The Role of Acceptance if Illness Comes
by Judith Orloff, M.D.
In my practice as a physician, acceptance places a large and sacred role. Acceptance doesn’t mean being a victim or passive. If illness comes, it requires acceptance of what needs to be done to heal
and taking the warrior's stance--being strong and sure in times of adversity. Acceptance is something to strive for. Illness, for many, is an initiation by fire. Intuition is the engine that drives. There is much to learn--enormous possibility. I want to stress: our healing
may take the form of getting well. It also may take the form of acute or chronic illness. Great compassion is required. No judgment. No failure. No blame. My spiritual teacher says, "If it is true gold, you need not be afraid of the furnace." When illness comes, adopt this
strategy: search for the white light in everyone who treats you, the interventions you decide upon, and all that you do.
Starting Points of a Positive Belief System; Accepting Yourself and Your Body
• The Body Is Holy
Your body is a temple. It houses spirit and blood, light and the interweaving of the material you. Everything about your body is holy: every physiological function contributes to your survival
and well-being. What areas of your body do you appreciate, perhaps even slave over to be attractive? Your skin? Your hair? Your eyes? Not surprising, given our culture's narrow definition of glamour. To heal, we must expand our notion of what is beautiful. Send love
everywhere. See where you hold back. What about your body evokes shame, self-loathing? Your internal organs? Your secretions? Sweat? Tears? Saliva? Reassess what is devalued, even unmentionable. Aim to accept the sacredness of your body. Create a more positive vision of your
physical self. Then if illness comes, you won't be trying to heal a body you may hate.
• It's Healthy to Express Your Emotions About Illness
If you get sick, express yourself. Accept your emotional Feeling upset, angry, depressed or afraid about your illness or another's can be stepping stones to compassion. Give yourself permission to be
who you are. The patients I'm most concerned about are those who go numb, suffer in silence, or are stoic to the point of shutting down. Each of us is entitled to our own coping style, but we must ask ourselves: Does it bring peace? Will it facilitate healing? Give strength?
Whatever your way is, be authentic. The goal is to shine light through darkness, never dwell in it. You have the right to voice even what may seem forbidden.Cut yourself some slack. Feelings are not facts, they're energy. If your aim is compassion, releasing this energy
productively can get you there. Accept yourself and believe in love that much.
• Spirituality Will Help You Heal
Science and spirituality mix. Over two hundred scientific studies have shown that spirituality is good for your health and promotes recovery from illness. Take cardiac disease. In 1995, the
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center found that for heart surgery patients a major predictor of survival was religious faith. For those without spiritual beliefs, the death rate was three times higher. As for blood pressure, another survey reveals that churchgoers have lower
blood pressure than non-churchgoers, even when smoking and other risk factors are considered. Let's also look at the elderly. The National Institute of Aging conducted a study which found that geriatric patients were physically healthier and less depressed if they attended
regular spiritual services. Across the board, research underscores the necessity of not waiting until illness or pain comes to draw on spirituality as a resource for healing and health.
• Accept That You Don't Have To Act Out Life's Traumas In Your Body
It is not necessary to resolve an emotional trauma by getting sick. What happens is this: a trauma occurs--a heartbreak, death or loss--then your body intuitively encodes it as energy. If you do your
best to deal with the difficulty, you can get a jump on resolving it. If not, the conflict will fester, may translate into physical symptoms or emotional distress. Without even realizing it, many of us wait for a health crisis to give a more lucid perspective on our lives,
make long overdue changes, or motivate us to work through past traumas. We use the energy of crisis to create change. I'm asking you to reappraise this strategy. By doing so, you may spare your body much pain and suffering.
However you conceive of illness, an element of mystery always exists. Still, there's so much we don't know. It's been popular the past decade to assign all kinds of meaning to symptoms, but this isn't
always possible. As a physician, I've learned to have awe for what is unknowable in ordinary terms. It's fine to seek a rational explanation for why you or someone you love becomes ill. But sometimes there just doesn't seem to be one. Your four-year-old develops a brain
tumor. How could there ever be a good reason for that? It's impossible to fathom. And yet you must accept the situation and not lose faith in God, yourself, or your child. Is this too much to ask of you? Or is this single act alone, faith in the face of the greatest possible
loss, more significant in the cosmic scheme of things than any one life itself, no matter how dear? An extremely hard call. Each of us must grapple with these self and universe-defining spiritual issues.
In all types of illness, from cancer to shaking a cold, never fail to remember the mind's capacity to heal, even what has been deemed unhealable. Try to know and accept this. By lovingly learning to
focus your intuition and developing compassionate self-acceptance, you will facilitate healing.
Judith Orloff, M.D.:
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Judith Orloff, M.D.,
an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA
and intuition expert, is author of the new book Emotional
Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and
Transform Your Life (Harmony
Books, 2009) Her other bestsellers are
Healing, and Second
Sight. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of
traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of
intuition and energy medicine. She passionately believes
that the future of medicine involves integrating all
this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total
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