According to Bernie, the answer to this question depends on many factors, most notably, whether you feel in control of your life and whether you look forward to the future with hope or with fear. Inherent in the answer to this question is a potent message about your will to live. Of course, none of us want to live an extended life of deteriorated health, but what if we could live to be 100 - and feel vital until the end? Ah, there’s the question.
Crisis - in the form of loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss, financial crisis, rape, dreams dashed, and other such stressors suppresses the immune system and predisposes us to illness. Understanding what may have predisposed us to illness can help us heal.
If your illness automatically means death or disability to you, you’ve got a problem. But if you view it merely as a wake-up call, there’s hope for true, lasting, deep healing.
This question helps get at the root of what psychological needs the disease may meet. From the time we’re children, we learn that being sick has benefits. You get to stay home from school, watch movies, eat chicken soup, skip your chores, miss that big test. As we get older, being sick still has advantages. You get an excuse to slow down, work less, shirk family duties, gain sympathy, even earn money in the form of disability payments. Being sick can even serve as a way to avoid following your dreams - a way to avoid feeling like a failure, even.
If you can identify what needs your illness meets, you can brainstorm other, healthier ways to meet your needs so you can release the illness and reclaim your health.
Doesn’t Bernie ROCK? I love these four questions, because each taps into something vital about self-healing and offers you the opportunity, not only to better understand your disease process, but also to better know yourself.
Have you been battling a physical or mental health condition? Do these questions bring up anything for you? I invite you to share your insights here, as we bear witness to them.
What if I told you caring for your body was the LEAST important part of your health? Watch my TEDx talk here to learn the MOST important part.
Holding space for whatever may come up,
Lissa Rankin, MD
Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Revolutionary, motivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.
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