The Hard Way

by Charles Wm. Skillas, PhD, DD, BCH, CI, FNGH, MCCHt


I devote myself to healing and teaching and writing about hypnotherapy. My life is dedicated to helping others through hypnotherapy. I got into this because hypnotherapy saved my life when western medicine and psychotherapy hadn't helped me and I didn't have anywhere else to turn. I was doing fairly well, both physically and emotionally and feeling good about my life, especially being able to help so many people, when all of a sudden, things turned bad.

A lot of things happened to me during the past year of 2003, tragic things which tried my faith, and the return of personal illness that I thought I was rid of forever.

* In January, 2003, my sweet dog, Sweetsiepootsy had to be put down because of cancer. Pootsie was more than just a pet. She was my Clinical Associate and was featured on my website. She would greet my clients at the door and usher them into my healing room, where she would bring them a toy to relieve their nervousness. When I put the client into hypnosis, Pootsie would also go into hypnosis and then when I brought the client out, Pootsie would greet them as they awakened. She had such a warm heart and I loved her dearly.

* In March, my sister Jean died of a heart attack. Jean and I were always close. She was a Nanny and loved to take care of little kids. I took care of Jean for the last 20 years of her life because she could not make that much in the Nanny business. She was my connection to the past because she and I shared so much growing up. She and I practically raised my brother Bill because my mother was working.

* In April, my son-in-law committed suicide. Richard was very much like me. He was depressed from childhood, felt very insecure and, like me, linked security to the amount of money he had. Richard was very gifted mechanically and was a US Airways Senior Captain. When the airline went bankrupt, Richard lost most of his retirement, which meant so much to him, and he killed himself.

* In May, my only son died after surgery for an aneurysm on his heart's aortic valve. The aneurysm was imbedded into his sternum and when the surgeon opened his chest, he cut the aneurysm and nothing could stop the bleeding. Charlie loved life and was doing very well as a CPA and he had a good job and wonderful family.

Suddenly, in three months, six of my eight grandchildren had no father and I had lost my sister, son and son in law. This is a lot of stress. Going to three family funerals in three months does not inure you to death. Instead, it brings death right into your face, full force.

I have a past history of high blood pressure, and a sleep problem caused by two surgeries that left me with scar tissue which irritated the sciatic nerve going to my feet and caused stabbing pains in my feet at night when I tried to sleep. Hypnotherapy and mild blood pressure medication took care of these problems for me, and I led a normal life and did my work. I was okay with my blood pressure and sleep during and after the family deaths until about mid November when my blood pressure began to rise with increasing speed. With the approval of my allopathic physician, I increased my blood pressure medication to compensate. Two weeks later, I went to the hospital emergency room because my blood pressure was up to 210/105. My blood pressure soon reached 220/120, and I was in the hospital ER five times between December and March. This happened despite taking seven powerful blood pressure medications.

I continued with allopathic medicine, psychiatry, hypnotherapy, psychological counseling, herbal medicine and shamanic healing without any success in reducing my blood pressure. I really thought I was going to die from a stroke. Nothing that my doctors suggested had any effect on my blood pressure. It was consistently very high and I was scared that I this was it for me. I lived with the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head all the time and I could not get out from under it. I began to cancel clients and students, and prepared myself for death. How could I help others or teach them about healing when I was about to die? I had no idea of what to do about it.

I consulted with an Ayurvedic associate and determined that I was full of rage over what had happened to me during the year. This rage was causing my high blood pressure. But, how could I translate this knowledge into something concrete that would lower my blood pressure? As usual, I didn't know what to do about the problem. But, I didn't have to worry; the Creator (Spirit) did it for me… again.

This is how Spirit works. If we don't get the message from our life lessons, then Spirit will keep creating bigger and bigger lessons for us until we finally do get it. It is the hard way to learn. All my life, I have always been cursed to learn my lessons the hard way. Unfortunately, that's the way I constantly do it. I never learn until it is shoved into my face time after time. It's stupid and really unnecessary, but there are those of us who are too dumb to learn any other way. We, who are dumb, are condemned to learn life's lessons the hard way.

This is how I learned. All my life I had been afraid of death. The fear came to me when I was in my mother's womb and I had never been free of it. The lessons of my family's deaths were Spirit's way of teaching me to accept death as a part of life. But I resisted because I was so afraid, and so Spirit drove it home to me in this very hard way by making me face death repeatedly. The fear in me combined with the rage I felt towards learning this hard way drove my blood pressure up. I could not get this fear and rage out of me to lower the internal pressure.

After Pootsie died we got a new little dog who we named Daisy. We got her when she was eleven weeks old. She really grew on us, especially me. She was a little eleven-pound Shih Tzu who I had grown to love and who loved me. She was about sixteen months old and we had a special relationship. I loved the way she would cock her little head and growl at me when she wanted something. I loved the way she would put her little head on my shoulder when I was sitting on the floor with my back to the couch eating something. She was very precious to me and occupied an especially warm place in my heart.

We were remodeling parts of the house and the workers had arrived early that morning. Daisy, who had slept with me, was hugging me in bed. I left the door open so she could leave whenever she wanted. I hadn't noticed that she had left until I heard my wife screaming. I leaped out of bed full of foreboding and found out what had happened. Daisy had gone out of the house through her doggie door and had been run over and killed in the driveway by one of the workmen. When I heard this, I felt like I exploded. I shrieked and cried and screamed for over one hour. I could not control the outpouring of emotion from within me. When I finished, my blood pressure was better. Daisy, in dying, had saved me by providing me with the safety valve that vented my internal pressure.

So now my blood pressure is improved, but I have no Daisy. I have replaced pressure with grief - a hard way to resolve my blood pressure problem. Is it really necessary that learning be so hard? I think that Spirit works like this if we don't do what it is necessary to correct our lives. If we just go on muddling through life's problems without resolving them, than this is the way we learn. I think that Spirit wants us to use our minds to come up with our own solutions to life's problems because that's a good way to learn. If we don't solve our problems, then they will be solved for us and we may not like how it is done. Remember the old adage "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it".

If we just wish that the problem is solved for us without doing it ourselves, then we leave the problem to Spirit and it might be a hard solution. We should not just leave the solution to our problems to the Universe or Spirit; we should solve our problems in the way we want them to be solved. Otherwise the solutions may be taken out of our hands. This is very elegant because we learn and grow by taking responsibility even though it is much more work. But that's why we have minds. Our minds can often lead us to a problem's solution that is much easier and acceptable to us than if we just leave it to Spirit. Perhaps this is Spirit's way to get us to get off our duffs and make us learn.

Perhaps if we go the hard way a sufficient amount, we finally say "enough" and try to learn an easier way. It's not that Spirit wants us to suffer; it's just that, unfortunately, many of us only learn that way …we have to suffer enough first and then we begin to get a little smart. If we are lucky, this happens when we are fairly young. But then there are those of us who don't get the message until we are pretty far over the hill. It's the story of the jackass who had to be hit over the head with a two-by-four to get his attention. I am that jackass, and I am telling Spirit now that, yes, I have finally gotten the message. I will solve my problems. You don't have to do it for me. Amen!


This article is intended for general informational purposes
and does not provide medical, psychological, or other professional advice.


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