I was working with a client this week with chronic health issues. She has struggled for years with nagging symptoms that are kind of elusive and hard to pin down. She’s tired, needs to take naps during the day, doesn’t sleep well, and gets heart palpitations that sometimes lead to panic attacks.
She’s constantly ruminating about her symptoms and trying to make them better. She knows this doesn’t really help, but can’t stop. She says her mother told her recently she was worried about her health even as a child.
In her frustration to get this figured out she suggested we explore the possibility that this may be related to a past life. “I have to figure out why I create this and why it is happening!”
I gently told her I don’t think the reason “why” is really all that important. And the past life is over. I asked her what good that would do. She looked a bit shocked. I said we could spend the next 6 weeks looking at why she has these fears about her health, but the more important question is what she is going to do about it.
Her brain is clearly habituated to this kind of rumination and going down the road of “why” is only going to reinforce the helplessness, frustration and analysis paralysis. It is a deeply ingrained mental habit that needs to be overcome by expanding her awareness to the more important questions in her life such as, “What would feel better than this and how do I get there instead of here?”
I suggested she needs to create a more compelling life than one focused on health concerns. What we focus on grows and there is more to her life than fear, pain and limitation.
This woman is creative, highly sensitive and an empath. She’s a talented writer and has vivid dreams. She writes poetry and short stories. She has gifts and talents that are locked up inside of her and need to come out. Her body is expressing the pent up energy that wants to be expressed. Her life depends on freeing this energy before her body creates bigger symptoms.
She was not seen as the gifted child she was and now cannot unlock this part of herself that went into hiding long ago.
We don’t have time to sit around and ask “Why?” Sometimes this is the right question to ask, but often not.
I have been trying to get her to see herself as I do. She has gifts to offer and needs to get busy creating her life. We discussed how she holds herself back, plays small and goes invisible.
We developed an action plan focused on reprogramming her brain and shifting her out of the consciousness of fear and physical limitation. I assigned reading, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He’s one of the best teachers I know on neuroplasticity and how to create a new sense of self via meditation.
I also assigned a book by Catherine Ponder on The Dynamic Laws of Healing and suggested she listen to guided visualizations on health and healing to feed positive thoughts to her brain instead of what she has been doing. We will see how this goes.
This is not easy work. It is deep transformation. But from what I have seen as a therapist and coach, this is where the true power lies.
The power is not in asking, “Why is this happening?” The power is in taking effective action that takes grit, determination and perseverance to complete. Yet, this is where your true self is birthed and your highest destiny unfolds.
Anything less than this is selling yourself short. It’s time to become the hero in your own journey. Ask yourself the powerful questions and have the courage to listen for the answers. You deserve it.