Everything is connected, and we are all multifaceted beings. But as we go about our daily routine, we seldom think about it until some obstruction or jarring event comes into our lives to rattle our cages and make us look at ourselves more closely. Such is the case with chronic Lyme disease, and as I talk to more and more Lyme patients across the country, I’m finding that their experiences frequently match my own when it comes to moving through the illness to complete healing.
Just like our bodies are complex, solving the healing riddle of Lyme disease is just as complicated. And because of this, it becomes abundantly clear to chronic Lyme patients that the more they focus on only one aspect of their healing to the exclusion of all else, they will get a corresponding result… and it is not complete healing.
We’ve all probably heard of the mind/body/spirit connection but have paid little attention to it. However, as I was going through the stages of healing from chronic Lyme, I noticed that my focus and attention moved to different aspects of this triad structure as I began to heal. The general idea of the mind/body/spirit connection is that your mind, body and spirit all affect each other and that being aware of it allows you to balance the equation for a healthier life. For my own healing journey, I noticed that the more I pulled back from focusing on the illness and the more I paid attention to different aspects of myself (mind and spirit, for instance), it would give me breathing room to heal.
Here is how I progressed through this idea to complete healing…
Once you’ve been diagnosed with chronic Lyme, you tend to become very focused on the symptoms you’re experiencing and the fact that they make your body feel really bad. Your first reaction is to reach out to doctors who have healed you in the past — usually through a quick prescription of antibiotics — and when this scenario doesn’t pan out like it had in the past you get upset. It’s natural to be focused and intent on counter acting the changes that you’re body is experiencing. With each new attempt and failure, the more upset you get. Your pain and symptoms are a constant reminder of this failure and depression sets in. Hope begins to dwindle. You get angry and wonder what you ever did to deserve this.
These are all normal feelings and are all very justified. However, staying in this mode of thought will not advance you through the illness to better health. The more you stay angry and frustrated, the more your wheels begin to spin. You go nowhere fast and this makes you even more frustrated. The bacteria in your body actually likes it when you stress out and stay upset, and it thrives the more you lose hope.
How can you get out of this state? Once you reach this point, it is important to STOP thinking about your body. Stop thinking about how bad you feel, how someone did you wrong, or that argument you had with your doctor. Stop focusing on every little symptom you have. Quite literally, the longer you think about them, the longer they will stay.
What you can do is start paying attention to things that make you feel good. Listen to your favorite music with the head phones on and tune out the world. Watch a show or movie that makes you laugh until your sides hurt. Hang out with a newborn. Play with your dog or cat. You will find that the longer you do these things, you will reach a point where you will actually forget that you’re sick. This is what happened to me. And the longer I strung these experiences together, the better I felt overall. It finally got to the point that I realized if I just started focusing on moving on with my life, the disease would lose its grip.
After realizing that I could make myself feel better by engaging in activities that helped me forget I was sick, I also became more aware of my thoughts and words and how they affected my overall situation. At one point, some friends of mine corrected me one day when I used the words “my symptoms.” “This is not ‘your disease’ or ‘your symptoms,'” they said. And as soon as I stopped identifying with the illness and letting it define me, I loosened a further grip the bacteria had.
I also began reading books about the Power of Attraction and how our thoughts and words are putting out a daily broadcast of a frequency or vibration (like a radio signal) that mainly attracts like frequencies. The happier you are, the more you’ll meet happy people and have happy experiences. And of course, the opposite is true.
I became acutely aware of this one day when I was driving down the road, put my turn signal on and turned into a gas station to get gas. I don’t know what I did, but the person driving the car behind me… who looked just like my mother… honked her horn and flipped me the bird! What the hell! My reaction was, I know I didn’t do anything driving-wise to make her mad, but maybe I was giving off some pretty negative vibes. I became impeccable with my thoughts after that. I greeted everyone with a smile, let people cut in front of me on the highway, etc. Within a few months I began to notice how nice everyone was being around me. It was like night and day. And after practicing this for years, I have come to expect positive and friendly interactions with everyone I meet. This takes a lot of stress out of daily life.
I took this a step further and began acting like a healthy person again. Mind you, I was still taking medication, but I was tuning myself toward complete health. Whenever I had days where I didn’t feel well, I remembered that even before Lyme, I had had bad days, too. I didn’t focus on them anymore than I would have before Lyme. All my thoughts and expectations were now always pointed forward and I started giving my body more of a chance to heal.
When I first heard the quote “We are all spiritual beings having a physical experience,” I thought that summed up what we are all going through pretty nicely. We tend to turn the quote around and stay focused on being physical beings, and we’re usually surprised if and when we have a “spiritual” experience. Every person I’ve talked to who has completely healed from Lyme disease has had some sort of spiritual breakthrough that triggered the healing. Many Lyme patients have a history of abuse or physical or emotional trauma and it can take nothing short of a spiritual awakening to help heal these deep wounds. Gratitude and forgiveness loom large in these healings and those who go into remission tell me they have completely forgiven their oppressors and have come to be grateful for the disease coming into their life. It helped make them a better person and put them on a better path of living.
I started meditating on a daily basis and became more aware of myself as a spiritual being. I tried pulling the focus from my body… all while quieting my mind. I didn’t fixate on trying to remove every single thought from my mind like I had always heard. In the past, this had been a stumbling block, but more recently I read that if you simply quiet your mind, it allows you to receive the information you seek. It also allows your body to focus on its own healing.
At this point, I stopped seeking outside help from doctors. I know this might seem like a big leap for some patients who are very focused on their bodily symptoms. But I realized that every time I had gone to Lyme illiterate and even some literate doctors, they never held any significant answers to complete health for me. All of the valuable information I had ever gotten was from other patients and the research I had done on my own. I began to trust my instincts more than the advice of “learned” physicians who were nowhere near being an authority on my body and what I was experiencing. This self empowerment was a huge leap from my early days when I felt helpless, at the mercy of MDs, and didn’t see any way out of days filled with pain and lack of hope. I changed my diet, started on herbal medications and realized what a healing powerhouse my body actually was. Damage had been done to it, but it was now time to give it a chance to regenerate and heal.
The point is — after progressing from focus on the body, then the mind, then the spirit — is to come back and look at how they all integrate. A wounded spirit (from abuse or trauma) will cause shockwaves in the mind. It causes daily release of stress hormones because of dis-empowering and angry thoughts. This trapped energy causes negative effects on the body, lowers the immune system and lets invading bacteria run wild. Conversely, a healed spirit allows the free flow of thoughts and energy. Negative thoughts are never trapped. They move through the spirit and mind and are dealt with in a way that doesn’t harbor trapped anger and resentment. These thoughts are never avoided, but they are transmuted from the negative into the positive. Gratitude and forgiveness are the antidote. Once they have been transmuted, the mind is open and the body is free to heal itself. Complete healing is at hand!
The above material is provided for informational purposes only. The material is not nor should be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.