To Whispers of the Soul -
Cancer as a Turning Point ©
A Healing Journey of Mind - Body and Spirit
First of all I would like to welcome you very warmly to the pages of Cancer as a Turning Point - Whispers of the Soul.
This "E- Book" was written for people with cancer, to help them to understand the pivotal role they can play in their own healing and recovery process. You may have just learned that you have cancer, or you may be in treatment. At every point, most likely you have a range of feelings and these feelings and emotions about your cancer may be with you for a long time. A life crisis or traumatic event such as a diagnosis of cancer can disrupt or even shatter basic beliefs and assumptions about one’s identify‚ safety and invulnerability. It pushes us beyond our limits and deeply challenges core beliefs and assumptions about one’s self and the meaning of life.
Whatever your situation, my intention is to support you in your self - healing and transformation process to health and well being, to help you to find the kind of support, which is right for you. My role as a mentor is to assist you in aligning yourself with the source of your own inner wisdom and creative capabilities.
Cancer As A Turning Point - Whispers of the Soul, evolved out of my attempts to create a container and structure that would support my own healing journey through cancer. I never dreamed that I would write a manual for my own healing that I desperately wanted to read when I was first diagnosed, but I also never wanted anyone to feel alone again.
I discovered the joy of sharing my experiences and ideas with others, and watching them benefit as they put the ideas to work in their own lives. I have the desire to support others when they are undergoing or need to undergo a life transition and to navigate their way out of whatever difficulties they are facing through self-acceptance, development, improvement and joy. Illness can stop us in our tracks, and prevent us from living the life we could be living.
I belief that the human body is generally “designed” to be self-healing and will heal beautifully do its assigned task if we properly support and / or don’t hinder it in the performance of this basic function.
That is while the basic of all my work is self - healing and inner transformation, to help those who are ill to recover, not only because of themselves. There is a ripple effect that occurs when someone is healed. Their life, lived fully, touches many others, and can spread out through time and space to eternity. Some of the greatest satisfactions in my life come from empowering people just like you, bringing out the healer in them, practicing the healing art myself, and experiencing the joy that comes from facilitating others in their self - healing and inner transformation work to be well.
OPEN YOUR WINGS
"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly" Langston Hughes
The main focus of my work and this manual is to bring increased awareness to whatever is currently most influential for you on the conscious and unconscious level.
This will create an opportunity for you to look at your beliefs, emotions, behaviours and aspects of your self – image and self – identity which no longer serves your growth. It also enables you to establish a deeper connection with your core self, which in itself will activate your healing. Depending on your needs my intention is to bringing limiting or restricting beliefs into your awareness, to assist you releasing blocked or stuck emotional energies and patterns, guide you to release old traumas and activate your own self – healing energies, provide guidance and support for you through a difficult life transition, e.g. cancer and assist you to reduce any inner conflicts you may have.
Many of my clients have already a health-care practitioner (doctor or complementary therapist) but are looking to work on a deeper level with themselves when they come into my practice. Some of them have reached the limits of what homeopathy and other forms of medicine can do at the present time. My intention is to engage directly with your own inner growth process and self-healing capacity, which complements, but does not take the place of appropriate medical care where this is needed.
The First Fledgling Notes
From my first fledgling notes grew this tool to assist others in organizing their cancer experience, which is not about cancer. It's about living. I believe that information and help should be made available to anyone afflicted with cancer or other illness, regardless of the their financial situation. This is why I am providing potentially life - supporting information for free rather than selling part of it in book form. However, without the valuable contribution of the experts - the patients and their family members and friends about their experiences with cancer, this manual would have not been complete. Without a doubt, I have learned most from the many people with cancer and their families with whom I have shared the pain and the triumph of their cancer experience. I'm most indebted to Dr. Rosy Daniel, the founder and medical director of Health Creation UK, who gave so many of us the opportunity to practice a unique model of integrated medicine, which has been a great value to those who have experienced it as patients or practitioners.
