Raising a Sensitive Child

Nourishing Body, Mind and Spirit

Snakes and Ladders (A story about a healing journey)


I have another story to share with you that’s related to my son’s time in the hospital.

I knew in my heart that Moses would be okay. I knew that to be true in my heart.

And, yet, then longer we were there, and the greater the interventions were being used and the deeper Moses’ illness got, I feared that Moses’ system was being trashed and that there might be a point at which he wouldn’t be able to rebound. That was my fear. I feared that all of the “good” things that we had done to heal my son up to that point were being unraveled before my eyes.

Shortly after our time in the hospital, we consulted with Moses’ naturopath, whom both my husband and I dearly love. We don’t see Moses’ naturopath very often. Currently, we only see her about once a year, just to bring her up to speed on things.

DH and I find it so healing to see our naturopath. She provides a middle ground where DH and I can meet. DH loves her because she is so level-headed and intelligent. He sees her as a physician who uses “natural” supplements.  He can understand her logic (whereas, he just can’t understand Heilkunst homeopathy). I love her because she is so intuitive and empathetic. She provides a very safe space for us both. A session with our naturopath is like having a session with a marriage counsellor for us. DH and I both share our views, and she holds them for us, and helps us to find a compromise, a way that it can work for both of us.

I shared my fears with our naturopath and she told me a story about snakes and ladders. And I will remember this story if I ever need it again.

She told us that Moses’ healing journey is like a game of snakes and ladders. Moses’ healing journey has been step by step and gradual. Taking time. Whereas others around us seemed to be getting a lot of ladders, we would roll the dice and get a one, and then another one, and then another one. But slowly, incrementally, he was healing. We were making progress. We were kicking this game’s butt! And then we landed on a big snake (the pneumonia) and it felt like we were going back to square one. And the fear was that we were going to have to take that healing journey, that long and arduous healing journey, one step at a time again.

She assured us that shortly after our time in the hospital, we would find ourselves landing on a big ladder, and we will wind up back where we were. Maybe even past where we were. She says that she sees this all the time. Healing journeys are like games of snakes and ladders. Not snakes and snakes. And not ladders and ladders. But snakes and ladders. And ladders always follow a snake. And all of the hard work we had put into this journey didn’t just vanish. And we will “win” this game. We  have already won because we’re playing it.

She was right. Moses rebounded just fine. He is right back to his old (healthy) self. It took a bit of time, but he did.

Now the hospital visit is just a distant memory. And, I’ll remember next time not to be so fearful of the snakes*. Because there is always a ladder waiting around the corner.

* In some cultures, snakes are not to be feared at all since snakes symbolize deep healing, shedding of the past and connection to Mother Earth.


4 thoughts on “Snakes and Ladders (A story about a healing journey)

  1. So lovely to read all the progress. Love the snakes.
    XO Carla

  2. What a wonderful analogy! I’ll be keeping that one in my pocket as well.
    As always, thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. What an amazing post Janice 🙂 I love the concept of the snakes and ladders and really helps me perceive healing in a different way – a way that sits really comfortably with me. It does make sense my friend. Like you, I always had a fear that setbacks would take us back to square one so to speak, but I like the idea that there’s a ladder just around the corner when we’re addressing a snake. When Nic was unwell recently with a chest infection, I was so distressed, but now, only two weeks later it seems his back at the top of the ladder, and if not actually better than before! So…snakes and ladders…thank-you for sharing the analogy XOAliki

  4. Aliki: So glad it could bring you comfort! It certainly does bring me comfort. And, interesting that it relates so well to your recent experiences with Nic. Big hugs!!

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