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

The “Impossible” Dream

Last night after I got home from work I was scanning the online version of the New York Times.  On the front page was a headline about U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski.  Murkowski is a republican Senator from Alaska.  Recently, Murkowski lost her bid for re-election in the Alaska primary election.  The article discussed her decision to try to win as a write-in candidate (we’ll see how that goes).

The thing that caught my eye was a comment she made in a press conference.  She told the listeners, “In the Ancient Aluet language, there is not word for “impossible”.”  Whether or not you want to believe that applies to politics is irrelevant.  The idea to focus on is how have we become a culture that focuses on what’s impossible?

Following the diagnosis of a chronic or other life-altering illness the messages the mind sends to the body is important for healing.  If the mind tells the body that health is impossible then the body will come to believe and eventually give up. When taking on a health challenge the body, mind, and spirit must be in sync.  The same message must run through all levels of your being.

Fortunately, technology and scientific advances have made what was once “impossible” ….possible.  Think of the medications that have been invented.  Consider treatments like cyberknife that twenty years ago would have been “impossible”.  Look at the growth in utilization of complementary therapies like acupuncture to relieve symptoms and stress (although thousands of years old its acceptance has risen in the past decade).

I’m not sure why we dwell on the impossible.  Perhaps it’s a comfort to some when their treatments don’t work.  perhaps the idea of something being impossible relinquishes them of any responsibility they have for their own health and healing.  It’s perplexing because every day brings new possibility.

There’s a good book that came out some years ago called, The Art of Possibility, written by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.  It’s a good jumping off point to kick-start your revised belief system.  Give yourself every opportunity to get better and believe in what’s possible!!!

Is there something you believed was impossible?  How are you handling making the shift from impossible to possible?


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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