The next pages gives you nudges and prods, points you in certain direction, directs your attention to areas that might prove rewarding of exploration. Each page is a chapter in itself. Take your time to work through the next pages. Please don't read the manual to avoid death. Read it to heal yourself from cancer and your life and receive the blessings that come in many shapes and sizes - one of which may be learning that the treatments and side effects of your disease are not all negative. What I have learned on my own healing journey is, that you must be willing to commit yourself to the challenge of your life transforming healing journey through cancer. My experience has been that making a commitment to your own growth and healing process is a crucial step in the direction of deep and lasting personal transformation. No book or person can change or heal you - only you can do that. Your support crew (doctors, nurses, medical staff, complementary therapists and companions, family and friends, social workers, ministers) are glad to support you in your healing journey through cancer, back to health, to develop the will to live and the strength to survive.
I'm talking about the importance of the connection between the mind and body for your healing. I'm bringing the emotional and spiritual experience of illness to your attention. The mind and emotions are playing a vital role for your healing and recovery from cancer. I do not want to convince you that your illness is only in your mind. Your illness is real and there is nothing wrong with you. You are certainly not to be blamed to have cancer! People sometimes tend to do this when they learn that certain beliefs and actions can promote healing. If you find that you are unable to cure your disease, you may be tempted to view your illness as a personal defeat. That is certainly not my view. I don't blame anyone for illness, and I don't belief that illness is punishment inflicted by God.
However, I want to strengthen the thought that the mind and body are a team and influence each other. There is an intimate and dynamic relationship between what is going on in your life, with your thoughts and feelings and what happens to your body.
Skip over the chapters that may seem to difficult. If you are running out of steam in one section, move to another. You always can come back to the unfinished one later on. The beginning is often the hardest. However, the first step you take on your healing path is the most important one.
I hope that the next pages inspire you to be in touch with yourself, your needs and feelings, that you find the nourishment for your heart, soul and body and inspires you to find the self - expression and joy to lift your spirit. Be gentle with yourself. There is no hurry and your healing journey may take the rest of your life (I'm still on mine).
My intention in sharing my professional and personal experience is to give you the tools to look within and discover the untapped fountain of wellness and vitality that we all possess, to empower you to take responsibility for your own healthcare. I trust in your capacity to heal yourself in whatever way it is appropriate for you.
"If the Healing Art is most Divine, it must occupy itself with the Soul as well as the Body"
I began to keep a journal and found that writing forced me to identify and seek answers to my own questions about the healing from cancer. Having worked for over 30 years in the field of complementary medicine I was fairly familiar with the different therapies and I also had a small library of books and papers relating to complementary and conventional medicine. Sifting through them I felt, that both, alternative and conventional medical professionals, speak completely different languages, unwilling or unable to understand each other. I wondered how a layperson, without my years of experience, could make a sense of all this confusing and conflicting information. I felt that many of these well - intentioned written materials had a myopic and hostile stance toward each other and that each of the authors claimed to have the cure for cancer.
Although there are some universals about the cancer experience, particularly the sense of uncertainty people feel, we are each as distinct from one another in our psychological dimension as we are in the pattern of our unique voice, fingerprints and our DNA. It has always seemed unlikely to me, given this diversity, that there is a single right answer for everybody. I tend to doubt any person who says, "I have the answer for you." Cancer is a complex disease with has no single cause and it is unlikely to have a single solution for the healing from it.
In my view, the only logical approach to cancer must be a multifaceted one which addresses the problem from all different angles. To find a solution we have to address the underlying cause. It is illogical for me that one day we will find a "magic bullet" cure for cancer which will eliminate all the factors which have caused the illness in the first place.
I also realized the limits of conventional medicine and so I was searching for comprehensive holistic material, to which I could relate to for my own healing, a programme, which addresses all the essential elements in a patients life: The psychological and emotional, the physical, behavioural and nutritional and the spiritual one. Due to the lack of availability at the time of my illness, I decided to write my own healing manual.
I was able to achieve the healing of my body from cancer mainly by working with the mind - body connection. During my pilgrimage to health I also experienced with gratitude the healing power of homeopathy. I never received any conventional medical treatment. In spite of this, I believe that my personal involvement with my health was the most powerful tool I had to overcome cancer, helping me to make a remarkable recovery from what was diagnosed to be a terminal illness. I'm indebted to all those who have guided and supported me along this fascinating path of discovery.
