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


As with any other catastrophe, t he news has been filled with stories about the Air France jet that crashed earlier this week.  I was particularly saddened by an interview with the wife of one of the passengers who was sitting by the phone waiting for her husband to call from his cell phone (which at this time is more than a mile below the surface of the water).  She was holding on to hope that he may have survived. 

I have a confession.  I don’t mind flying but when it’s clear I often look out the window trying to figure out how low we would have to be in order to survive a crash.  I know it’s morbid but for those of us who aren’t scientifically inclined the idea that we try and act like birds is unnerving.

I wanted to revisit the Air France crash because as I mentioned yesterday, no one can predict it will happen and therefore can’t prepare for such an event.  That means they couldn’t prepare for how they would live their lives in the mode of “as if”.  An “as if” philosophy gets you to ask the question such as, “If I knew I was going to die in a plane crash how would I treat those I love”.  Since these passengers didn’t have that opportunity the “real” experience of being in their bodies, possibly understanding the unresolved issues they were leaving behind happened in a short period of time as the plane plunged to the earth.

Is that the “gun to the head” that you want to live by?  Do you only make decisions or change who you act, think, or feel when you’re back is up against the wall?  The truth is if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness, your back is up against the wall.  It’s time you started the “as if” question because being in your body, no matter how uncomfortable it may be is crucial to healing.  You may not heal the body, but you can certainly heal the soul.

Don’t wait until you’re about to crash an burn to take stock of what’s important to you.  Social connection and love are two of the greatest medications ever created.  The ability to connect on a soul level alleviates emotional pain and suffering.  Understanding others, having empathy for others and being genuine is a gift both to you and the other person.

Facing an illness can be daunting, but don’t begin your physical, emotional and spiritual plunge to the earth without “real”izing what’s important and what soothes your soul.  “Real”ization is free, it may take some spiritual elbow grease, but it’s FREE!