A walk in the park for clarity

Contradictions: Over-Identifying with What We Don’t Want

Our thoughts and words are heard by our entire system/body, which is why we must be mindful of what we “say to it, what we reinforce”. Here are some questions to think about:

What are you identifying with? What are you taking ownership of? What are you embracing as a part of who YOU are? I’ll give you some examples of what I am referring to.

When someone uses words like: “MY migraines are…”, “MY cancer is…”, “Oh that sounds a lot like the pain I get from MY….”, “MY depression is…”, “Oh, when MINE starts acting up I just take a pill…”, “Well, MY (fill in the blank with illness/condition/situation) is different/worse because…”, “It’s MY bad luck…”.

Do any of those sound familiar to you? You’ve probably heard a few of those, or all of them. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. You have over-identified with your illness, your condition or situation, embracing it as a part of who you are. And I’ll say it very simply and straightforward: Please stop doing that to yourSelf.

Think about it this way. When you over-identify with an illness by referring to it as MINE/MY, it’s as if you’ve signed a contract binding yourself to said illness/condition/situation. Imagine, if movie vampires were real, and one came to your front door, asking to be invited in, and you did just that. And now (according to vampire lore), it can do whatever it wants to you/your home because you’ve given it permission to do so by inviting it in. And what do vampires do? They suck the life out of you.

But what if it is in fact, a “permanent” situation? Then what? If, for example, someone is born blind or paraplegic, that is a different story and not what I am referring to today.

Claiming ownership of diseases or unpleasant situations in our lives may be an attempt at feeling like we are (still) in control, but that is far from true. This behavior is a trap in which we create a twisted bond that screams, “I WANT MORE OF THIS IN MY LIFE PLEASE!”. It’s a way to get attention when we are feeling miserable, and the kind of attention that we call in is mainly not a healing or helpful attention. It’s more of a pity that acts as a lube which causes us to continue slipping down a dark path. And down this path, we inhibit our body’s natural ability to self-heal, while also adding roadblocks to any outside help we may seek to receive.

I’ve known a few people who have been suffering from an illness for years. Their identification and ownership with the situation goes to the point where they consistently refer to it as an old friend, they hold on to photos or data of their worst days, they even advertise their connection to their “old friend” via marketing materials such as stickers, posters, and t-shirts. I am aware that there is such a thing as “raising awareness”, but there is a fine line between raising awareness and taking ownership/over-identifying with it, and this line is not hidden from us. If we share positive news and stories that give hope, that educate in a positive manner, then we are raising awareness.

This doesn’t mean that we must ignore reality, hoping it goes away. We all know that’s not how things work in life. Discontinue your attachment. That thing, that illness, condition, pain, situation is not a permanent part of your life. You are looking forward to you moving away from it, to it clearing out, to your body completely destroying it and healing. Am I correct? So, instead of attaching to it, invite the balance, the recovery, the healing, the getting over it by treating the current situation as what you want it to be: a passing energy; a temporary situation/lesson. Make it “smaller”, not “bigger” by imagining it that way. Just a tiny spec which keeps getting smaller, and will soon be no more.

I’ll share my personal experience with you. I used to suffer from intense migraines, and some times I had to go to the ER. I had a strong identification with the migraines, and I would use the MINE/MY bond as well. The situation felt like a familiar old “friend” whom I didn’t really enjoy hanging out with, but they had been around so long that I just “got used to them” so to speak. Once I came to the realization that I was over-identifying with something that I didn’t want to experience, things began to change. I was more mindful of my words and thoughts. Today, I rarely experience migraines, and if they do happen, I see them as a passing experience that may just be telling me that I am not doing a good job with my self-care at the moment.

I hope that my story helped bring some clarity to you, and if you have any experiences that you would like to share, I’d love to read them! I will consider writing a part 2 for this story, if some of you decide to share.

Thank you for being here and for taking good care of yourSelf.

~Linette

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