After my recovery from cancer in 2004 I met a remarkable woman in the field of integrated medicine, Dr. Rosy Daniel, UK. Dr. Daniel was for 20 years the medical director of the famous Bristol Cancer Help Center and now Director and owner of Health Creation UK. She wrote a pioneering and comprehensive programme and complete holistic manual, the Cancer Lifeline Kit and Health Creation Programme, for people with serious illnesses and everyone who wants to embark on a healing journey. This programme is a culmination of her work in integrated cancer medicine. She produced the Health Creation Programme on the basis of her twenty years experience of empowering those with cancer to rebuild their health and to prevent illness.
I was deeply touched reading this complete and remarkable and beautiful illustrated life supporting and healing manual for people with cancer and was at the same time astounded, because it mirrored my own healing manual. I liked the well written work also for the reason that it is free of the usual positive thinking jargon, which is nowadays so common in the alternative therapy movement. This inspired me to study with Dr. Daniel to enhance my own skills in supporting others who are ill with cancer.
The Health Creation Programme pushes beyond health risk appraisals to the wellness dimension of the illness-wellness continuum. Conventional medical care alone will never bring you too the brink of joyfulness, zest for life, and treating the environment responsibly. This programme puts the health back into health care. It is a refreshing approach after years of "strictly by the numbers" Health Risk Appraisals that tell you how old you ought to be or why you are not already dead. Without a doubt, this work manual is the most valuable and useful resource on wellness ever written. It has often been said that there is, unfortunately, no manual for living - but this well-loved manual comes pretty close.
Link: Cancer Lifeline Kit, Health Creation Programme
Beside of my passionate interest in Art, I always wanted to work in the field of medicine. Growing up in the 1950’s in a village in Germany, I greatly admired the country doctor, who took care of all generations of a family and knew their strengths and foibles. He treated his patients for their range of health problems, from the physical to the psychological, with homeopathy, herbal medicine and traditional folk medicine beside of conventional medicine.
Like most medical physicians in the last two century, he related more upon electing and appraising the significance of the patient’s history, environment, emotional make up and lifestyle, in contrast to contemporary diagnostic workups, which emphasize sophisticated laboratory tests and image procedures. He undoubtedly spent much more time observing patients and talking to them about intimate family, social and work related relationships, and other potentially pertinent psychological influences. He certainly had a greater sensitivity to any subtle relationships between stress and cancer, than this is possible in the frenetic pace of today’s high – tech, and often apathetic, practice environment.
He knew, if he would only focus on the physically complain of his patients, or what new medical regime to follow, or what drugs, herbs or supplements to give, he would bypass really fast important areas in the process of healing. He did not simply treat the disease, which is a mechanical process, he was interested to help his patients as human beings. He made a difference in people's lives, and I wanted to do something like that.
As I started my training as a nurse he shared with me one of the most valuable and simple teachings of working as a health practitioner. He told me that how you treat someone and not what you do is the most important treatment for your patients. This struck a deep chord with me and became my life long guidance in my work. Only later I read a quote from Carl Jung:"It is what you are that heals, not what you do" This just reinforced the wonderful and wise words and teaching I had received from our GP many years before.
Listening with a Humble Ear...
As a nurse I loved all of medicine and taking care of patients. But I found that listening to people's stories of how they became ill and how they were dealing with their illness was equally interesting to me then only caring for the physical aspects of their heart trouble or high blood pressure. It was compelling to observe many people with the same illness and similar symptoms and to note the striking differences in their emotional reactions. The reactions ranged from quiet, effective coping in some to a sense of panic and helplessness in others. Making my rounds in the hospital from room to room, I noticed that some were consumed by fear and sadness - I could hear the worries and fear in their voices and see the anxiety in their eyes - while others with the same illness seemed optimistic and hopeful about the future.
Sometimes people were so upset that they were simply unable to go through the treatments they needed to be healed from. I wondered why one person coped so well, while another had such a hard time. What factors led to these very different responses to the same illness? And how could one help those having trouble coping?
I became keenly interested then in understanding how people faced the crisis of an illness that threatened their life and the factors that seemed to influence good or poor coping. The pursuit of this interest and my own personally experience with cancer led me eventually to the work in the field of psychoneuroimmunology and behavioural medicine.
Through my own cancer journeys, first in 1989 and then again in 1995, I felt that cancer provided the ideal setting for me to study people's reactions to illness and particularly to cancer. I became aware about the devastation a diagnosis of cancer brings and that an extraordinary level of empathy and support is needed to heal from cancer. People with cancer and their families have an acute need to have the best and empowering support and information what is available in cancer care to allow them to take an active part in their journey back to health.
