For most people, illness serves a purpose. Consider the following real-life example of what happened to one cancer patient when she put her mind to understanding the underlying purpose of her illness.
Like many other cancer patients, this woman was emotionally "blocked," and had a lot of unresolved frustration in her life. When she was asked if she truly wanted to be cured of her cancer, she became very thoughtful. Finally, she answered, “No.”
The woman realized that if she were cured, she would lose all the gains her illness had brought her. Her husband had quit working overtime to be available to help her. Her three daughters, who had rarely visited before her illness, were now around every day.
When it was explained to her that it might be possible to receive similar attention in another way — for instance, by taking up volunteer work and by visiting her daughters regularly — she suddenly realized that she no longer needed cancer to get the love and attention she craved.
She recovered completely within months.
It’s important to understand that illness is a warning sign, and that there is a lesson to be learned from it: Something is wrong physically, emotionally, or both.
If we only heed the warning and don’t find the underlying cause, the body will find another way to warn us by evoking another warning signal (another disease).
Because of this fact, it can be very useful for patients to pause and reflect upon their lives to see if they can determine the "message" that their illness or health challenge carries with it.
Ask yourself: Are you headed in the direction that is right for you? What are you neglecting, or what price are you paying, as you go about your current life routine?
For many people, the price can include loneliness, because they are too busy to socialize or have time for a relationship; lack of sleep, because they have too much to do or think about; lack of relaxation time, such as listening to music, reading a good book, going on vacation, or just doing nothing; and lack of appropriately rewarding themselves with a massage, jacuzzi, sauna, or other healthy relaxing activities.
Illness is often a way for a person's unconscious to point out just how much he or she is neglecting or straying from their true life purpose. Once that message is received, understood, and appropriately acted upon, illness often disappears of its own accord in ways that baffle physicians — because it is no longer necessary.
But it would be foolish to wait until you get sick to get such a message.Regardless of your current state of health, it pays to regularly assess your life by asking yourself:
• Do you freely and appropriately express yourself, or do you keep most of your worries and frustrations inside?
• Are you creating too much pressure upon yourself because you over-extend, have too many deadlines, or believe that there’s not enough time?
• Do you take a few minutes every morning to reflect on and plan your day?
• Do you set goals? Are they realistic, and do you have what you need in place to keep you on target for achieving them?
• Do you make time each day to exercise, eat right, manage stress, and nurture your relationships?
• Do you take time before sleep to evaluate how your day went and reflect upon what you could have done to be more positive, loving, and constructive?
• Do you wake up grateful to be alive for another day, and are you in the habit of daily recognizing and expressing thanks for all you have to be grateful for?
• Are you content with what you have, or are you always striving for more in order to feel secure?
• If you do not get what you want, what is the price you pay in your health as a result of anger, depression, lost hope, and feelings of insecurity?
• Do you see the positive side of events, even when they appear not in your favor?
• Are you able to perceive life’s challenges, obstacles, and "accidents" as new opportunities to grow and to learn?
• Do you empower others by telling them what you appreciate about them?
• Do you take time to reflect upon and relive the beautiful moments in your life, the moments of success and joy?
• Do you operate from a win-win mindset where both you and others can be happy and satisfied with your achievements, or do you prefer to win regardless of whether or not it is at another person's expense?
• What would you like to change in your life, if you could? Do you really believe it is possible?
Now is the time for you to make a plan and set goals for changing the things in your life that you want to change.
Once you understand the role your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, life choices, and actions play in the creation of disease — and how illness is often a message about what you have been ignoring — you will be much closer to achieving a deeper understanding about health.
You will also have a deeper commitment to doing what is necessary to achieve and maintain health, and be more aligned with your purpose so that you meet each day with renewed enthusiasm and gratitude.
(Adapted from "Outstanding Health: The 6 Essential Keys To Maximize Your Energy and Well Being" by Michael Galitzer MD and Larry Trivieri Jr. For more information, visit www.outstandinghealthbook.com)
Posts by Michael Galitzer, M.D. and Larry Trivieri Jr.
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