Taking a look at * Fibromyalgia Awareness month brings to mind how many ways there are to start the healing process. Recently, however, I had a spirited and interesting conversation with someone about their health and how NOT to heal. Why would anyone do that? You may be surprised.
Sometimes, people feel threatened by change. Perhaps they’ve worked very hard to create the delicate balance of getting help they need and simply managing their symptoms. This has nothing to do with intentionally NOT wanting to heal. It’s just a matter of feeling that anything that threatens the status quo is dangerous.
Others feel that they’ve become the “expert” in their own healing process. Of course, this is a GOOD thing. It’s actually a wonderful thing. That is, it’s a great thing unless they feel they ALREADY know everything they need to and there’s nothing more to learn. In some cases, this “expert status” can be used as a shield to keep new information out rather than acting as an open door to possibilities.
While no one would consciously CHOOSE to stay stuck, that’s the point. It’s not a conscious choice. Sometimes behaviors exist sort of between a conscious thought and a subconscious thought. The behaviors are stuck, therefore, between a rock and hard place.
These “stuck” thoughts can
keep you in a state of inertia.
As promised, here’s a few sure-fire ways to NOT HEAL (or even improve) anytime soon:
1) Make sure that you talk more than you listen. There’s no better way to shut out new ideas than to not even hear them in the first place.
2) Make sure that you isolate yourself from others and keep company with your own thoughts. Getting feedback from others can influence your choices, so it’s far better to keep your thoughts to yourself.
3) Be sure to listen to all new ideas only long enough to form a counter-attack. That way, you can quickly express why it won’t (or hasn’t) work(ed) for you.
This list, of course, is provided
to provoke higher thinking.
It’s meant to stir up a conversation on what may or may not be holding you back from achieving your healing desires. What’s the common denominator in all of these examples?
Whether we’re able to see the surface matter or not, underneath it all, we’re usually afraid. We’re afraid of change. We’re afraid of our own perceptions of failure (yet again!). We’re afraid of showing others that we don’t know everything and we don’t “have it all together.”
Can you think of other fears that may be in play? Do you ever feel between a rock and hard place? Join in the conversation and share below!
* Want to know more about awareness and the month of May? Check out this Fibromyalgia Awareness Day article I’ve written for ProHealth.com to learn more.
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This is a great article. It really hits home with the stage of healing I am currently in. While I have come a long way in my healing, I have some new injuries/pains that are holding me back. With those pains brings a huge fear of getting back to where I was when I was 60 pounds heavier and VERY sick. I have been letting my stubborn side go and I have started listening to people who know a lot more than I do instead of trying to do it my way. The advice has been great, but it’s also been the support that has been great. It’s amazing when you stop to actually listen to someone, you will find they likely have the same or similar fear you do and you can help and support each other. Thank you Sue!
You’re SO very welcome, Carly and I’m glad you get the intention of this post. It’s my hope that it helps to shake us up a bit. We all get complacent (and stubborn) with our own ideas and it’s always good to get a little feedback now and then. My wish is ALWAYS for increased healing and happiness for this community as a whole 😉
A family member made a comment recently that I found to be very hurtful and yet I have spent a good deal of time pondering it. She said that her pastor believes that with illness comes a payoff. She communicated this belief because she concurs with his philosophy. The thought is that we stay sick because there are many more benefits to remaining sick than to getting well. We stay sick because it’s a personal choice that belongs entirely to the ‘patient’. We stay sick to gain attention & neglect responsibility. We stay sick to remain childish & be taken care of.
I mention this encounter with my family member because your title of “Why Can’t You Heal” caused me to bristle a bit. Is it meant to accuse the sick of causing their sickness? I want to believe that is not what you hoped to convey. Your question of, “What may be holding you back from achieving your healing desires” conjures up a blueprint of the way to health & wholeness that the stubborn refuse to look at.
I can certainly recognize, in others, when they are playing the victim & wallowing in their misery. I saw it in living color during a recent TV show about a 600 pound woman who refused to accept responsibility for her weight, refused to do the work needed to be normal & shrouded herself in deep denial. It sickened me. So I certainly acknowledge that staying stuck can be an option.