From a personal perspective, the journey to psycho-oncology has been both challenging and rewarding. It has been a rewarding personal journey for me to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges people with cancer and their families face and to appreciate how they manage them. I am inspired by the courage, strength, faith, generosity, and even the humor of cancer patients and their families.
Supporting People with Cancer
I have been listening to patients and their families as they have confronted cancer and struggled to gain a perspective on an unexpected and unwanted intrusion that threatened their own or a loved one's very existence. I have been privileged to witness their remarkable courage and strength. I am grateful for the knowledge and insights that these extraordinary people have shared with me. To help some in their journey through the cancer experience has been an even greater privilege that has more than countered the stresses and challenges of the work.
Some people come to see me at that moment, right after hearing the news of their diagnosis, when they are scared, mixed up, and overwhelmed to the point that they can't take the next step. Others come later, after starting their treatment. They hit a "bump in the road" as they try to cope with the new challenges in their life and the treatments involved. Some are feeling "wired" or scared, not being able to sleep or to concentrate on anything, feeling tired and down in the dumps, or being uncertain about the future.
These feelings lead to questions like these: "Why me?" "Can I get through this"? "Is there a light at the end of the tunnel"? "Will I have done it all for nothing"? "Am I going to die"?, "Will I suffer"?
Some people don't come to see me until their treatment is over. They handled treatment fine because they were in a crisis mode and were doing something to fight the cancer. Now that the treatment is completed, they begin to reflect on what they've been through. At that level some clients feel inclined to work on a deeper level of self - healing and are looking for any possible causes of their cancer and ready for any transformation in their lives.
Sometimes it's not the person with cancer who comes to see me at all, but a family member or other loved one who finds it painful to watch as the person encounters the curves, valleys, and hills of the cancer journey and needs extra support.
With each of these people, whatever their situation, we talk about how challenging it's been for them to get to where they are now. They often have looked only at their personal shortcomings in meeting the day - to - day crises, seeing only the trees and not the forest. I help them focus on the bigger picture, which so many times reveals how remarkably strong and courageous they have been in the face of one of life's gravest challenges: the threat to life itself. I'm interested in seeing how I can help people as human beings, how they are feeling deep in their hearts. This means that the individual needs to participate, get involved in their own healing.
Together, we look for their inner sources of strength and try to identify their well - defined ways of dealing with adversities that have worked in the past and will likely work again. We review what they know about their cancer and what treatments are out there, and I help them get more information when it is appropriate or wanted. We go over their reactions to the diagnosis, their problem with treatment, and their stress as they see family, friends, and coworkers adjusting to the illness of someone close.
Some clients like to use homeopathic remedies as an adjuvant treatment to ease the emotional shock and distress as a result of their diagnosis of cancer , to reducing side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, to reduce pain, to speed up healing and mostly to provide deeper self - healing of their inner self and emotional support in general for their journey through cancer. You can face the reality of cancer much better when complicating psychological obstacles are reduced or better removed.
Some open minded oncologist, who also work in the field of integrated medicine, will support these kinds of adjuvant treatments.
Every person brings unique characteristics to dealing with illness: a particular personality, a way of coping, a set of beliefs and values, a way of looking at the world. The goal is to take these qualities into consideration and make sure that they work in favor of the person at each point along the cancer journey. I hope that my suggestions, impartial information, and sharing of what I have learned over many years of practical work can make their own journey a little easier and keep them from losing hope.
Success is not measured in terms of survival or duration of life. It is quality and meaning that matter.
Supporting people with cancer and caring for their families in the last 17 years has been among the most exciting experiences I have had in my practice. It is such a privilege to me that I can keep working in a field where I can keep telling, saying, to people what I need to be reminded of the most. As a mentor and homeopath I feel honoured to be part of peoples transformation through pain and struggles. I am humbled to see this happen every time we gather in my practice together. I have been deepened, nurtured, supported and challenged by this work and still feel like I’m only beginning to discover its full potential.
