Healthy Beginnings

ALLOWING: A portrait of forgiving and letting life love you

allowing300By Holly Riley
Reviewed for Healthy Beginnings by June Milligan, M.Ed., CCHt |

This is the story of one woman’s journey of healing from Crohn’s disease, an “incurable” condition. At her lowest point, one of incredible pain and misery, lying in the hospital hooked up to every imaginable device, she just decided to die and get the whole thing over with. All this was way too much of a struggle for herself and for everyone in her family. It was then that she had an out-of-body experience where she found herself rising through the ceiling of her hospital room, moving through the next floor and the next, until she found herself outside, looking up at the stars and smelling the clean fresh air. She felt no pain; an incredible peace. She felt surrounded by love, and then realized she was lying on something: she was being held by two very large hands! And then she saw the face of Jesus that she recognized only from an old picture on her grandmother’s wall. She was not religious, and had never been what she calls a “big Jesus fan,” but she knew the face. She writes, “The love was so vast and complete it saturated me with sensations for which I don’t have words to describe. The feelings were not of this world.”

Although there were no words spoken, she knew that she had the choice to stay or return to her life on Earth. She had a long time to decide. There was no pressure. Then, when her two boys suddenly appeared before her, she realized what she wanted to do–return to her body, get well, take care of her family and get on with her physical life.

She returned to her body and slept through the night, something she was rarely able to do because of the constant pain. The next morning, her doctor bounced into the room all excited about the improvement in her white cell count. He knew she was trying all kinds of mind/body/spirit therapies, but he didn’t believe in any of them. He asked her anyway, “What did you do last night?” She was still processing the experience, and would be for many years, so she just said, “I’ll tell you someday.”

But she did remember to ask the doctor something that her father requested she ask: “How many people have you cured of Crohn’s disease?” His answer stunned her. He said, “None. This disease is incurable. You will have it for the rest of your life.” That cruel statement was the beginning of her healing; from that moment on, she realized she could not afford to be susceptible to adopting another person’s opinion as her own because in doing so, that would affect her life in countless ways. She realized that if she considered that person an authority figure then it was even more likely that she would consider their truth as the ultimate truth. Doubly so, if she was paying them for it!

The night before she had seen things as they really were, and realized on a very deep level that she was much more than her physical body, and that she could put her attention on what she wanted, and thereby cause it to become a reality in her experience.

Many more realizations lay ahead, the most important being to forgive all the resentments and negative or hurtful scenes that she was holding onto. She also continued to realize how much she had adopted other’s ideas and beliefs, how much she had swallowed their truths without deliberately examining them for herself. Where did she get these beliefs? It was like a door opening into a room inside her own house that she’d never visited.

The author takes the reader through many experiences as she regains her power and heals her body. There are times when she lets herself go into pity-party mode, but her body immediately shows her what she’s doing by giving her the beginning symptoms of Crohn’s disease again, a wake-up call. As she changes her thoughts and emotions, the symptoms disappear. Although this is a true story, it reads like a novel. There are many wonderful quotes in this book. All are appropriate for the lesson that the author was learning at that time. Most are universal truths that it would be beneficial for all of us to understand.

The bottom line: when we have negative thoughts about others we are disempowering ourselves. Those people you resent or hate? The political tribe in power that is not your tribe? You may feel they don’t deserve your good thoughts. But YOU do! You deserve your good thoughts about them. That is what the Art of Allowing is all about, allowing your own well-being. This book is a powerful story of one woman’s journey toward allowing her own well-being: mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. Check out the Allowing online community at