When people are diagnosed with a catastrophic illness, people rally around to support…in the acute stage. However, if that illness cannot be cured with a round of chemo and radiation it is difficult for most people to be supportive for years when the illness becomes chronic and debilitative. So how do you live with the incapacitating pain over many years when many of your friends may have disappeared?
The answer is simple, it’s the solution that is the challenge. You turn it into a LifeQuake. The difference between the chaos and stress one experiences when a crisis hits and the chaos and stress one experiences when you turn it into an awakening to a fuller potential you can be summed up in one word: context. Do you hold the experience in terms of the loss to your life as you have known it or do you choose to interpret this challenge as grace?
Here is one technique for transforming the belief that you have lost your health into taking a stand that out of this experience, you will become healthier:
Envision yourself in radiant health. What I mean by that is that you are happy and are glowing- radiating love like a person does when they are in love. Now, place your hands over your heart and imagine you are using your hands to direct love toward a pet or someone you have deep, positive feelings for. Once your hands start to get warm, direct that same intention of tenderness and unconditional love toward yourself, setting an intention that you are sending healing into your own body. After a few minutes, place your hands over your face, and keep radiating love toward your face.
Whether you have an illness or not, this technique will start to make you radiate and glow. Now go out and spread that energy through your smile to everyone you meet. This has a huge impact on the immune system, your emotions, and the well being of your fellow humans. Altruism takes many forms. When we choose to love ourselves in spite of whatever pain we are experiencing, we move the whole world forward. We assist all of humanity toward a new consciousness in which chaos and upheaval becomes the deconstruction of something that is no longer viable and the reconstruction of a new identity that is based on how much you love, not what you look like, how much money you have in the bank, or how much career clout you have.
Yes, long term illnesses can become the very thing that makes you the most powerful person imaginable.
Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis coach, author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive (not just survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval and survivor of three near fatal experiences. For personal consultation, she can be reached at 310-712-2600.