“One of the most common things people with cancer tell me is that experiences of hospitalization and treatment are profoundly isolating. I suspect that the sense of aloneness may even undermine the will to live. …
“For more than twenty years I have offered a very simple yet powerful ritual to people before their radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. I suggest they meet together with some of their closest friends abd family the day before the procedure. It does not matter how large or small the group is, but it is important that it be made up of those who are connected to them through a bond of the heart.
“Before this meeting I suggest they find an ordinary stone … big enough to fit in the palm of the hand, and bring it to the meeting with them. The ritual begins by having everyone sit in a circle. In any order they wish to speak, each tells the story of the time they faced a crisis. … The person who is speaking holds the stone. When they finish speaking, they take a moment to reflect on the personal quality that helped them come through the difficult time. … After everyone has spoken the stone is given back to the patient who takes it with them to the hospital, to keep nearby and hold in their hand when things get hard. …
“No one has chemotherapy or radiation or goes into an operating room without the thoughts, hopes, and prayers of many people going with them. The stone seems to make that a little more plane th people and reminds them of the strength and beauty of what is natural. … It makes the caring of the community visible, tangible, real.” ~Rachel Naomi Remen
Isolation is probably something most of us feel at times, especially in times of crisis. But in truth we are never alone, never isolated. While we may be the only person physically in a place, we are connected to others in ways that science is just beginning to understand, but spiritual schools have taught about for centuries. Isolating actually happens in our minds and exists nowhere else.
For starters, even though they may be some distance away, we all have people who are concerned about us. Even when they are at a distance in the physical sense, they remain connected to us on a mental and spiritual level. Beyond that, the physical location we are in is very unlikely to have us as the only being of any sort in it. There are beings of spirit and light that are everywhere, even though they are not visible to the physical senses. Some of them may care for us because they were related to us when living on the physical level themselves. Others care for us simply because they care for all beings, all spirits, equally. Continue reading “Isolating Thoughts and Avoiding Loneliness”