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“Call your Spirit back.”

This is what the elders of the Navajo nation said to David Chethlahe Paladin, an injured and spiritually broken man who had served in World War II.  Author Caroline Myss relates the story of how he was caught by the Nazis and imprisoned and tortured repeatedly in her superb book, “Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing.”

He returned to his nation after the war ended, a shell of his former self.  He was underweight and suffered extreme physical injuries, but more importantly, his will to live had been shattered.   Living in a compromised  state, and with the haunting, bitter memories of his captivity, was more difficult than he had imagined.

The Navajo elders held council and decided to take Chethlahe out to a lake on the reservation.  Once there, they tied a rope around his waist and threw him in.  As David struggled and gasped for air, the elders stood on the shoreline and called out to him, “Call your Spirit back.  Call your Spirit back.”

Chethlahe survived, but he had an astonishing statement reminiscing with Caroline many years later.  You would think that commanding his battered body to respond would have been his biggest problem.  Instead, his biggest challenge was harnessing his Spirit.  “Calling my Spirit back was so hard.  It took more effort to call my Spirit back than it did to survive what the Nazis did to me.”

It’s easy to watch the dramatic video and feel compassion.  However, I’ll discourage you from detaching or dismissing David’s account as irrelevant to you.  David’s experience is the perfect final conversation for this month’s theme, Your Energy Broadcast, since the concepts are so universal.

We all have miserable incidents that hopefully we process and move past; but do we?  Like David, have you ever had something you just can’t leave behind?  Are you still running the movie of how your first love broke up with you?  Still trying to figure out the “why”?  Does thinking about a big meeting that went poorly continue to make you angry and depressed?  Can you recount every detail about one moment that supposedly derailed your entire career?

Conversely, do you spend too much time in the future?  Are you avoiding people and your present circumstances by endlessly daydreaming about that next job, relationship, or place to live?

This week, take a look around your world and call your Spirit back.  (As Caroline says, call it back “…from the missions and places you’ve sent it on.”)  Take back the energy you’ve put into a failing business and find a new purpose as Anna did in “I Have a Passion”.  Reclaim the emotion you been dedicating to absentee partners and friends and replace it with sustainable relationships like “I Want Hard Candy.”  Re-energize your life – today’s life.  In the words of Thomas Monson, “The past is behind, learn from it.  The future is ahead, prepare for it.  The present is here, live it.”