In previous posts, I have mentioned how detrimental belief systems can keep us sick. We all have blocking beliefs that keep us from living life in the fullness that God intended, but we may not be entirely aware of what some of these are. Even less do we understand how they may be affecting our physical health, and so it’s good to ponder from time to time, what psychological chains might be keeping us bound to disease. Doing so will enable us to break free from the unhealthy patterns of thought that keep us tied to illness.
One harmful belief that’s prominent among the chronically ill is that they do not believe they deserve to be healthy or happy. Typically, this belief doesn’t manifest itself on a conscious level, so you have to ask yourself some hard questions in order to discover whether it might be a problem for you. Did someone in your distant past smack you whenever you smiled, or scold you whenever you had fun? Who taught you that things like clothes and food, recreation and friends, are optional, or that you don’t really need this stuff? Feelings of undeservedness have their origins in many false patterns of belief, many of which were suggested to us in childhood, by peers, parents, or perhaps the devil himself! Now, try to envision your life as a healthy person. What kind of work are you doing? Who are you spending your time with? Are you rich? Do you feel guilty for even imagining a life of material prosperity, of joy with a spouse who treats you like a king (or a queen), or work that positively affects the life of one, two or a million people? Do you think this kind of life was not meant for you? If so, ask yourself why not, and if that belief is based in reality, or is simply the product of a belief that you don’t deserve good things, such as health and the prosperity it brings into a person’s life.
Another common blocking belief is that illness can protect a person, from a person to a job, to an unhealthy lifestyle. Again, this belief tends to be submerged in the subconscious mind, and can be difficult to discern unless you ask yourself specific questions. Such as, “Do I have a history of poor boundaries with others?” If you have poor boundaries, then you tend to be suppressed in your ability to effectively communicate your needs, thoughts and desires to others in a healthy way. You are a person who does not know how to say “no” to others, or you don’t accept it when others say “no” to you. Where this is the case, the body may say “no” for you–it will do what you refuse to do for yourself, by creating symptoms of illness. For instance, if you have been severely abused in a romantic relationship, for instance, the body may create illness as a means of preventing you from getting into another relationship and to save you from further abuse. Or perhaps you have a history of being a workaholic, and because you pushed your body to work harder than it should have, it is now using symptoms to protect you from further damage to its cells. A million scenarios are possible. You might want to ask yourself what aspects of your daily life, when you were healthy, caused you unhappiness. Were you working at a job you detested? Did you have an abusive boyfriend? Any circumstances in which you weren’t being true to yourself, could have created the potential for your body to create illness, as a means of saving you from your harmful circumstances. Sometimes, and most sadly, people inadvertantly become ill as a way to protect themselves from being loved by another. They may have suffered several betrayal by a loved one in the past, and subconsciously, feel that if they are sick, then they will not have to get involved in a relationship again.
Yet another blocking belief is that life in the “real” world is too difficult to manage. Do you not know what you would do with yourself if you were healthy? Do you not believe in your ability to contribute positively to the world, or are you unsure about how to best utilize your gifts and talents? In the absence of answers to these questions, you may feel safer living in a world where you don’t have to address these issues.
Finally, some people subconsciously believe that they can get their needs met better through illness. This blocking belief ties in to the others mentioned above, but can be taken further to encompass all aspects of a person’s existence. Consider relationships, for instance. Have you found better friendships within the Lyme disease community than in the world of the more productive? Has Lyme disease become a way for you to have something in common with others, so that you may thereby be understood? Are you now able to get the sleep you’ve always needed but never had? Do you finally feel freed of the working world, where you were mocked, ridiculed or treated poorly? Are you now getting sympathy for your sad lot in life, whereas, prior to illness, nobody ever paid attention to you?
Other blocking beliefs exist, but for the sake of space and your sanity, I’ll limit today’s post to those mentioned above. To learn more about what harmful beliefs might be hindering your healing progress, again, ask yourself what was causing you discontent in your life, prior to becoming ill with Lyme disease? If you have been sick for as long as you can remember, then ask yourself what circumstances in your life are causing you discontent now (other than illness)! Is there something that you can change, that might benefit your healing? It might just be your attitude, or your relationship to God. One key question to ask yourself when trying to uncover any blocking beliefs is, “Am I being true to myself in this situation?” Listen to your gut. If you know that ignoring God causes you anxiety; if you know that your girlfriend mistreats you; if you took that job out of pure fear of not having a paycheck, then ask yourself if you can do anything to change that situation. Seriously, your recovery might depend upon it.