In this episode, I share my journey of contracting Lyme disease, and coming belly to belly, and heart to heart with my Deep Inner Wisdom and Soul.
Subscribe to this podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and many more.
My book, Love Lies Beneath: How Reclaiming My Soul Through Story Became The Secret To Healing My Heart is available in paperback and as a Kindle at Amazon.
Illness can cause stress, fear, and pain, and as a result, be seen as an enemy trying to harm me. Or, I can learn to hear the voice of my Soul speaking to me, calling back home to myself.
Healing Lyme & Soul
Welcome to Love Lies Beneath. I’m Zette Harbour. I’m glad to have you here. Do you feel like stress, fear or pain take up way too much of your energy? Have you wondered if you’ll ever be free of that heaviness of your past? Do you long to feel as good on the inside as your life looks on the outside?
In this podcast, you’ll discover the story of who you really are, and how to set yourself free. Together, we’re going to travel into those wild spaces of our inner landscapes, and dive deeply into the rich soil of our lives, reclaiming Soul through Story and healing our Hearts. My book, Love Lies Beneath is the map. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any of this enriching journey. And now, let the adventure begin.
In Episode 10, I’m going to be talking about healing Lyme disease and Soul. I’m sure no one wants to become seriously ill. And when I found myself coming face to face with the possibility of having a lifelong, health-threatening, debilitating illness like Lyme disease, I found myself heart to heart, and belly to belly, with some really important places within myself.
I invite you to look within your own Soul. See what voices might be speaking to you, whether it’s through an illness or some other form of stress, fear or pain. And as you do, I also invite you to remember that Love Lies Beneath all of those things. These moments, these conditions, these people, these events that cause us stress, fear and pain, they are lights on the pathway. And their purpose is to give us a sense of direction. Those are the ways we are being called to move. They are lights on a pathway, leading us back home to ourselves. If we are able to tune into their voice, if we are able to see them as the ally that they truly are rather than an adversary, something to be feared, to be battled, to be killed.
I’m going to read a segment from my book, where I describe this journey.
Bulletin From A Bite
I have had my own experience with illness as a messenger. In 2013. on a trip to Maine, I was bitten by a wood tick. When this tick bit me infecting me with Lyme, it was telling me something. It was communicating that the walls I had built throughout my life to ward off toxic energies would no longer work. They probably had not ever worked in more than an illusory way. But it had been enough to get me by until then, the moment I realized that I had contracted Lyme disease, my experience of my life radically changed in that potent instant.
Before this, I had always been peculiarly aware that I did not want my life lessons to come in the form of a health issue, as I had observed in others. I had heard about and read stories of people experiencing incredible transformations after or while healing from a serious illness. I had also seen how the mantle of ill health could substitute for personal identity. I knew that I prefered to meet my life lessons in other forms. I had even promised the Universe that I would willingly show up for those lessons, if we could agree to ‘leave my health out of it.’
As I shifted from a person without a potentially life threatening illness to someone with one, I learned that who I was had not changed. Suddenly, I had a new job and a radically different priority. The path that I had asked not to travel lay before me, and it felt like so much of it was unknown, and suddenly terrifying. How would I walk through this experience? I was in shock. I shivered, I cried. I was walking through a personal and intense earthquake, grasping anything that would help me keep my balance.
The Doorway Opens
I had been vacationing in a lovely home on a beautiful small pond in Maine with my family. The peace and quiet were broken only by the primeval calls of loons. It was an unusual year in that instead of a typical meeting pair, five or six individuals had recently taken up residence. These striking black and white birds were swimming with and calling to one another day and night. Magic was everywhere on that first morning when my daughter and I were swimming and hanging out on the dock moored just off the shore.
“I think there’s something on your leg.” She pointed just above the back of my left knee. I reached down and could feel that it was a tick. It seemed like it was barely hanging on. And after all, we had only arrived the afternoon before. It did not seem likely that it had been on me long enough to have dug in since I had not been hiking or walking in tall grass. I had removed plenty of ticks off my dogs and so without even looking I swiftly pulled it out.
