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Paradigm Shifting in “Obscure” Illness

In these times I find it more and more difficult to find people unaffected by chronic or complex illness. What was once obscure and mostly relegated to the elderly is now commonplace and spans throughout the ages.

What’s becoming apparent is that after an initial isolation period, there is a shared “belief bump.” What do I mean? A belief bump is how I describe the pivotal point at which someone realizes that his/her old beliefs no longer support a healing path and need to be re-examined.

These beliefs have typically been transparent and not regarded as open for the shifting. They encompass prevailing societal mindsets, including:

  • I get sick, get treated, I get better.

  • If a treatment works with one patient, it will work with me.

  • There is a single diagnosis causing my symptoms.

  • If my General Practitioner can’t figure out my diagnosis, s/he will guide me to a specialist who can.

  • I need to get to THE ONE RIGHT specialist (if my doctor doesn’t have the answer).

  • I don’t know enough information to question my doctor.

  • If I gather another opinion, that involves questioning my doctor and is unacceptable.

  • Doctor’s will work toward figuring things out.

  • Doctors always work to protect their patients, work to fix our problems.

  • Doctors always do this in the healthiest of ways.

Many have navigated years of life within a body that has acted or reacted in predictable ways. And in the times when it did not, it seemed that a doctor fixed the problem. It makes sense that we have unequivocally trusted our bodies and trusted that whatever science we need is out there for the taking.

The belief bump propels us toward readjusting and formulating new norms. We soon find that we feel healthier when we shift toward acceptance of the following:

  • Nothing is written in stone. Today’s answers might be part of tomorrow’s struggle. Science is evolving.

  • It might take a village (in some cases, an armada) to heal.

  • Sometimes there will be no clear answers and physician / practitioner disagreement.

  • Trial and error might become the norm.

  • Treatment and healing often comes in progressive stages.

  • We best listen to our bodies and seek to understand the message from within.

  • We best act in awe and reverence for that which our bodies are capable.

We learn that it no longer benefits us to “think away the pain” or ignore the feeling when our body is out of balance. We learn it no longer benefits us to blame ailments on old age (and this no longer makes sense!). We learn that using our voice and becoming our own advocate sets us on a healing trajectory and catapults us into healthy living.

What did adjusting to this paradigm shift mean to you?


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