The journey through cancer invites the client and me, to embrace our shadows and to live our life more consciously and fully alive. The challenging side of cancer is that you are suddenly confronted with issues, like death, immobility, disfiguration, loss and isolation. We ruminate in a fear that this could happen to us and until it is, most people have a resistance to think about it.
The work with people with cancer has brought me to places where I have deepened as a person and as a practitioner. Ultimately, it is very rewarding and has stretched me to places I had no idea even existed. I acknowledge my patients who where dying, for trusting my abilities to direct and support them during their challenging journey to the other side of life. Throughout the last years I experienced how, even at this last stage of life, a personal and compassionate palliative and terminal care for patients with advanced disease and homeopathy can bring great healing and solace to patients and their families.
I am committed to transformation, to being the best I can; helping others transform. It feels like a real grace to be reminded in my practice, on a daily basis, of the potential for change and healing that is in all of us. Helping people find tools to empower themselves has always been a cornerstone of my teaching and practice.
My primary purpose is to mobilize individual’s own self - healing abilities and bring them to the aid of their medical programme. My journey and the programme really reflect the process that I, as a complementary medical practitioner, go through when seeing my clients.
Empowerment is one of the central themes of my life. Helping people find tools to empower themselves has always been center point of my teaching and practice. It’s important for me to feel that people understand how much power they actually have.
I believe every person who participates actively in their own healing receives numerous gifts; many insights; expanded awareness; and opportunities for growth, transformation, and healing. Only you have the power to change your life. The journey through cancer is rarely a straightforward one, old or new issues arise and these need to be addressed as they come up.
Being a homeopath, therapist, healer, means so much more than just prescribing e.g. remedies homeopathically. It is about helping people find tools to empower themselves, to move beyond their diseases and work on their own health and spiritual development.
The patients are my teachers, sharing their experiences and exploring with me the personal meaning that cancer has in their lives. I have learned how to identify those who are distressed, who needed support and help. My patients continually inspire me. I have seen countless miracles in my practice and continue to be amazed at the depth of healing possible through homeopathy and the right care and support a patient receives.
My approach has been coloured by lots of different influences: my own life experience, travel and working abroad, my patients and many different teachers. My greatest teachers, however, were not the ones who gave me ideas, but who inspired me to expand my mind beyond of what I thought was possible.
"Getting cancer can become the beginning of living. The search for one's own being, the discovery of the life one needs to live, can be one of the strongest weapons against disease." Dr. Lawrence LeShan
Huge strides are being made in all fields of cancer care and I'm delighted to observe that complementary medicine and alternative therapies are finally becoming accepted into mainstream orthodox medicine. I'm glad that the mind - body connection to our health and well being gets more attention now from medical professional then before and is even acknowledged by some open minded doctors.
However, cancer carried and often still does, a stigma for the patient and the family, partly owing to the poor survival rate in the past, enforcing a silence on all concerned. Commonly Cancer was and still is called the Big C, because the word itself was / is still scary. Undeniably, the most dreaded phrase worldwide is: "I'm sorry but your (or your loved one's) test results show cancer." These deadly words are repeated in countless physician offices, hospitals, and unfortunately even over the telephone each day.
Cancer is certainly a life changing diagnosis. The mere mention or suspicion of the dreaded "C" word naturally starts the mind uncontrollably racing considering the future. The first concern is the physical deformities of surgery, then the suspected nausea of chemotherapy and radiation. Next follows the feared financial ruin due to the loss of income and the unconscionable expense of treatments. Pain and misery are thought to be the only guarantees. Most devastating are the feelings of personal responsibility and guilt. Many sleepless nights may ensue due to spiritual questioning and spiritual insecurity.
Often patients feel guilty for bringing the burden of cancer on the family. This silence and stigma can limit the opportunity for people even to talk with one other about their illness.
We are all familiar with the injustices and cruelty of being diagnosed with cancer. We cannot escape the harrowing headlines, magazine articles, television specials, and obituaries. I have however found that being diagnosed with cancer can strengthen a person's outlook and attitude, their marriage and family, but most importantly their relationship with their God.
My First Encounter
With Mind - Body Medicine
When I first became interested in the field of Mind - Body Medicine or Behavioural Medicine - or psychoneuro = immunologogy, little was known about the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body. Psychosocial research related to cancer was so new it was hardly viewed as a scientific endeavor. But I began to learn about it from the real experts: the patients and their families who were going through the experience. Those of us who shared these exciting beginnings felt the joy of "discovery" as we identified common threads in what we heard, while recognizing that the experience for each individual was unique.
