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

Why Do We Look for the How To?

Everyone feels confident when they are employing the use of an instruction manual.  They provide detailed information on how to take care of any issue in digestible steps.  I love when the instructions read “so easy a child can do it” because that’s when I enlist the help of friends with PhD’s in engineering to help with the task.  What may seem easy to some can be very difficult for others depending on whether you’re a left or right brain dominant individual.  Left brain people are more analytical and technical in their thought patterns.  Right brain people are often more creative and big picture types.  Either way the instruction manual is something you seek because it makes life easier; that is until you got your illness diagnosis.

Ever go to a bookstore and look at all the books that tell you “how to” tackle a health issue?  The problem comes when you try and juggle too many of these at the same time and you feel conflicted because the opinions may be contradictory to one another.  You have to remember that those writing the book are speaking of their experience.  When the books are written in the first person what you’re reading is their experience and it may not be generalizable to anyone outside of themselves. 

Illness is a highly personal experience.  The “how to” in illness is often in the medical arena where there are gold standard treatments for each diagnosis.  Even with science, not everyone will be helped by the treatments because each person is uniquely unique.  So where do you turn if the “how to” isn’t the place to find the answers?  Turning within is where you will find an unlimited supply of love and energy.  It’s the place that is a wellspring of questions focused on getting you to think deeper about your own level of consciousness and it’s impact on your health.

Too many people are looking for what meaning their illness holds and I’m not sure that meaning is the goal.  I believe that self-understanding is the goal.  The illness, if you are a conscious being, asks deep questions you may not have considered since childhood.  These inquiries are not to discourage you, but to challenge you to think more expansively about your life.  When facing a health challenge, do you really want a “how to” book?  You’re much more resourceful so keep asking the questions and listen closely for the answers.