Are We Our Own Healers?

doctorofficeAs I sat in the waiting room at the dermatologist’s office today, I thought about how much our attitude affects our health and our healing process.

I was diagnosed with melanoma just over 10 years ago at my very first appointment with the dermatologist. I had made the appointment under the plea of my mother who had been heavily suggesting a check up for the past few years! I was young – in my 20s – and thought I was the queen of health and surely invincible. That particular appointment back in 1997 showed me otherwise.

Upon the diagnosis, I felt scared, confused, angry and guilty. I felt guilty that I had not taken better care of myself, angry that this was happening to me, confused about what my chances for living were and scared that I had NO idea what this all meant for my future. Could it spread in me unknowingly and that would be that? I was a victim.

As suggested by my doctor, I took care of the melanoma through surgery and began on a schedule of regular check-ups. Young and not wanting to believe that I had a condition that was life threatening – I tried to move on with my life. I took a job overseas, lived and traveled abroad for a couple of years and the “regular” check ups at the dermatologist became scarce. I was trying to convince myself that I had moved on completely. Actually I was in denial.

Within a couple of years I moved back to New York and decided it would be a good idea to get a check up. I was quickly awakened from my state of denial when I was diagnosed with a second melanoma. I felt helpless and angry at my body. What was going on in my body that I could not see? How could I feel so good and yet be confronted with something that is life threatening? A bit of the victim mode snuck back.

At this point I had been a victim, been in denial — and now was confronted with the fact that two family friends had died from melanoma in the recent years. I began to see that if I wanted to live I better shift my practices and my ATTITUDE. Instead of playing victim, I decided that I wanted to know more about what was happening “behind the scenes” in the cells of my body and become a player in my own healing.

One major tool I used to find out more was yoga. Yoga helped me become acquainted with my body in a deep and intimate way. I could feel when my kidneys were in fear, when my liver was in anger, and when my heart was closed. I could feel when my mind was relaxed, my hands happy, and my eyes at peace. I studied and explored yoga and yoga therapy and soon added Reiki, acupuncture and massage. I had my chakras read, my aura read and became a big fan of Louise Hay and her book “Heal Your Body.” All of this work helped me understand the connection between illnesses I was having (not only the melanoma) and the emotions and attitude behind the illness.

Today as I waited in the doctor’s office, I felt calm and secure. I felt that after spending years with a victim attitude and years in denial, that this time I was the one determining my diagnosis. I have learned tools that have empowered me to be my own healer. This is not to say that I won’t be going to the doctor on a regular basis for checkups, preventative care and early screening, but it does mean that I have a new attitude about healing. No longer victim, I am a partner with my doctors and I know deep in my heart that I have the power to change any negative result. As my yoga teacher, Saul David Raye, said in class tonight., “Our bodies have a deep intelligence…we have the power to change things…Look at the election!”

What is your attitude about healing?

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Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. Additionally she is the founder of Lotus Blossom Style, a yoga lifestyle company created to support women in their personal transformation. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

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8 thoughts on “Are We Our Own Healers?

  1. Oh, one more thing. Check out a talk by Jill Bolte Taylor at TED.COM. It’s about mind-body connection and consciousness. It’s called “My Stroke of Insight.” You’ll enjoy it!

  2. Isn’t is amazing how an illness can set us on an odyssey of self discover that touches every other part of our lives?
    I came to healing, both as a practitioner and as a recipient, before I ever experienced any major health calamities – at least before I knew about any of them… it was the healing work that helped me realize the definition of health and how I really wanted to feel.
    Now that I am steeped in the world of energy medicine and Reiki and practice yoga and meditation, I know that I am realizing a whole new world of well-being. At the same time, there are some nasty health issues that keep plaguing me, that I have not yet been able to eradicate. I am caught in this web of recognizing I have so much power to heal myself, but this is one thing that I cannot seem to shift. On bad days, I end up in this non-productive cycle of self recrimination. I know that healers can help, but not necessarily cure me. I know that I can be good to myself and practice all of the right techniques, but I will not necessarily see results right away. I also have to realize that there are some aspects of the body and energy that are out of my hands, mysteries that cannot be immediately solved, maladies that are not meant to vanish just because I declare that they should. At this point, I have made peace with my body’s weaknesses because only in understanding dis-ease can I become a better healer for the world around me.

    Wow, didn’t expect to ramble so much – oops! Just found your blog today and really enjoyed your post!

  3. How wonderful to hear your perspective on healing. I just checked out your blog and see that you are also looking at and writing about issues of healing, daily life and our place in the universal picture. Thank you for writing and sharing!

  4. Hi Tabby,

    Your story is very moving, and amazing to see the healing process come through yoga. I always thought it was possible, and now I know it is! Fantastic story.

    Best,
    Ingrid

  5. Tabby,

    Bravo. You overcome a major obstacle in your life and stopped living in fear. That’s great.

    I felt the same way when I was diagnosed with Hodgkins five years ago and even though complications from it still exists today but I am happy and appreciate everyday that I am alive.

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