Posts Tagged ‘care’

Love Heals

Monday, June 30th, 2014

I’m sure you have read or heard it said that love is the greatest healer of all. But often when we need it the most, that healing love can be hard to find. In this post, I’m going to share a very personal story about how I found a way access the healing power of love, with the hope and the intention that it helps you find a way to access it for yourself.

What happened was that after sharing some special intimate time with my girlfriend, I was half awake and half asleep, and she was gently and lovingly touching me. As I drifted in and out of consciousness, I was enjoying her touch a lot.

But what happened next was both unexpected and healing. I’m not sure how, but I went into the same state I was in many, many years ago when I was lovingly touched by my mother, and I stayed there. In it I felt very vulnerable, and also very loved and cared for.

While I eventually came out of that state, being in it has had a lasting effect on me. Over the next 24 hours, I realized that even though I haven’t been in touch with or aware of it, I have wanted and needed that kind of love and care ever since the time that memory was formed.

The next part of my story is hard to describe, but I’ll do my best.

Getting in touch with the part of me that needed that love and care was very empowering, because I have learned that I can give it to myself. In a way, it’s like having another person, who has his own needs, inside me.

That may sound strange, but it’s a pretty good description of how it feels. It’s a part of me I wasn’t aware of before. But even though I wasn’t aware of it, I have a strong sense that a lot of the sadness and discontent I would feel about my life from time to time came from it. Also, my sense is that a lot of the procrastination I used to suffer from was due to the angst that was coming from it.

Once I started checking in with that part of me, and then giving it the love and care it wanted and needed, I found myself happier, more at peace, and more focused.

Before the experience you’ve just read about, I knew that, like you and everyone else, I needed love and care. To meet that need, I would spend time with people who loved me and cared about me. I would also do my best to give myself love and care. Unfortunately, I was not able to do that nearly as well as I wanted. But that changed dramatically after I got in touch with the part of me that had long needed so much of it.

Having learned about myself, my sense is that there are many people (maybe most people) who have parts of themselves that need lots of love and care.

If you’re one of them, I hope this story will help you identify and get in touch with that part of yourself, and give it the love and care it needs. I know that doing so can – and does – heal both emotional and physical pain.

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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.

To have a better life, have different conversations

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

In my 11 years as a coach for people with chronic illnesses, and as someone who has a chronic illness himself, I have learned that having conversations is one of the best ways for us to make our lives better.

But in order for them to make our lives better, they need to be the right kinds of conversations, and they can’t be with just anyone. In fact, the conversations I’m referring to aren’t ones with another person.

At this point, you’re likely wondering just who or what I’m suggesting that you have a conversation with. My answer is: your organs that have been affected by your illness.

Now obviously, you can’t have verbal conversations with your organs. But you can ask them, again in a non-verbal way, what they want and what you can do for them.

When I have my clients do this, and when I do it myself, I have found that if after we ask we wait quietly, we almost always get an answer.

When a client of mine who, along with chronic fatigue, has digestive challenges asked her stomach what it wanted and how she could help it, the answer she got back was that it wanted attention, appreciation, and it wanted her to take better care of it by being more careful about what she ate.

Of course, the answer you get will depend on many factors, including what illness you have and which organs are affected.

One other conversation that both my clients and I have found helpful, and I think you will too, is a conversation with your illness. You can ask it what it wants you to know about why you have it, what if any life lessons it has for you, and what you can do to live better with it. If you do this, you will very likely be surprised at how much the answers you get help you to live a better life.

Please note: while these conversations with your organs and your illness can be very helpful, they are not intended to be used as a substitute for any medical care or treatments you are receiving.

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Has your chronic illness worn you down? Get my free e-course: Learn How to Raise Your Energy – and Your Spirit – in Just 21 Days.

What’s so great about situation-specific self-compassion?

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

What’s so great about situation-specific self-compassion is that it is an extremely powerful tool for healing. In this post, I’m going to tell you what it is and how it differs from “normal” self-compassion.

Over the past few months, I recommended to several clients and others who have been going through very difficult challenges that they give themselves self-compassion, and they responded that they were doing that. But they weren’t- at least not in the way I meant.

From the descriptions they gave me and from their answers to my subsequent questions, I realized that the self-compassion they were giving themselves was broad and general, and was like the compassion a person would feel for an acquaintance or a distant relative who was going through a hard time. Maybe it was somewhat stronger than that. But it wasn’t self-compassion that was specifically about and for the challenge they were going through at the time. And because it wasn’t, it wasn’t very healing for them.

