Healing in the Now
Whether we’re suffering emotionally or physically, no one I know likes to suffer for very long. This is natural and normal, and I never would blame anyone for wanting to get better quickly. However, sometimes the desire to get better becomes a permanent stance of impatience that can actually thwart our efforts to get better. If becomes a cruel paradox in which we strive so hard to not feel the way were feeling that we make ourselves more miserable. Living in the future too much distracts us from what we can do in the moment to make ourselves feel better.
I know a lot of people who have emotional or physical problems, both professionally and personally. I myself have been in that boat, and struggling with a chronic illness is never a fun thing. I have also noticed that the people who live well and feel better quicker, do not get caught up in how fast their healing. They’re not in competition with other people who also suffer to see who gets better fastest and in the best way.
We have what is called bio individuality, which means that we all have unique body chemistry that interact with our emotional and spiritual selves. What works for one person may not work for another.
There are some things, like alcohol and cigarettes, that probably don’t work for most people to create optimal wellness. However, some people might do very well on them diet with a lot of meat and rich foods, while someone else might feel better if he mostly vegetables and fruit. The point of this is that if we find something that works for us, it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else who has health problems or mental health issues. We need to be careful about how we talk about our health, not just for others sake but also for our own sake.
What do I mean by this? When we think of ourselves as inadequate because we have a mental or physical condition, and we get angry at ourselves for not progressing further, it rarely serves us. If it motivates us to action, such as exercising more, eating better, applying ourselves rigorously to what our doctors recommend, then it can be helpful. However, what I usually see is that people’s impatience and anger at themselves turns into a self-destructive pattern of self- rebuke and low self-esteem, sometimes even depression. It’s natural and as I said before to want to get better. When it turns unhealthy is when we get so bogged down in impatience and anger, that we ignore what we can do in the present moment to improve our well-being.
Sometimes there isn’t a lot we can do in the moment, at least from a medical standpoint. They may be taking our medications as prescribed, going to therapy your physical therapy, eating the way were supposed to, but the internal work that needs to be done falls by the wayside. What is this internal work? It’s noticing what’s going on right now in our body, mind and spirit. If that sounds to ethereal an abstract, what I mean is that we can observe how were moving, how we’re thinking, and how we’re feeling emotionally. We can use that data to make decisions about how we care for ourselves.
That is a better use of our time and energy than getting angry at ourselves for not being healthier. Anger at ourselves is only useful if it motivates us to protect ourselves order energizes us toward effective solutions. Please keep this in mind next time you find yourself getting frustrated with yourself for not being healthier, happier, more productive, etc.