My daughter trained in tick identification by her naturalist mentor said, ‘it’s a dog tick.’ Fine, no problem. Dog ticks do not carry Lyme. I thought to myself. The spot looked angry and irritated. Each morning I checked the bite area. Although still swollen, it was not getting any worse. And I would have looked at when we returned to California. I was definitely regretting my casual approach to removing it, although I was still confident that dog ticks did not carry Lyme disease. At most, I reasoned, I would need to deal with a secondary infection.
Exactly seven days later, we were in Portland, Maine, enroute to Walden Pond. I awoke, did my daily meditation, and checked the bite. I saw something that caused all time to stop. The room began to spin around me. There was now a circle of red around the site of the tick bite, a fairly perfect ring, the kind I had heard about that was an indicator of Lyme disease. I did not quite know how to process this information. It did not seem possible that it was Lyme because it had clearly been a dog tick. Yet a very distinctive circular rash known as erythema migrans had appeared. This was the bull’s eye rash of Lyme disease.
It was slowly dawning that the tick must have burrowed in overnight, giving it plenty of time to transmit the disease. My cavalier removal of it would have increased the likelihood of transmission. Realizing that this disease, which I had seen become disabling for others, was now attempting a coup in my body sent me deeper into a state of shock. I felt my chest tighten. I froze and I felt sure the hotel room was tilting. At that moment, I could not decide whether to climb back under the covers and cry or get on the internet and research everything available about Lyme.
Then I heard very clearly a quiet voice inside. “The tick is not the enemy. The infection is not the enemy. This is not a battle to fight, not a war to be won by the decimation of the adversary. Be”.
Upon returning home, I went to my health care provider, a chiropractor who utilized Autonomic Response Testing and a kit that contained all of the possible viruses and bacteria associated with Lyme. Although I had known him for several years, this was the first time I would learn that he was something of a Lyme specialist. Our session revealed that indeed, I had contracted Lyme from that dog tick, not just the one borrelia bacteria, but 11 different bacteria and viruses.
The session also yielded information on how to treat my infections. A pretty simple protocol of specially designed herbal tinctures a few times a day. He explained how the various bacteria and viruses were behaving in my body. Some had no cell membrane and slipped quietly and unnoticed into places like my brain and red blood cells. Once inside, they wreaked havoc and cause destruction to my system. These micro organisms were so well designed for their work, my immune system wouldn’t even know they were there.
I was surprised to see a glimmer of admiration arise within me for these life forms ingenious strategies. They were very good at what they did.
All the stories I had heard about Lyme, the bacteria, the viruses, and their behavior are based on what we know. None of it is based on what we do not know. And what we do not know is a lot. Therefore, despite my fear, I chose to refrain from making any premature cognitive commitments to these stories. I would not accept what I read as a judgment of what would happen to me. Instead, I chose to listen to the story I heard inside, while integrating the known science. As I had on the day I discovered the rash. I heard once again very clearly inside. ‘The tick is not the enemy, The infection is not the enemy. This is not a battle to fight, not a war to won by the decimation of the adversary. Be.’
I also heard the message that these microbes ‘are ocean too.’ This was from a teaching I had been given by my meditation teacher, john Freeman, about how we are each like a wave on the ocean. We look like we are individuals and yet we are still just ocean. These microbes are manifestations of the same source that I am, that trees are, that cupcakes are. As such, I am connected to and in communication with them on the level of the Unified Field.
I thought about how smart and successful they are. I admired their design and skill. Then, in my mind’s eye, I saw the image of a lioness bringing down a zebra. Again, this was a teaching that came from deep within. At that moment, I understood that the lioness is not at war with the zebra. It was her nature to hunt and eat the zebra. Likewise, I did not need to be at war with these viruses and bacteria to restore health, harmony and balance within me. It is merely the nature of my form to hunt down and eat anything that dissipates with my vibrant health and wellness.
