When suffering from an illness that requires a lot of attention, many of us tend to do the wrong thing and focus all our energy on it. We let it become a big part of our lives and eventually it begins to take over our lives. We let our illness define us as people and form an attachment if you like. Perhaps this is why it takes so long for people to fully recover and heal?
The mind and body are connected, and what we focus on grows. People who are suffering from an illness or are recovering will be sure of telling you at some point about it because it’s a big part of their life. They make it a part of who they are now. If you become attached to the illness and make it ‘yours,’ then how are you going to let it go and get better?
The ego will not enjoy reading this truth, I know because I have experienced it myself. It is not to say you’re not suffering from an illness, but by making ‘your’ illness a part of who you are then, you are letting it define you as a person, you’re letting your ego latch on to the illness and the story of what it has made you become.
I use myself for an example because I have become aware of my own egos doing so. Having an illness gives us a voice, something we can talk about ‘me and my story’. How much we have suffered, how much we have conquered, how much we have been through… This is all work of the ego. We don’t need to prove ourselves to anyone, we don’t need to attach ourselves to something we have or are going through. We know we have suffered, we know we have the power to conquer – only the ego wants to prove this to people and share ‘my story’.
Some people refuse to believe they can get better because subconsciously staying sick is easier. The ego had a stronger sense of self, it doesn’t want to let go.
It may sound harsh to some, I read it myself and my ego feels hurt and deflated. Yet I sense the truth in what I write.
How will I recover if I constantly define myself, who I am and who I have become from my illness? It is still allowing that illness to live through me; it is still an attachment and proof. Yet, I have no one to prove myself to, and neither do you.
If you are suffering from an illness, try focusing your energy on healing instead of feeling like a victim. Look within yourself for answers, become aware of your thoughts: do you look for sympathy, do you feel self-pity or victimized?
I found myself to think my illness was a safe place, whilst recovering I didn’t have to think about my future, I had an excuse, I was ill. If I’d remained in that mindset, I would probably still be exactly where I was a year ago. Stuck. Scared. You see, once we become attached to our illness, it becomes a safety blanket for us. It means we don’t have to focus on the real problems because we can’t cope with them because we’re sick.
If we focus our energy more towards what we can do instead of what we can’t, that’s the first step. Accepting change and letting go, going into the unknown. Next time you feel yourself about to share your illness or story with someone, refrain and see how it feels. Try dropping your illness, it is not who you are. You’re a strong, special person without it and you have nothing to prove to anyone.
Mindfully let it go and see what happens.
by Sian Davies