny for virtually half of his life. Barely 40, Donny had been HIV+ for nearly 19-years.
Where un-filtered spontaneity had its playful reign, gratitude and glee wasn’t his consistent demeanor whatsoever. When physical symptoms kicked in, or a nice meeting – such as a first date – ended due to concerns of his own, Donny used any disappointment to champion his personal brand of resentment. His cynicism would then dominate and with his seething came contempt for anything or anyone good. In these moments he took deliberate distance from many, including me, and hung out with a male friend that held a similar contempt for the injustice of the world.
Donny’s indignation, more than his diagnosis, was at the center of his festering woes and the place where he often chose to live. Though he would ebb and flow with a feeling of satisfaction by challenging himself with projects of all sorts, it was far more reasonable for him to delve into a Tolkien fantasy or Star Trek marathon and seek adventure through imagination than to alleviate his pain through forgiveness, true acceptance and compassion; it was also far more entertaining to call those that acknowledge God imbeciles.
Donny felt betrayed. He wasn’t expecting the onset of his adulthood and aspirations to be interrupted. Although he identified as militant atheist it seemed that he held a vile contempt for God; after all who else was there to blame for his life? And if God doesn’t exist, then where does forgiveness come in? And where does that leave Donny? Imagine his conflict.
Anyone with chronic illness has considerations that those in full health simply don’t have to take into account. Although physical symptoms and their emotional expressions can inform activities and pleasures including work, one of the greatest impacts on the chronically ill is felt in their social life. Many lose the resources to contribute to the relationships in ways previously experienced.
In Donny’s case it was understood by his friends that sometimes his prescription drugs had a profoundly unpleasant effect on his digestive system and that could determine his schedule on a whim. Even though Donny had significant social support from family and friends, and was able to work and earn a fairly decent income, had great medical insurance and still turned heads, his rancid attitude would demolish his more pleasing ‘alter-ego’.
1. Get perspective. If you are a loved one has a considerable health challenge and for as much as it can inform your/their routine, remember: do not take it personally! Don’t make it about you. Have a melt down to release tension or stress, even to give way to epiphany, but don’t get caught up in your woes. It only lowers morale and depletes energy.
2. Express Gratitude. Begin with the small and significant. Every time when asked how he was, my grandfather used to say: “I woke up breathing.” This was his way of expressing gratitude for his life. He’d seen many challenges yet sought to appreciate his experiences as great teachers. (By the way, today is his birthday, so… Happy Birthday ‘Grandpop’)
3. Forgiveness. Regardless of religious, spiritual and scientific ideology: forgive (all trespasses). To forgive isn’t to condone an act or illness, it is to relinquish the warring dynamic and give new distribution to the energy you could be using for healing.
4. Take no prisoners. Some people have little tolerance for illness and flea at the drop of a handkerchief. Let them go.
5. Cherish the gift. Chronic illness has a way of revealing character and other aspects, beyond the diagnosis, that long for healing.
Do you have a long-term health issue? Do you have a family member with a chronic illness? Do you fear being near people who are ill or are you inclined to offer bedside support? Have you left a relationship when illness came into the reality? Please share.
Etiquette: Only mature and constructive comments directly related to the article’s topic are welcome.
Published: 8 April 2014
Tuaca Kelly, spiritual teacher, medical intuitive and master healer serves to assist others in recognizing and developing their multidimensional consciousness and health, critical thinking skills, intuitive discernment, and realizing their soul potential. She lives in the Netherlands with her wife.
For further insight visit: www.lovethemessenger.com. Read the Dutch translation.