This vision opened up an awareness of a truth that surprised me. It showed me that I had never truly valued my form. I had never wholeheartedly committed to her, never actively preferring my being or my manifestation. I had never declared my deepest love for myself. To have permission to live out its true nature. I would need to admire my particular manifest form’s design and skill. I would need to acknowledge how smart and successful I am in this form. I would need to love myself. Finally, it was utterly clear that my path to healing would be through this saturation of love for myself.
I began to see that I must prefer myself to all other forms. Like George in the film A Room With A Vew, I must embody the eternal YES. Say YES, with every fiber of my being to this authentic and original manifestation that I have chosen to become. I must release the Kraken of my life, my wild, dynamic, extraordinary, asks for no permission and makes no apologies because I matter, life.
The Healing Paradox
To dissolve any barriers to this self-love, I needed first to understand that there are sSelf with a capital S and self with a lowercase s. Love of the lowercase s self is dissonant to healing without the seamless awareness of the capital S Self. Love of the capital S Self combines the sense of being equal in worth to all things. And at the same time, stunning and unique.
There’s a line in the movie Contact, where Jodie Foster’s character says, “how tiny and insignificant, how rare and precious we all are.” It is a paradox, yet true. Each of us as a wave is tiny and insignificant compared to the vastness of the ocean. Yet each is also unique and valuable. I would need to find a way to hold on to these opposing truths and find myself in both of them, as well as somewhere in between. It was clear that my healing path would center around a kind of embrace of myself that I had never experienced before.
The earthquake that had begun with the appearance of the Lyme bullseye, had shaken loose pieces of my foundation. They had needed to go. The journey through an illness, which I had so dreaded, had offered me a vista onto my life I had not known was possible. I had not become someone different. I had a new job. It was to learn what it meant to love myself, truly.
I was fortunate to fully recover my health over the next five weeks. This was possible because I dove into my self care and prioritize my wellbeing. For the first time in my life, I let go of all the things I usually believed to be more important than taking care of myself. I had stopped ‘shoulding’ all over myself, which was an essential ingredient to my healing. Living into the story of this illness, and engaging wholeheartedly with what it was telling me, allowed me to gain its wisdom. In doing so, I reclaimed a part of my Soul and healed more of my Heart.
It might be hard to imagine that my Soul had anything to do with me getting Lyme disease. And yet, this particular story did open a pathway to an unhealed wound within me. Up until then, I blindly lived in a story that said, I did not matter, certainly not as much as what others expected of me. The part of me that wanted to be reclaimed and healed, reached out to my conscious self, through my fear of becoming debilitated or even dying. If I had ignored this call from my Soul, my illness would have worsened. Soul always taps into the ‘what is’ of life. She will speak to me with whatever voice I have taught her I will listen to. If I only paid attention when a story was loud and frightening, then that was what she would use. This could look and feel like a Mack truck with lights glaring and horns blaring, bearing down on me at 90 miles an hour or it could be the quiet, gentle whisper of leaves swaying in a soft breeze. It was up to me to choose.
So, I want to leave you with a thought. The next time you come face to face, heart to heart, and belly to belly with something that is stressful, fearful, or painful, remember, for just a brief moment, that there may be more than what you see in front of you. And that perhaps, if these are not enemies, if instead they are the lights on the path, showing you which direction to go to find your way home, back to your self. If they are, then take one moment to hear them, to open your heart, to listen to your deep inner wisdom.
I’m Zette Harbour This is Love Lies Beneath. Please subscribe to this podcast so that you can be with me on every step of this adventure. You can also find me at LoveLiesBeneath.com. There you’ll find transcripts of all the episodes, resources for your journey, and you can even make a virtual coffee date with me. I want to hear your story. I want to support you in connecting with Kind of Curiosity to the Love that lies beneath all that you experience. Go raibh míle maith agat!