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

Are You an Illness Whisperer?

Life is full of choices.  When we get surveys we always have to check a box that represents something about us, but is it accurate?  What if we’re more than just one thing (other than gender and age)?  We get caught up in being one thing and one thing only, but we’re multi-dimensional and following the diagnosis of a chronic or other life-altering illness you become even more dimensional with new roles and experiences.

The fact of the matter is that you’re both a lion and a lion tamer?  It’s like the person who is a horse whisperer, being diagnosed with an illness engages you to become an illness whisperer.  What exactly does that mean?  It means that there’s a level of trust you develop with your own self.  It means that you are committed to a process that fosters and expands the possibilities for health and healing.  As a lion tamer the vision is beating the illness into submission, and that’s what treatment may do, but it’s not what you as the container are trusted to do in these instances.  Your body, mind, and spirit trust you to preserve the integrity of the self, seeking solutions to your health challenge while continuously looking for ways to improve your quality of life.

There are times when it’s important to be the lion and come out with the biggest roar possible.  Being the kingdom of your domain is important because your health is your responsibility and recruiting the best people to guide you in that process is critical for health and healing.  Your lion persona asks that you have an inner confidence, not that you’ll come up with the answer or cure for your illness; but that you have the bravado and the intent to do everything in your power to create change, both internally and externally.

Don’t get caught in one role.  Make sure that you allow yourself the flexibility to step into the shoes of person you need to be in any given moment.  This isn’t about dominance and submission, but about trust and cooperation.  Your body, mind, and spirit need to work as the driving force on your journey to wellness.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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