What I’m going to tell you in this post may not seem like it can help you live better with a chronic illness. But as I will explain shortly, it can. And between now and when I tell you how, my intention is to entertain you with a story.
Here it is: I’ve been by myself for almost a year. I’ve been looking for a woman to spend the rest of my life with, but so far haven’t found her. Maybe it’s because I and the women I go out with are more picky than we were when we were younger. Whatever the reason, this search is taking longer than I hoped it would.
To increase my chances of finding the love of my life sometime this decade (okay, I’m exaggerating), I signed up for a six-week online dating course. I am enjoying it and am learning a lot.
The man who developed the course had previously co-led a workshop to teach men many of the same things I am learning, and he told us about the following exercise from it: a man who was afraid of women for any reason would be brought to the front of the auditorium where the workshop was being held. Then 30 women would be brought in, and they would be told to scream the most hurtful insults they could think of at him for three minutes.
What would always happen, and it would usually take about 30 seconds, is that the man would start laughing, because he would realize that the women couldn’t hurt him. He would see that there was no substance to the fear he was holding on to: the worst that could happen was that 30 women would keep screaming and telling him what a piece of shit he was. But he realized that he was still standing there and was fine.
This exercise sounds like an excellent one to help men who are afraid of women. But I told you at the beginning of this post that what I was going to write about could also help you live better if you have a chronic illness.
Here’s how: when you have a chronic illness, you (probably) don’t have a bunch of women screaming insults at you. But if you’re like almost everyone else, you have a bunch of voices inside your head that are criticizing you,and very likely calling you names.
And just like the man standing at the front of the auditorium listening to those insults and voices realized that the insults didn’t change who he was, you have the opportunity to realize that the critical voices inside your head don’t change who you are. You’re the same person you’ve always been.
If you want to take this a step farther, you can tell the voices to go ahead and insult you. And they will! But when they do, you will realize and know that the worst that can happen is that they will tell you what a piece of shit you are (or whatever words they use). But them doing that no longer needs to hurt you or upset you!
I have been writing for many years about how the voices inside our head very often make our illness worse, often a lot worse, than it already is. And you now have a way to stop your voices from doing that.
To learn about other effective ways to heal your pain, I invite you to sign up for my free E-Course: Learn How to Raise Your Energy – and Your Spirit – in Just 21 Days.