Posts Tagged ‘emotional healing’

The Healing Power of Time Travel

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

I bet you didn’t know that time travel can be healing. But by the end of this post, you will.

Let me say here that I’m not talking about the time travel described in books like H.G. Wells’s book The Time Machine or Edward Page Mitchell’s The Clock That Went Backwards. In those books, there is a machine or a device that can take people forward or backwards in time.

To the best of my knowledge, clocks or machines that can do that don’t exist.

But you can still travel in time – in your mind. And as the title of this post says, you can use that ability to heal.

Here’s how: think about a traumatic or painful event in your life. It could be when you were diagnosed with your illness. It could be when a person, such as a parent or a sibling, or a pet that you loved, died. It could be when your family moved away from the neighborhood where all your friends lived.

Those kind of events can have negative effects on us for the rest of our lives, even if we don’t realize it. They can instill an unconscious fear that keeps us from going for what we want. They can also affect our health and cause or contribute to illnesses that may occur many years later.

One of the main reasons events like the one you remembered were so traumatic was that we rarely had the support we needed when they happened, and because we didn’t, we felt alone and abandoned even if our siblings and others were going through it with us.

But with time travel, as I like to call it, we can go back to the person we were back then, whether that was a little boy or girl, a teenager, a young adult, or even a middle aged or older adult. Because we were that person earlier in our lives, we know what she or he was feeling. By letting that person know we understand their fear and anxiety, by letting them know we are truly sorry, and by reassuring them that they will get through the experience okay, we can be a huge help in their healing process. And when traumas and pain from our past are healed, that helps us in our healing, both physical and emotional, today.

I encourage you to give time travel healing a try, and post a comment here about your experience.

———————————————————————————————————

Tom Robinson is The Turnaround Coach for people with chronic illnesses. You can sign up for his free 7 day e-course, Learn How to Raise Your Energy and Your Spirit – and Say Goodbye to Feeling Hopeless and Depressed here.

A personal story: what I did when it felt like the deck of life was stacked against me

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

In this post, instead of writing about how to give yourself compassion and other things you can do to heal emotional pain and live well when you have a chronic illness, I’m going to write about a personal experience in which I experienced a lot of healing of my own emotional pain.

Earlier this month, my computer overheated, and without warming, shut itself off. I lost four or five sentences that I had written in a couple of files and hadn’t saved.

As computer mishaps go, it was a very minor one. But like most of us, I have experienced some major losses and upsets in my life, and the emotional pain from them must have gotten triggered, because I got very upset and angry. In fact, I got furious. I felt like God, for some reason, had it in for me and deliberately caused my computer to shutdown.

Now I know that isn’t true. Many years ago, He (note: I’m using He not because God is a he, but because the English language doesn’t have an appropriate pronoun), let me know, in a very profound and life-changing way, that He loves me and you and everyone unconditionally. But the knowledge from that wonderful communication wasn’t enough for me to stay calm during that unexpected experience.

When I get really upset from minor mishaps, I do two things. The first is to try to understand why I got so upset, and the second is to do my best to heal the emotional wound that got triggered so that it doesn’t get triggered the next time.

In this case, I was not able to clearly identify the cause of the trigger. But I was able to heal the wound. The healing that happened is hard to describe, but I will do my best. It occurred at a men’s group I attend. During the processing and healing part of the meeting, I chose one of the other men to play the role of God. While the two of us stood in the middle of the room, he acted like he really did have it in for me.

As I write this, I’m thinking it must sound kind of strange to a reader who wasn’t there. But the role playing made me feel like God really did have it in for me. It was a very painful experience. But then, and I can’t explain how it happened, I realized I was still standing and was really okay. Somehow I realized in that moment that God has given me the strength to get through the challenges life presents. And not only did He give me the strength to get through them, but He also gave me the desire to discover and do the things that bring me joy after I do get through them.

I hope this description, strange as it may sound, helps you get an idea of the healing I experienced.

And more than that, I hope that after reading it, you see how you have the strength to get through your challenges, and that no matter what your chronic illness and other challenges have been, you discover and do things that bring you joy.

