Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

He Had It Coming

I’m sure glad my friend Eileen isn’t asked to give many eulogies, because they’d all sound like this: “It’s a bummer he’s gone, but he had it coming to him.”

An avid disciple of medical intuitive Caroline Myss, Eileen believes all illness results from blocked energy in chakras one through seven.

I don’t discuss my health with her anymore because, according to my New Age friend, everything is my fault: from the irregular periods to the brain growth to my bipolar disorder. Suffering is punishment for my not being a stronger person, a woman who can master her thoughts, control her emotions, and direct every cell in her being toward health.


I once asked Eileen how she could explain the five year old boy who died of Leukemia.

“He may have made a contract with God before he was born,” she replied. “Or maybe he drank bad water.”

Jesus says I have to love Eileen, so I haven’t deleted her number from my cell phone. But I can and do have a major problem with her philosophy. Because, to my ears, it sounds incredibly judgmental and lacking in compassion.

Like Eileen I believe in the mind-body connection, which is why I expected yoga, prayer, and meditation to heal me of my depression. I figured that if relaxation exercises and mindfulness can combat and prevent heart disease and diabetes, as studies indicate, that breath work and meditation should surely correct the distortions in my brain electrochemistry. Self-loathing and suicidal idealizations would disappear under my yoga mat if I said “Om” often enough.


When that didn’t happen I was forced to hand over my stuck-up and unfair assumptions on matters of health: if you took care of yourself, you stayed well. I was thrown off my pedestal, onto a ground of rubble, where I began to empathize with others who, from no fault of their own, contracted diseases and sickness.

I’d give a much better eulogy today than I would have in the years before my breakdown. Suffering and illness have humbled me. When I hear people like Eileen throw out black-and-white explanations and solutions to a myriad of problems surrounding different types of illness, I realize that you can afford to be arrogant when you’ve got your health. But that doesn’t mean you should be.

  • http://HASH(0xd125bec) Joey

    Well, everybody must be making mistakes, because everyone dies eventually. Including Eileen, eventually. My feeling is that God does cause everything, but “punishment/reward” is too simplistic. Rather, everything is meant as an opportunity to grow or improve oneself. While extreme examples—like a child with leukemia—seem tragic, I like to think it all has some purpose, either for this life or the next—but I don’t think it’s as easy as Eileen seems to. God bless.

  • http://HASH(0xd127320) Anonymous Also

    What hooey.I hear this same BS from Wayne Dyer, who in most other ways, I agree with, but not on this. This is just blaming the victim to keep their self esteem low, thus they’ll be able to buy more of (insert guru name here) books and products looking for the “solution” to their low self esteem. Continual Marketing.

  • http://HASH(0xd127620) Anonymous Also

    Sorry, I’m a bit surly tonight.

  • http://HASH(0xd127ff0) anon

    Low self esteem is certainly a cursor to negativity in ones life. If it is so bad to cause depression then where does one go..I’m not certain that I’m understanding all of this.Or is the depression causing the self esteem issue? I am a person of low self esteem also. But it has nothing to do with the depression that I have experienced.I would like to think that I could or would be accepted for who I am in any case. I have a lot to offer this world and anyone that wants to be a part of my world. I am not self serving or self centered. What I am is unsure of certain things to do in regard to main issues in my life. But with a nudge from those who care about me, love me, and want me involved in every aspect of life with them, I know I can come around..All it takes is love, caring, hope, help, and no surliness at this stage of the game….

  • http://HASH(0xd128ddc) Anonymous Also

    I believe in the mind – body connection. I believe that all things happen for a reason, for our own learning, growth, or even to serve as a learning guide for others. (I also believe all the people that were / are ever in your life were there to teach you something.) But to suggest that “you have something coming ” due to blocked chakras is at best, cold, at worst, idiotic. For this Eileen’s sake, she’s damned lucky I was not the parent of the five year old that died. Had she told me that with a straight face, she’d have learned a lesson about getting up off the floor after being knocked on her ass. Sometimes Surliness Works,

  • http://HASH(0xd12a358) l.

    does anyone really have the authority to say why someone died, or that they deserved it? how sad.

