Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

When No One is Watching

If you were to do an assessment of your life how accurate do you believe you would be?  Are there things you do in the privacy of your own home or in your office that you don’t share with the rest of the world?  Do you keep things secret so you won’t be judged?  These are important questions because who you are when no one is looking is important to your health and wellness.

We see lots of reality shows where contestants live together like MTV’s “The Real World, CBS’ “Big Brother” and of course “Survivor”.  Each show doesn’t allow the contestants to hide so we see all their manipulations and eccentricities.  Yes, it is a contest so maybe their actions are a bit exaggerated, but I would guess they aren’t huge abstractions.  Cheri Huber a noted author and Buddhist Priest wrote a book titled, How you do anything, is how you do everything.  If that’s the case then whether the cameras are rolling or not you are probably similar in all situations.

I have a unique opportunity this week to observe a family from the inside.  I’m spending time helping take care of members of my family as they rally around one of the kids who is in the hospital.  The view from the inside is very different from the external view.  When you see all the truth instead of what people want you to see a clarity descends upon the soul and understanding takes hold.  Once that happens the acts of compassion kick into gear and then support and loving kindness can follow, once you get over the shock of it all.

My post from earlier in the week discussed the importance of telling your providers the truth about your life and your habits.  If we were to install a hidden camera in our home what would we see that you haven’t made public?  Are you engaging in behaviors that if we showed your doctor he/she would be a bit shocked?  We all think we can get away with something when others aren’t watching.  The body is bearing witness to it all.  It will reveal the secrets of the vows your breaking.  It will expose you to the point of embarrassment when your lab tests reveal your level of non-compliance.

The amazing thing is that we think we’re invisible in this world.  The reality is that you can never hide from your own body.   You can’t engage in sabotaging behavior and not believe that it makes a difference in your journey to wellness.  I can’t tell you how many conversations I overhear at Starbucks with friends engaging in true confessions thinking that if they confess to a friend they will get absolution from their doctors.  At some point when facing a health challenge you have to look in the mirror and say “gottcha”.  You aren’t fooling anyone no matter how clever your disguise.

What are you doing when no one is watching?  What would it take to change that behavior so that you can honor and assist your body as it works toward healing?  How will you develop your highest level of transparency?