If you are like me and suffer from an autoimmune or chronic disease that hasn’t resolved despite your best efforts over many years trying highly recommended products, visiting many doctors, and experiencing many kinds of acclaimed healing modalities, you might have a constant feeling of being discouraged, wondering what you are doing wrong, and skeptical that your situation will ever end. I know I recently felt this way as I tried one more thing that didn’t have the intended results that I was hoping for… feeling better! What popped in my head as I was pondering my frustration and disappointment was the question I ask a lot in my coaching sessions, “What if you KNEW that your situation would NEVER change?” Or in this situation, “What if you KNEW you would NEVER fully heal?”
I know, I know… life coaches are usually positive and looking on the brighter side of things, not anticipating a less than optimal scenario. So why do I ask that question and why was I asking myself, “What if you KNEW you would NEVER fully heal?” What I have found is that this question has a magical way of releasing you from sooooooo many internal judgements and many times, it clears the way to finding solutions to the particular situation at hand!
- I would release self-blame. Wow, just asking the question out loud provided a huge release for me. When I held the expectation of total healing and I keep falling short of that bar, I fell into a lot of self-blame. Thoughts such as, “if only I could find the right person to help me”, “if only I could stick to this diet”, “if only I could exercise”, “if only I could change all my limiting beliefs NOW”, “if only I read one more book or website post, I would have the answer”. The “if only’s” are endless and kept me in self-blame and made me feel pretty crappy. Not that I am suggesting that I never try the next thing that comes to my awareness, but for now, in this moment, I have done everything I know how to do. There is no need for self-blame.
- I would accept ‘what is’. Not that I am promoting giving up, but many times, the first step in healing is accepting where one is at right now. It can be a challenge to accept ‘what is’ when it falls short of a vision of healthy and normal. There is an underlying ‘should’ in those expectations. What if I could stop ‘should-ing’ on myself? When I began to accept ‘what is’, I decided to change expectations that I had created for myself, I chose to say ‘no’ more often, I found ways to delegate more often, when it was within my budget to do so, I hired help more often, I devoted more time to taking care of my body, and I set aside more time for me to just plain have fun. Can I accept ‘what is’ and decide what my life would look like around that? Yes, I can.
- I would notice what I have been missing. I realized that when I was sooooo focused on changing ‘what is’, I was missing what was right in front of me, right now. All the time, money and energy I spent on fixing my health was distracting me from living life! My nose was stuck in a book looking for answers, my time was spent learning a new diet and preparing food, my energy was focused one healing modality after another. If I KNEW that I would NEVER fully heal, that where I am at is as good as it gets… I would laugh more, I would do more of what I enjoy, I would brighten someone else’s day, I would find ways to live with my current state of ‘what is’, I would live my life as fully as I possibly could with ‘what is’.
- I would see possible solutions more clearly. I noticed a desperateness that was happening when I judged that I missed something and need to work harder to find answers. There was this unconscious belief that if I just worked harder at it, I would discover that answer. When that desperation lifts, when it is no longer my fault, when I can begin to accept ‘what is’, when I see what I have been missing, I discovered that answers gently come to me! It is a proven fact that stress shuts down the brain and our facility to reason clearly. When I started to remove all of the stress that I was putting on myself, it was amazing how smart I became – lol. I noticed more of the little improvements not only in my health but in my relationship, my career, and my life. I also noticed the little hints or subtle guidance I would receive by a friend mentioning an idea, a doctor suggesting something new, or an article on my desk that would guide me to the next step in healing.
So while I don’t literally “KNOW I will NEVER fully heal”, this jolting question had a magical way of guiding me in the direction of what I really needed and ultimately showed me the way to the solutions that I knew I wanted.