Cancer came "out of the closet," allowing the word cancer finally to be spoken aloud. Survival from certain cancers has become much more common, and concern for the psychological dimension of patient care has taken on greater importance. Over the past twenty years, the creation of a new sub - specialty in cancer developed, which is called psycho - oncology, referring to the psychological issues in cancer.
There are two aspects to the human side of cancer: what cancer does psychologically to people and their families, and how emotions and behaviours may influence the risk of getting cancer and its outcome.
In conventional medicine it is often not recognized that the important human effects are part of every patient’s cancer journey. Individuals and their families confronting cancer struggle with these human issues every day and want them to be addressed. Some are psychological, some are social, and some are existential or spiritual.
"The human side of cancer is all encompassing; it's about you, your surroundings, and your experience of the illness. It's based on the kind of person you are; the meaning you attach to illness; the specifics of your illness in terms of its stages, symptoms, and treatment; social attitudes; and the availability of support from others. The mix of your particular circumstances influences the human side, along with basic issues such as whether the disease is localized or has spread, whether people are around to help you, your age, and whether or not you have a strong philosophical belief system."
Dealing with the emotions of cancer
Dealing with the emotions of cancer is actually harder than coping with the other medical problems. The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.
Many people who have cancer describe a range of emotions - worry, fear, sadness, anger, rage, loneliness, isolation - that may be intense at times. These are all normal and expected responses to a major crisis. Feeling this way doesn't mean that you are mentally ill or lacking in emotional "stamina."
Sometimes these feelings become painfully difficult and interfere with your ability to cope with the illness and carry on with your life. It is important that you know of this range of normal reactions as well as the red flags that indicate you might need some help in handling your feelings. Being seriously depressed and anxious are the most common examples. The good news is that most emotional symptoms are treatable. Homeopathy medicine is well known to support a persons healing and well being a long the way on the journey to health. It can diminish many of the side effects of conventional medical treatment and support, a person with cancer in general. You can face the reality of cancer much better when complicating psychological obstacles are reduced.
A Word of Caution
about Positive Thinking
People with cancer and their families may feel guilty about their emotional responses to the illness. They may feel pressure to keep a positive attitude at all times, which is unrealistic. This feeling of pressure can come from within themselves, from other people, or both. Sadness, depression, guilt, fear, and anxiety are all normal parts of learning to cope with major life changes, and a cancer diagnosis is a major life change. Trying to ignore these feelings or not talking with others about them can make the person with cancer feel lonely. It can also make the emotional pain worse. And some people feel guilty or blame themselves when they can’t “stay positive,” which only adds to their emotional burden.
I often hear from people with cancer: the notion that feeling sad, scared, upset, or angry is unacceptable and that emotions can somehow make your tumor grow. Patients told me that they are exhorted to think positively and when they expresses feeling of fear and anger they are chided for being negative. They get a sense that if not in control on the emotional plane all the time, the battle against the disease will be lost.
Some people, including some health practitioners, belief that it is wrong and harmful to become emotional or feel despondent when you are dealing with cancer. This is far from the truth. In fact, a good cry or outburst of emotions, i.e. anger, is just as good for boosting your immune system as having a good time and laugh. Suppressing your feelings and so called "negative" emotions, becoming depressed, is what flattens your immune system. Strong people are defined by their ability to express the appropriate emotion about their situation.
Cancer is a Life - Changing Crisis in a Persons Life
For most patients, cancer is the most difficult and frightening experience they have ever encountered. They are in a real crisis in their life and do not need people who put pink ribbons around them. Having a positive mind and strong spirit does not mean that you have to be all the time positive about having cancer and a fixed grin on your face! It is far more important to face what is really happening to you, express your feelings and then create an action plan based on your true situation and needs, perhaps with the support of a skilled cancer mentor or councellor.
Instead of getting compassionate support the patient is told by some practitioners, network events and seminars, that they have just to change their attitude and way of thinking to shrink the tumor and that they should embrace the illness, i.e. cancer. This hype claiming that if you don't have a positive attitude and that if you get depressed you are making your tumor grow faster invalidates people's natural and understandable reactions to a threat to their lives. Nothing could be crueler than adding to the stress and guilt of cancer patients, by insinuating that their illness, or failure to improve with treatment, is due to some deficiency in their character.That's what I call the tyranny of positive thinking.