So I told them about situation specific self-compassion. And I told them that a good way to give it to themselves would be to imagine that someone they loved and cared about a lot was experiencing the same difficult challenges they were, and think about how they would feel knowing that.

They all said that they would feel lots of compassion for the person, and empathy too, and that they would want to comfort them. Some said that they would also feel sad or hurt because of what the person they loved and cared about was going through. That often happens, and it’s the main reason that it’s often hard for us to give ourselves situation-specific self-compassion.

Once they were in touch with the compassion and other feelings they would have for someone they loved and cared about who was going through the same challenge they were, I asked them to have the same feelings for and give the same compassion to themselves. Doing that didn’t make their difficult challenges go away, but it went a long way toward healing the emotional pain they were feeling.

I know it can do the same for you.

Do you need to take a time-out?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

More than many others, those of us with chronic illnesses often get frustrated, discouraged, or upset because of how our illnesses affect our families and our relationships with others, because of all the things we want to do but no longer can, because we often face an uncertain future, and because of numerous other reasons as well.

One thing you can do that has worked well for many people with chronic illnesses—including me—is to give yourself a time-out.

Now as I’m sure you know, time-outs are often used by parents and teachers to discipline children that are misbehaving, and to give them some time to think about their behavior. So I want to make it very clear that I’m not suggesting that you discipline yourself.

Rather, what I am suggesting is that if you get upset, discouraged, or frustrated for any illness-related reasons, that instead of staying that way that you caringly, lovingly, and compassionately give yourself a time-out.

During your time-out, you can listen to music you enjoy, read a book, take in the beauty of flowers or a sunset, or just relax.

At the end of your time-out (and you get to decide how long to make it), the situation that prompted your feelings may still exist, but chances are that your negative feelings about it will be much less than they were.

Best wishes using this and the suggestions in my other posts to have a Happy New Year and your best life possible!

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Tom Robinson, who has Crohn’s disease himself, helps people with chronic illnesses mend their broken spirits and then he helps them find inspiring dreams – and achieve them!

Do you take better care of your pet than you do of yourself?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

I have found, in my years as a chronic illness coach, that many people take better care of their pets than they do of themselves. For example, if their dog hurts its paw, most people will reassure it and sometimes even kiss the paw to “make it all better.” But if they stub their toe, they rarely give themselves any compassion and they often tell themselves how clumsy they are. And I know people who will take their pet to the vet when it’s in pain or if it needs a checkup, but minimize their own symptoms and pain, and not get any treatment for them.

Now, I have nothing against people taking care of their pets – quite the opposite. I love my dog and I don’t hesitate to take her to the vet whenever I think she needs to be seen. But you and I are at least as deserving of care and compassion as our dogs or cats are.

Here’s another way of looking at this issue: How would you feel if your spouse (or partner if you’re not married) always made sure your pet got the care it needed when it was hurt or sick, but ignored you when you needed care? I’m sure you would be angry and upset, and rightfully so.

If you take care of your pet when it’s not feeling well, but don’t take care of yourself when you’re not, you are essentially doing the same thing as your spouse was in the hypothetical situation I just described. Also, if you give your pet compassion and care but neglect yourself, you are sending yourself a message that you are not worthy of care and compassion. That message is not true, so don’t send it. Give yourself as much care and compassion as possible. You deserve it!

Do You Think You Should Take Good Care of Yourself So You Can Take Better Care of Others?

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Have you ever said or thought that you want to take better care of yourself so you can take better care of your family and other people you love? There have been many times when I’ve heard my clients and others with chronic illnesses say that, which is not surprising, because it’s become somewhat of an axiom in our culture. Well known life coach and author Cheryl Richardson states that “By taking care of ourselves, we can better care for those around us.”

My concern with the whole idea of taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others is that it implies that we need a justification for taking care of ourselves. We don’t. As a human being, you deserve the best care you can give yourself. You are no less deserving of that care if you don’t turn around and take care of or do good things for others.

Now don’t get me wrong. I think serving and doing good things for others is a good thing. It helps them and we feel better when we do. But when it comes to taking good care of ourselves, we don’t need any justification for doing that.

So please take very good care of yourself. You deserve it.