—————————————————————————————————————————

Tom Robinson is a life coach for people with chronic illnesses. You can sign up for his free 7 day e-course, Learn How to Raise Your Spirit – and Say Goodbye to Feeling Hopeless and Depressed.

Are You Bitter Because of How Your Chronic Illness has Affected Your Life?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

I recently received an unsettling email from a woman who has lived with Myalgic Encephalopathy / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 25 years. Kathleen, as I’ll call her, wanted to know if I could help her.

The reason Kathleen’s email was unsettling was because she referred to a blog post I wrote last summer in which I basically asked my readers to imagine watching a movie where the protagonist had the same illness and was dealing with the same challenges that they were (here’s the link to that post). But instead of writing, as others who have contacted me about that post have written, that it was helpful, she said that if the protagonist has been wrongly accused or imprisoned, she identifies with them, but if not, not only does she not have any compassion for them, but she is happy when they fail.

She went on to say that that is how bitter not being able to be a mother or to have a successful career has made her, and added that while she would never do it, she sometimes has fantasies of killing people who are leading normal lives.

While what Kathleen wrote was unsettling, my heart goes out to her. When she became sick,she was working on a Ph.D. in psychology and felt very optimistic about her future. And then after almost 3 years of doing everything she could to regain her health, and getting some of it back, an accidental exposure to pesticides caused a relapse and even more symptoms, from which she has never recovered.

From what she wrote, I think Kathleen was talking about her reaction to watching real movies. But in my previous blog post, I was asking my readers to IMAGINE watching a movie in which the protagonist had the same illness and challenges they did. And if I have a chance to talk to Kathleen, I will suggest that she do that.

But while I didn’t say so in the previous post, I will be very clear with her that while imagining watching a movie like that is almost always very helpful and healing, it is not easy to do. To the contrary, it be very difficult and emotionally painful.

That’s why when I work with people, I give them several tools, strategies, and suggestions, and not just that one. If you’re interested, you can learn about several of those other strategies in my free E-Course: Learn How to Raise Your Energy – and Your Spirit – in Just 21 Days.

—————————————————————————————–

Tom Robinson, who has a chronic illness (Crohn’s disease) himself, helps people with chronic illnesses meet their many challenges and then find and follow a path to happiness and fulfillment.

Do Your Emotions Help or Hurt You as You Try to Live Your Best Possible Life?

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

I’ve known author and diabetes educator David Spero for several years, but I just recently discovered his diabetes self-management blog. I found his posts to be well written, and very helpful and informative – not just for people with diabetes, but for anyone with a chronic illness. And some of the posts were provocative.

In a post he titled “Do Your Emotions Help or Hurt You?,” David wrote about getting together with Mark, a friend of his who had AIDS and had nearly died from it but had regained his health and was doing well. David quoted something Mark said in their conversation, which was, “I learned not to pay attention to my emotions. I learned that emotions aren’t real. They’re just waves in your mind. They can get in the way of doing what you need to do. So if feelings can help me get from one place to another, I use them. If they’re in the way, I just let them go.”

David then described the ensuing discussion, in which he said that he trusted emotions more than thoughts and that we should put them to positive use, while Mark said that that if he kept going back to an emotion, like anger, that he was feeling, he would stay stuck.

David went on to say that he was beginning to think that Mark was right, that just as we are taught to notice thoughts and let them go while meditating, that we should just notice our emotions, try to understand what they are trying to tell us, and then let them go.

When I was growing up, there were far too many times when the painful and difficult emotions I felt were ignored, or if they weren’t ignored then I was often criticized for having them. That may be  at least part of the reason why I disagree with what Mark said, and why I don’t think David should have changed his view.

But Mark was right in realizing that it isn’t healthy to keep going back to an emotion. So what do we do? What I have discovered is that we need to acknowledge our difficult and painful emotions, and then let the part of ourselves that is having those emotions know that we have lots of empathy for it.

When we do that, that part of us knows it isn’t being dismissed or ignored. It feels reassured, and it lets go of the emotion without being forced to.

Having a chronic illness virtually always means experiencing difficult and painful emotions. I think they can be a big help in living your best possible life if you learn from them and have lots of empathy and compassion for yourself when you have them. What do you think?