  • http://HASH(0xd12a67c) Premika

    When some New Agers make sweeping comments like “Everyone attracts everything in their lives,” I now want to gag. I do believe that like atrracts like, and what comes around goes around, but if you apply some critical thinking to this statement, you’ll see the weakness in it. Mainly that “everyone” means EVERYONE, and “everything” means EVERYTHING. That would include the 5 yr old, and dying of leukemia. How would that be possible with a child who doesn’t even have words for such a thing yet? All we can do is have our theories as to why it happened, like karma or choosing to experience certain things in this lifetime before we were born or whatever. But they’re all pretty cold comfort when it’s you and/or your loved ones that the thing happens to. Believing in a life after death doesn’t make my grief at losing a loved one any less. We must realize that we don’t know ALL the answers. Nobody does. So use your wonderful, God/dess-given brain and think! Think!! THINK!!

  • http://HASH(0xd12b20c) Waterborn

    Eileen has, from my perspective anyway, a very simplistic and not terribly useful view of “New Age” thinking.I certainly believe wholeheartedly in a mind-body-spirit connection (note that’s three things, not just two), and that people do indeed attract everything in their lives. However, that’s no reason to not have compassion; rather, it’s a reason to be even MORE compassionate. God bless that five year-old who brought such powerful lessons and opportunities for deep love into the hearts and lives of his family and friends, and the awesome and terrifying experience it must have been for him/her.On you depression, perhaps you’re thinking of it a bit too simplistically, too. I have also experienced very lengthy and incredibly deep clinical depression, and no single thing like doing some yoga could possibly have pulled me out of it. Healing required a whole combination of things, physical, mental, and spiritual. Mind-body work was great, but it also too body-spirit work and spirit-mind work to finally find the light again

  • http://HASH(0xd12b8e4) chuck

    That New Agers are nitwits is not news.

  • http://HASH(0xd12c80c) bird

    My mother is a Christian Scientist, and I was raised in that church. She has tremendous guilt when she takes medicine or sees a doctor–because she feels she should be relying only on God. Also because we were taught that our own beliefs in matter incur the penalty of illness. As C.S. doctrine goes, God never made illness, so we can’t experience it. If we seem to, it’s because of our erroneous beliefs, or (in the case of a child) the false beliefs of a parent or “world belief” (the general human belief in illness). While some of this is helpful, when you get sick and can’t cure it by prayer and good thoughts, you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about using modern medicine!

  • http://HASH(0xd12e21c) Premika

    I’ve been more or less into New Age philosophy for about twenty years now, and it has been a great influence on my spirituality. So I know its strengths–and its weaknesses. One of which is it gets too “airy-fairy,” with not enough down-to-earth practicality. If your beliefs aren’t part of your daily life, what good are they? Another is that it’s gotten way too “yuppified” and metrospiritual in the past few years, all about seminars and retreats that only the rich can afford, shutting out the middle- and working classes altogether, even if they do have an interest in New Age thinking. Another is that there seems to be a lack of fair critiques on its philosophy, which should be levelled towards it as much as towards any organized religion. Seen the Oprah shows on “The Secret”? What “secret”? I knew that stuff long ago! I saw the “Response to the Secret” show, and was intrigued by one woman who knew about The Secret years ago, had been using the methods and had attracted the life she wanted–and then lost it all in the 9/11 attack. They then talked about how she had gotten her life back together with the Secret’s methods, but no one thought to ask why, if this woman had been doing all the “right” things, would she attract losing them all in 9/11? Wonder what would have happened if someone had asked that? But then, the authors would have to say that they really don’t have all the answers. Okay, so that was off-topic. Thanks for letting me post.

  • http://HASH(0xd12e4f8) HASH(0xd12e450)

    all that new age mumbo jumbo is hollow and shallow, self-centered- and really, unkind. we all suffer, no one wants to- no one creates it- it’s already there- compassion,understanding and the difficult one-patience are the ways to respond to a suffering person- not blaming them – that is pointless and adds to the pain. give them hope-which is real.

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