To celebrate the launch of my new Healing Plan – now on Amazon at a fabulously-low price – I’m doing a mini-series of blog posts to introduce you to it. The book is chock-full of info I hope will truly help release you from the grip of chronic illness and get you back on the path to better wellness.
Over the next few days, I’ll give you a flavour of what each step entails. I’ve adapted this from the first part of the book. The second part goes into a lot of detail about how exactly you work each step.
Here we go with Step Two…(catch up with Step 1 here if you need to):
Overview of Step Two: Accept and Forgive
Before you can move towards healing, you have to first accept there is a problem. Obviously, you already know there is a problem, because you are suffering, but it goes deeper than that. There is a difference between knowing something at an intellectual level, to accepting it at an emotional level.
I would constantly scan my body, always worrying and questioning myself: “Will I still be OK for that event this weekend?”, “What if I react to this, what will I have to deal with yet again?”, “Will I ever get better?” and it was exhausting. I know a lot of people feel the same: constantly worrying, dealing with their fear, feeling they were fighting a battle.
I had spent years hoping and praying that one day this would all be over and that I would be better. When I suddenly realised that this was actually a real illness—and that there didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it, no matter how hard I tried—I felt utterly despairing, depressed and furious with my body for failing me. As a naturopath, trained to belief in the body’s ability to heal, that was really bad news.
Eventually, I was so tired of fighting it, I realised it had to be easier to just accept that this is how it was going to be; that I had to make the best of the cards that life had dealt me. And letting go was one of the best things I’ve done so far. Why? “Because What You Resist Persists!” This saying, coined by Carl Jung, reminds us that the more you resist something, the worse it will get. The converse is that the more you just let things be, the better it will get.
There is a whole school of medicine which believes that repressing emotions can cause real physical pain and health issues. We’re not talking about imagined pain here: real, often severe, pain and illnesses including tinnitus, back pain, IBS, RSI and chronic fatigue and over-reactive syndromes like CSS.
Of course, at the start I wasn’t really aware of my anger and the depth of it. It was only later on, that I realised how much I was punishing myself and sabotaging any enjoyment in life.
But if you can accept things are as they are—feel the sadness about it, the anger and frustration, the loss, the guilt—then you are not resisting what is going on (even though that may sound counter-intuitive to you). It is better to accept the horrible situation, feel it and stop fighting it. Then you can move on. Letting go and accepting the problem means that you move more easily into a healing state in which you work with your body, not against it.
Forgiving your body is important at this stage. When you’re ready to work on this step, we will use techniques and tools to allow you to stop fighting yourself, to forgive your body and accept your health as it is. We will also start to build up some compassion for ourselves, and some trust that our bodies will heal and that we will get well again.
Accepting your illness, your body and your life as they are is fundamental to the healing process. It’s time to forgive yourself.
Step 3 tomorrow….If you’d like to read more, see the Preview on Amazon here and get the book. If you do buy it, it looks a tad lonely and unloved at the moment, so do please leave me a review. Thank you. Let’s get well!