By: Ed & Deb Shapiro
Do you want to be well? Really?
Think about it, about what it would be like to have nothing to complain about? To have nothing special about you? We have to be honest. Are we ready to have no specific reason why people should pay us attention? How many of us might prefer to take a pill than to deal with either fear or anger, or go under the knife rather than change our behavior? How many of us need something to talk about or identify with, rather than having nothing outstanding about ourselves
In other words, to heal we have to want to get better more than we want the familiarity and lifestyle patterns of being sick, either physically or psycho/emotionally.
There may be hidden agendas for our unwellness, unconscious reasons that hold us back from healing. For instance, being sick means being the center of attraction and we may feel that without problems we would be without friends, partner or involved family. Illness can make us feel special, worthy of respect or attention for the suffering we have to endure; sickness is a constant source of conversation; it may be a way of punishing ourselves, or of inducing shame or guilt in others. Sickness can also be a way to opt out of having to do something, or a way to have some time to ourselves, free of responsibility. You can ask yourself: What does this sickness stop me from doing? What does it enable me to do?
Or ask yourself: Can you imagine being free of your limitations or resistances? Can you visualize yourself better, healed, whole? How does that feel? How does wellness affect your life patterns? Your relationships? Are you prepared to do without the extra attention? What does wellness mean you have to confront in yourself? What changes would have to be made in your life?
Illness gives us a sense of distinction and identity, determining our actions and behavior. We may be very angry about being ill, blaming others or external circumstances for our sorry state. But by identifying so strongly with what is wrong we lose touch with what is right, with who we we are in our wholeness. We dig such a deep ditch that we become unable to see over the top. These basically self-centered attitudes towards illness (poor me) or repressed feelings of anger and resentment (why is this happening to me? I must be a terrible person to deserve this!) provides fuel for further pain and suffering. As long as we believe we are victims of circumstance, helpless and mistreated by life, then we are perpetuating neurosis. That in turn will feed the illness or psycho/emotional pain.
What we all so easily forget is that being ordinary is OK! Everyone experiences pain and suffering, not just us, and we don’t have to be someone special to be lovable, we are lovable just as we are. Being ordinary means not having to hog the limelight but having space for others, being able to wish them well, without comparison or judgment; it means keeping our heart open even in the midst of pain.
If we can recognize our difficulties for what they are and accept them as simply that, without creating further drama, then we have the power to let go and be healed. To heal is to become whole: to become whole is to embrace ourselves, just as we are. It means accepting guilt, shame or anger with compassion and without blame. It means being able to love ourselves without demanding that others love us first. We don’t have to be such a big deal, don’t have to be so demanding. We all shine equally beautiful.
This implies a deep willingness to change, which is not easy as we are constantly convincing ourselves of our neediness and specialness. If we can have the faith to drop the illusions, the bravado, the fears, deceits and insecurities, then we may find we have the courage to be ordinary, to simply be. Everything else is extraordinary. Can you drop the extra and come into being who you really are in your true beauty?
Can you be ordinary?
Winning Authors Ed and Deb of Be The Change, How Meditation can Transform You and the World, are mindfulness, meditation and yoga experts. Deb is the author of Your Body Speaks Your Mind, now in 19 languages. They have three meditation CDs. See more at EdandDebShapiro.com.