The relentless promotion of positive thinking is everywhere in our culture: in popular books and tabloids on every newsstand, on talk shows and in TV movies, it has developed to an ideology and even can victimize people. To be positive all the time is an impossible task and therefore pointless and soul destroying.
This problem has been brought to me by well-meaning families who say, for example, "You have to help my wife. She isn't positive and she's not trying or not complying with the treatment" (what the family thinks she should do). However, when I meet the wife I can see clearly that she copes well in her quiet way. Maintaining a positive attitude just isn't her style. Insisting that she put on a happy face and cope in a way that would be foreign to her would actually be an added burden; to rob her of a coping mechanism that has worked before seems unfair, even cruel. Another downside of this tyranny of positive thinking is that people may feel guilty for failing their family if their disease should advance and they had been unable to agree or change to positive statements described to them.
Blaming the person for getting cancer
The additional negative consequences of these particular beliefs and myths about cancer lead to another phenomenon: Blaming the person for getting cancer. Accusing questions, such as "Why did you need to get cancer?" or "You must have wanted to have cancer" suggest that the patient must have willed it to happen.
If you have cancer and reading this, it is important for me to strengthen again the thought that you are NOT BLAMED for getting cancer or having it.
People who are diagnosed with Cancer or any other serious illness have enough to do healing themselves without the burden of illogical guilt. Anyone who even hints that a person with cancer is responsible for it or for not getting better does not know what they are talking about. They just increase the confusion, fear and guilt in the person, who is seriously challenged by their illness. I'm talking here also from my own experience while I was ill with cancer.
Illness is caused by many different factors acting in combination (heredity, traumas, shocks, life crisis's, diet, lifestyle, air pollution, how you where taught to express feelings and to feel about yourself, stress levels, the effect previous illness might had and more).
When misfortune strikes, it is a natural human tendency to search for a reason. The ready explanation is often "he must have brought it on himself."
This reaction is similar to the response when someone is mugged. People say, "What were you doing in that neighborhood, at night, anyway?" Blaming the victim lets us say, "It can't happen to me." This response is a part of a bigger psychological picture: The need to attribute a cause to any catastrophic event, whether an earthquake or an illness. By blaming the victim, we get a false sense of security that we can prevent events that are beyond our control. We seek to make sense of something that surely makes no sense at all.
You may have encountered the blaming response from friends, family members and worse from some alternative therapists. If so, I advise you to tell them, "I know you have my best interests at heart. But it's not helpful to tell me that I had something to do with my getting cancer. And it's not realistic to expect me to be positive twenty - four hours a day."
You are Not responsible for getting cancer, and also Not for your recovery.
What you are responsible for is that you Do The Best and Everything you can to get better.
This means to get ACTIVELY involve in creating a health recovery programme, to get the best possible treatment and support for changing your life, so that your inner healing abilities will be stimulated at the highest level.
Healthy thinking and mind/body techniques may or may not change the biology of your disease or prolong your survival. However, they can help you maximize your health and functioning and enrich the quality of your life and the lives of those around you.
Thoughts, emotions and feelings alone do not cause cancer, or cure cancer, however, they strongly affect our immune system. Our Body, Mind, Emotion, Spirit, our Relationships and Environment we live in, working as a whole together; they are inextricably linked with each other. If one part is out of sink or ignored, the other parts will be affected.
Our Body and Mind are Not Separate from Each Other - They Work as a Team Together.
However, our thoughts, emotions and how we feel have an important role to play of becoming ill and also in our healing. Thoughts and emotions have energy. They make you do and say things, act in certain ways, make you jumping with joy or bring you down and prone to lie passive on the couch. Body, Mind and Spirit are more than just words. They are the foundation to balanced healing or integrative healing. If you ignore the role that your feeling and thoughts play, you are ignoring parts that make up your whole being - the one that needs help for healing.
By learning the body mind language of symptoms and illness you can learn what is being repressed or ignored in your psyche and emotions and the effect this having on your physical body. when your body speaks
Continue Introduction cancer as a turningpoint 2