Continuing this series of questions about sovereignty, here’s a question from Rebecca Leigh of Smart Fresh Writing, about how to stay sovereign when you’re dealing with a chronic illness.

My question relates to sovereignty and physical ill-health / incapacity.

On one hand I have a sense of being placed in a physical prison, and having my choices limited.

But I also have other conflicting feelings about it. Some days I feel angry because no-one in my kingdom (my body) is obeying my commands. But then I feel sad and guilty because I think that I must be a very poor Queen for my kingdom to be in such disrepair. It hurts.

How can you live as the Queen or King, when it feels like the whole kingdom is rebelling?

Bec, I’m so sorry you’re feeling ill, angry, sad and guilty in your relationship with your body and your health.

The thing is, the sovereign is the leader who serves, rather than She Who Must Be Obeyed. Your inner selves won’t take kindly to being ordered around. Why would they?

Sovereignty brings all of your selves into right relationship with each other, and restores the inner order and pattern of your wholeness.

Its function is not to command your body to do what you want, but rather to create safety and support for all of your selves–to create an inner kingdom in which each self can flourish. Sovereignty means that you provide wise leadership, draw the very best out of your selves, and bring them together as a family to create the life that’s in harmony with your soul’s purposes.

A kingdom rebels because the needs of its members aren’t being heard and met.

We are not a singular self, but a collection of selves. And each of our selves is sovereign too; each one has the capacity for wholeness. Each of our selves emerges from the same Sacred source.

Our selves may become distorted and disconnected from their inner essence, but at the heart of every aspect of our selves is wholeness.

At the heart of pain, physical illness, incapacity, there is still wholeness. This is not just a nice idea, but a very real vibrational field which you can experience. It can be harder to access in the midst of physical pain, illness and disability, but we are fundamentally whole, even when we don’t feel that way.

This doesn’t mean that the physical disability is necessarily healed. There may be karmic or genetic reasons for it. But it does mean that you can know yourself as whole even though your body is disabled.

When you stand in your wholeness–when you identify yourself as whole, rather than identifying yourself as ill or disabled–then you can meet your illness, pain and disability with respect, love, delight and compassion. Remembering always that each of your selves has at its heart a truth and a gift that you need, in order to grow into your full potential.

You can talk with yourselves, especially the ones that carry illness and pain, and ask them to tell you about the spiritual truths at their hearts. Let them know how much you need their gifts, to create the life that’s yours to live. Listen to how they feel and what they need. Not with impatience or condescension, guilt or blame, but simply because they have wisdom and strength that are essential for your well-being.

Honor their sovereignty, and they’ll help you create a healthy personal ecology.

How do you handle illness, vulnerability, and pain? I’d love to hear your insights and comments, as well as your questions about Sovereignty.