This week's prompt: Illness
How do you see illness in relation to spirituality? Do you see them as being connected or as being separate?
In my own recent experience, my baby brother, who is estranged from the family, suffered from a rather serious medical incident involving a coma and brain surgery.
As a magical practitioner, I found myself hesitating when it came to intervening in his case with magic. In fact, this is something that I often question when it comes to magical medical intervention because I do tend to see much in the way of illness as being somewhat linked to spirituality. This is not to say that I think that every illness is the result of spiritual dis-ease or karmic debt, because I don't.
On the other hand, sometimes there are clearer cases, like my brother, where it seems quite possible that the illness in question is somewhat related to karmic debt. (It's a long story, but suffice to say that I have good reasons to have this perception). As a Wiccan with a strong Buddhist bent, I believe that part of my duty/service to the Divine is related to easing the suffering of others, so this is where my questions become a bit complex.
I believe that I should do what I can to help, but I also believe that sometimes nothing can be done because the individual in question needs to learn the lesson that is being given.
For example, a coworker of mine recently approached me to tell me that she feels like she's been hexed because she keeps falling ill or hurting herself. Upon closer examination and discussion, I felt like it was less of a question of being hexed and more of a question of her needing to slow down and let her body heal before forging ahead; that the universe was trying to tell her to slow down and take care of her health through a myriad of small wounds and illnesses that were forcing her to stop.
I don't think this is always the case for everyone. In fact, the same brother who is estranged from the family, has suffered his entire life from a serious medical illness that I would never attribute to karmic debt. I actually believe that he has been dealt a rather shitty hand in life when it comes to some of the stuff that was handed to him genetically and in terms of his biological family (not mine).
What he has chosen to do with that and the other opportunities that have come his way since then however, do feel like they factor into where he is at in life right now. On some level I feel that he's been given this amazing opportunity to start again with a cleaner slate and want to help him, only to see how he is mucking it up again.
As someone who wants to help others, I find myself hovering on the line between intervention/action on his behalf and staying safely in the realm of prayers offered up to the god/goddess, leaving it up to a less discriminating judge than I feel that I am capable of being in this moment.
How do you see questions/incidents like these when it comes to your own magical path? Do you think that illness is a lesson or does it have nothing to do with spirituality?