I have a wonderful, little book, ‘Story About Feeling’, prepared and edited by Keith Taylor. It’s filled with stories told by Aborigine Bill Neidjie (c.1920 – 2002). It begins with him saying (sic), “if you got story, heart… then speak yourself, stand for it!“. My guest post, by Kay Stroud, reveals more about spirituality, intrinsic to all people’s wellbeing. Thanks, Kay!
I get the impression that a lot of people think that the use of prayer for health care is at best OK if used along with modern medicine (it’s great to ‘cover all bases’), and at worst delusional or akin to believing in fairy stories and miracles.
Beloved Australian ABC gardening show host, Peter Cundall, when interviewed by Scott Stephens on the current series of Life’s Big Questions equated religious teaching on a par with fairy stories. And there are many who agree. (It’s ironic really, because it seems to me that Peter’s simple joy for life and gratitude for every tiny evidence of good in his days is what has ensured his perfect health for more than 50 years. This is spirituality in action!)
I can see a similarity between Peter’s spirituality and that of Aboriginal peoples. I’ve just finished reading a discussion paper, Spirituality and Aboriginal People’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing: A Review (Nerelle Paroch, Kerry Arabena, Julie Tongs, Steve Larkin, Jodie Fisher and Graham Henderson, 2009) published by the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.
Not by any means an expert on this subject, I learned from the Review that many Aborigines cannot comprehend a single event or element of this world without also considering its spiritual implications. It seems to me that the Western world has lost this recognition of the importance of spirituality to the minutiae of our lives – and this has been to our detriment.
Might Aboriginal peoples’ recognition of the importance of spirituality hold the key to our management of some of today’s global problems?
The Review points out that holistic health care has the best results in Aboriginal communities. Holistic care includes taking into account the spirituality and social and emotional wellbeing of the individual within the whole community. And healing for them stems from reclaiming their true identity.
Like Aborigines, I find that I need to claim my inheritance as the ‘child of God’ daily. My daily and hourly affirmations of the nearness, allness and power of the Divine keep me centred (in my right place and ‘country’) and my realisation of my loving relationship to the divine and doing unto others as I’d have them do to me, keeps me healthy.
The findings of the Review offer new and enriching insights into our health and extend the insights that have emerged in the alternative health community connecting mind, spirit and body.
The Review sums up with this statement: ‘recognising spirituality is critical to Aboriginal wellbeing’. Have you considered that it may just be the same for us all?