My 8 week long pondering of what my payoff could be has netted me no real answer however. I’m not finding my own personal upside. I would like to hear what your thoughts are on this particular belief.
I didn’t miss the whole of what you were saying in the article. I understand the points that you made. But does the key to wellness from Fibromyalgia or any other ailment really rest in the hands of the ill? I hope this doesn’t sound too harsh. I certainly don’t mean for it to but you did want to ‘stir up conversation’.
Sherry — I’m SO glad you posted this perfect comment! It’s exactly the type of engagement I was looking for. We each have our own experiences which cause us to interpret information differently. So, one article that causes a “Yeah, right on!” from one person may cause a, “You’ve got to be kidding!” from another. My intention WAS to stir up conversation. What do members of this community think about their own stumbling blocks to healing? And, have they seen these stumbling blocks in others? (By the way … it’s SO much easier to see other people’s stuff.)
I appreciate you stating that some people are stubborn and refuse to take action to heal. While this is true to a small degree, there are still others who simply don’t see it. They don’t see their own roadblocks. In order for change to happen, they need to have their behaviors reflected to them in other ways. Sometimes, that takes a bit of nudging and prodding — from a place of love, encouragement, and support of course. What I want to stir up, is a strong sense of defiance and self-confidence in our own actions. When we’re feeling completely aligned with our actions, then it’s tougher to insult us or make us feel inadequate.
I’d like to think that the pastor you mentioned in your comment had much more to say than what was conveyed. Is it possible that your friend who passed that along just shared that one comment to see your reaction? It definitely doesn’t sound as if it were meant to be supportive.
But, let’s explore that question. Is there a payoff to being sick? The way that question is worded implies a personal intention to be sick and stay stick. As if someone would WANT to be sick in order to achieve the payoff. (And, yes, I recognize that my blog title was worded in the same way.) I’ll be clear here: No one WANTS to be sick. However, I do know that there there are some (not many) who may want the payoff of being sick, such as being taken care of. But that’s not typical. Most people want change, but don’t know how to go about it.
In a nutshell, if you’re sick, and taking positive action to heal, then you’re doing your best. And, that’s all anybody else needs to know. You get to decide if their intentions are supportive or not. You get to decide whether or not to share with them.
Your last question asked if the responsibility of healing lies in the hands of the ill. That’s a FAB question and I think I’ll have to blog more on that! The short answer is yes. We must each put on our own Team Captain hats and determine who is allowed on our support teams. WE get to choose our doctors, friends, practitioners, therapists, etc. to help us heal, but the bottom line is that we GET to learn how to assemble this team and do what’s best for us. When we hand off this power to others, we take it away from ourselves. This topic was a big healing shift for me. I learned that no ONE single doctor knew what’s best for me. I had to create my own healing plan and learn to trust in my own judgement. So, if your question was rephrased to say, “Is healing the SOLE responsibility of the ill,” then the answer is definitely NO. It takes a team.
Thanks again for the GREAT comment and I look forward to more conversations on this juicy topic!
Thanks for your response. What you have said does make sense and IS encouraging. I really appreciate that. I especially like the statement, “When we are aligned with our actions it’s tougher to insult us or make us feel inadequate.” Being chronically ill with an ugly bouquet of physical dysfunctions for a verrry long time has, possibly, turned me into a cynic. Possibly, because I have searched so long and so hard for a solution and not found one, I feel guilty for not coming up with right answer. Feeling like I have caused it all and should therefore un-cause it probably makes me more sensitive to accusatory statements.
You’ve helped me to think about this just a bit deeper still. I have to admit that I would love to have supportive, concerned and kind people in my life. I don’t have that and if I truly needed it then God would have provided it. I have coveted compassion and somehow have believed that it is a component of healing. It’s not. It would be nice, it just isn’t necessary. While I am a bit weary with researching what avenue to go down next, I doubt I will ever stop trying and learning.
I’m glad that you didn’t take offense with my post and thank you once again for your response.
Sherry – I’m always happy to receive comments here and for the great topics of interest. I’d also like to invite you to email me at my website here for continued conversation. As always, there’s so much more to say. – Hugs to you 😉
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