What Ails You

January 12, 2009

image credit: paras

My experience of asking myself the question, “What ails you?” is a common one for many at some stage in life, but the way I went about seeking the answer and living it was unique to me, as it is for everyone who ventures into this avenue on their life’s journey. In Crossing To Avalon by Jean Shinoda Bolen MD, she mentioned pregnancy and childbirth as a rite of passage. I was able to relate to that in the light of my own experience.

It was shortly after I gave birth to my daughter that I went through an inner turmoil that may have been what in  medical jargon is called  postpartum depression.  Pregnancy and child-birth is a form of initiation into the mystery of life. Our culture focuses on the baby; what sex it will be, and the usual stories that mothers swap about motherhood and child-rearing. What people don’t talk about or are not aware of, is the major changes that a woman experiences through this rite of passage from maidenhood to motherhood. I knew that there was a lot more that happened to me on a soul level than just suddenly being responsible for another being’s life.  I had no reference for it, but I knew that the stirrings that were occurring were not just bio-chemical changes due to having given birth.

My story was similar to  the typical seeker’s lament at the start of the spiritual healing journey. On the outside, my life was perfect, but my inner world was like a cataclysmic event; a flood-gate was opened to confused emotions. Things that brought me pleasure in the past, failed to assuage my disappointment, but disappointment in what? It is probably at this point that most people turn to medication to bring things back into balance. I knew that was just a band-aid treatment, I needed to find out what this was about. I took a trip on my own,  back to my birth place, thinking because I was happy there, I would be able to get some of that feeling back. What I got from my trip was not the old pieces of me that I thought I could somehow gather up and put me back together again.

As in so many narratives of the spiritual seeker’s journey, what happened was a number of synchronistic events that led to my meeting people who led me to books, to teachers, to kindred souls; the usual pointers that one gets at the beginning of the journey.

My initiation through pregnancy and childbirth quickened a spiritual awakening that was seeking expression, and was hankering for my conscious awareness through the inner turmoil in my mind. That was almost thirty years ago and though I have been a diligent seeker, with an intense passion more than average I think, I am still here, unenlightened as many imagine it.  I am convinced that the journey is the destination. It is the letting go of judgment of myself and others, the acceptance of my imperfection, the offering of loving-kindness to myself and others for being human. I have many enlightened moments and I live with a contentment in my soul, an appreciation for my life and my experiences. I have given up striving for enlightenment, instead I look for the love and the truth in my daily experience. If there is such a thing as enlightenment where one is continuously established in that state, then if that is my destiny it will happen.

The question, “What ails you?” is the beginning of the soul’s journey, the return path to wholeness.  The return path takes us in many directions, each according to our inclinations. I do not believe that there is any one right way, but we do have to be aware of the illusion of spirituality. Many people hang out in the world of magic, the occult, communicating with the spirit world etc. thinking that this is spirituality. The test of whether what you are engaged in is the truth, is that it changes how you feel about yourself and others. Does it open your heart, do you feel a quiet peace and inner joy that is independent of outer circumstances, do you see the world with a perspective of the manifestation of divinity, are you able to feel a sense of connection that is your own strong center? You will not have this experience all the time, of course, especially in the beginning when the ego is putting forth much resistance to change, but you do get glimpses of it as you start the process of letting go of all that is not truth.

What ails you is the wound that is caused by your feeling of separation from your divine aspect. It is the question and the answer. When you continue to explore the question, you come to know that the joy, the peace and the beauty of life that is missing is what ails you and it is also the answer you seek. When you come to ask yourself, “Who am I?” the journey takes you further along on the path to finding out that truth.

To be continued…

Related posts:
Becoming Whole


1 Liara Covert 01.13.09 at 8:49 am

Miruh, some people also evolve to stop asking what is missing or what is wrong with them. They come to realize everything is precisely the way it is meant to be at a given moment and that is worth accepting.

2 Miruh 01.13.09 at 11:33 am

Hello Liara,

Yes, I think everyone on the spiritual path comes to a place of accepting the paradox of life, that as long as we are in this human body we will experience loss and its ensuing emotions. The asking, ” Who am I?” and its contemplation brings us to the recognition that, “What ails you?” is not the sum total of who we are.

With the experience of our divine connection we can live with our brokenness and still experience the truth of who we really are, our perfection within imperfection.

Thanks for your wise input.

Peace to you!

3 Mark 01.13.09 at 1:13 pm

What ails you is a wonderful question and answer! Thank-you for sharing this part of your journey. I look forward to your next installment.

4 Miruh 01.13.09 at 10:23 pm

Hello Mark,

Yes, asking the question and finding the answer to.” What ails you?”is the highest destiny of man, our purpose in this life.

It is fascinating to learn of people’s experiences on the spiritual path, they are all varied and unique.

Thanks for dropping in my friend. 😀

5 Alexys Fairfield 01.13.09 at 11:05 pm

Hi Miruh,
I think that in not wanting to “search” for enlightenment that you have mastered it. Enlightenment fills us – we don’t fill it – and it seems to me that you have highlighted the pieces that you thought were missing, but were always there. Often times what we seek is under our nose. We want fireworks or we want to see something big happen, but love IS enlightenment. Love are the fireworks happening inside all of us and to realize that is to have reached the summit of spiritual development.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

6 Liara Covert 01.14.09 at 7:04 pm

Miruh, I appreciate how you mention “our perfection lies within imperfection.” People do not always sense that every perspective has an equal and oppostite perspective. This is what creates balance. As human beings, our conditioned mindsets ironically often seek to escape from the freedom we were born with and temporarily forget.

7 Miruh 01.14.09 at 11:10 pm

Hello Alexys,
Amen sister:
“We want fireworks or we want to see something big happen, but love IS enlightenment. Love are the fireworks happening inside all of us and to realize that is to have reached the summit of spiritual development.”

Ramana Maharshi said, “If you practice self-inquiry you will reach the heart which is the self.”

That simple, love!!!

Thanks for your enlightened input.

May you bask in the love of the Self!

8 Miruh 01.14.09 at 11:20 pm

Hello Liara,

Thanks for visiting again.
I love the concept of perfection within imperfection. I did a post on it which you might be interested in:


I like what you said, “As human beings, our conditioned mindsets ironically often seek to escape from the freedom we were born with and temporarily forget.”
This reminds me of the Play of Consciousness, where divinity has taken on manifestation in form and forgets itself so as to find itself again!

Thanks for carrying on the conversation with your inspiring comments.
May you always remember. 😀

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