No… not YOU!
I explore why we are, and often do… make ourselves feel more sick, and/or more unhappy, than perhaps is necessary.
The first thing so many of us do when illness or unhappiness visits, is to close up our emotional shop. Down come the shutters… go away pain, divorce, job loss, and CANCER! Well, who wouldn’t. However, does this help?
when faced with illness and bad news/events – we opened the door to it and welcomed it in? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Yes, I know… it sounds radical, but it’s also anything but a new practice. If you are told the dreadful news that you have a life-limiting illness, you CAN choose to consider your response to this news. You really do have, as challenging as it might seem, a choice as to how you respond.
As the cliché goes – it’s not what happens to us – it’s how we respond to it.
There need be no exceptions to this…
A radical story is of the individual who goes to his physician to receive the results of his biopsies and is told “it is terminal, I’m sorry”!
The response of this individual is one that leaves the physician wondering if the dreadful news has caused the person to take leave of their senses because they ‘laugh’ – appearing completely unphased and accepting of what they have just learned. “Did you not hear what I said? You’re dying, and there is no hope.”
The individual looks compassionately at the physician and says calmly “I cannot change the news you have given me but I can choose, and exercise control and power over, how I respond and behave for what remains of my life. I choose to be as happy as I can – remaining positive, knowing that I can learn to accept and make the final days on this earthly plain as enjoyable as my mind will allow… or else, I can be miserable… and die that way. What a waste of knowledge… and remaining time.”
For less dramatic news, but that which we choose to allow to create huge emotional turbulence, we can choose our responses. If those choices are outside of what society deems appropriate – and is without deliberately harming others, then so much the better.
I have a shoulder pain, I’ve had it for weeks now but I choose to focus on life, and the parts of my body and mind that are fine just now. I can decide to focus on the pain… but why would anyone choose to do that? Will it remove the discomfort, or make it feel worse?
Open the Door
I have opened the door to physical pain. I accept it, knowing it is less than what I might wish for – but given it’s here, I accept it… and get on with the business of life. At some stage it may need attention. I can put in place actions required to achieve the appointment for referral, and then I can let go until another action is required.
We can focus, having immersed ourselves in the ‘news’ – at every opportunity, on bad news! Available via ears and sight 24/7 – 365 days a year we can learn that the world – and our place in it is under threat. We ‘learn’ that terrorism is rife and that no one is safe – anywhere!
Really? Consider the percentage of people on this planet who want to cause harm, compared to those who get on with the business of living – and even serve others? Just as with a shoulder pain, we can choose to focus on that which serves us! Or, we can ‘believe’ everything is screwed!
It always does… pass.
Try recalling the very last challenge, be it a relationship or an illness. Did it pass? If not, are you holding onto it and refusing to allow it to? Did you or can you, having opened that door and allowed it in, found acknowledgement and acceptance… and let go of it?
Without acceptance, in some form, we are imprisoned in our self-built and maintained ‘cell’. We continue to believe ‘it’s unfair… I am a victim… and it’s not even my fault’. That may be so… but how you choose to respond is.
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).