Personal Thoughts on Illness purpose & hidden meaning


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Discover illness hidden meaning and its purpose in your life. Finding meaning in illness will not only make it more bearable and less painful to cope but it will highlight the areas in which you need healing the most.

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Personal Thoughts on Illness purpose & hidden meaning

  1. 1. Illness, Purpose& Hidden Meanings By Avinoam Lerner, CH
  2. 2. By Avinoam Lerner, CHWhy Do We Get Sick? Does Illness Have a Purpose?Why do we get sick? What is the purpose of illness in our lives? At first glancethe two words, purpose and illness, have nothing in common because we’ve allbeen taught that illness is either a random strike of fate or something that happensto us and therefore can only be fought and eliminated, not investigated.Our illness is certainly not something we usually explore. The notion that illness isa form of punishment and we are merely victims is the mainstream and yet, formany who are really sick, this is an unsatisfactory explanation.Is it possible that there is a reason for getting sick? A growing body of evidencesuggests that there is much more meaning to being ill than previously believed.Research now validates the relationship between our states of mind and illness.This means we must look beyond viruses and germs into the realm of meaning andpurpose.Reason # 1: Illness and the State We’re InLooking more closely at the pattern of illness, it tends to be associated with astressful period of time, a major life transition and even trauma. Illness often tellsus about our lives and our lifestyle, what works and what doesn’t. It reflects ourdominant thoughts and the kind of beliefs we practice.If we choose to not see ourselves as victims, we can view illness as a call-to-action.We need take ownership of our experience, the quality of our thoughts andfeelings, our attitude and limiting beliefs. Doing so, we can finally identify whichof the above is causing us irritation and resistance, need be addressed, and updatedor altogether abondand.Viewed from this perspective, we can finally shift from the passive “passenger”role to the active co-creator role, in which being a positive state of mind increaseone’s ability to support the body’s innate healing mechanism i.e. the immunesystem. (Kiecolt-Glaser, 2002). 1|Page Avinoam Lerner  1157 Walnut Street, Newton MA  Phone (617) 564-0707 Email: 
  3. 3. By Avinoam Lerner, CHReason # 2: Illness as a Time to ReflectIllness, even if not debilitating or life threatening, forces us to slow down and takesus out of our routine. When we slow down physically, we have the opportunity toreflect and explore our moment to moment, and thought by thought process.Illness has the unique ability to “motivate” us to take personal inventory of ouremotions and beliefs, especially the self-limiting belies. We may also recognizethere is value in expressing our emotions rather than suppressing them.But even when illness forces introspection and reflection, the meaning behind thesymptoms remains unquestioned.Reason # 3: Secondary GainsIn medicine, a secondary gain is described as a significant psychological motivatorin reporting symptoms. According to Wikipedia, secondary gain may simply be anunconscious psychological component of symptoms and other behaviors.Secondary gains phenomena are well documented in psychology literature. It mayhave been learned in early childhood when illness was often a time for emotionalcompensation, a time where we got as much attention as we needed.A common secondary gain will be to avoid chores, work and responsibilities.Another common and more personal use of secondary gains is to use illness (headache etc’) as excuse to not engage in arguments or personal conflict or even make adecision.Another dominant secondary gain to illness is the fact that for some, something hasto be wrong in life in order to feel important and lovable. This is may be common,but it is difficult to assess about ourselves, and even harder to admit.Have you ever considered that you may use your illness to either hold on tosomeone, or that you use your illness as a way to push people away, make yourselfso unattractive that no one will get close to you? 2|Page Avinoam Lerner  1157 Walnut Street, Newton MA  Phone (617) 564-0707 Email: 
  4. 4. By Avinoam Lerner, CHAll of the above are powerful examples of hidden meanings and secondary gainswhich may promote the state of mind in which illness can thrive.Secondary gains do not imply that the illness or the symptoms are unreal orunimportant. To the contrary! They tell us that there is more to the illness thanmeets the eye, the stethoscope and the x-ray.Reason # 4: Change in IdentityAlthough change in identity is more of an outcome to illness, it could be thestrongest motivator for illness in our lives. Some of the common changes we mustconsider when illness set upon us are as follow:We begin to identify ourselves as sick person rather than a healthy one. We changeour thoughts focus from future oriented (our goals and dreams) to the presentmoment (healing and coping).The monitory level is also changing when we can no longer work and thereforeshift from being a person who earns money to a depended one, from a productiveperson to a disabled one and from a contributing person to one who is in need ofcare.As if the above changes are not enough, it is the nature of illness that make onefeel more isolated than ever before. Healthy people have the freedom to bespontaneous and therefore do not feel trapped, those struggling with sickness oftendo.I have never met anyone who wished to be sick with cancer or any other illness forthat matter. But I often do hear about those who’ve healed from it.All those who’ve healed claim their illness was a blessing in disguise, and that thechange in identity, their personal growth and spiritual development were what theyneeded to live healthier and more meaningful life. 3|Page Avinoam Lerner  1157 Walnut Street, Newton MA  Phone (617) 564-0707 Email: 
  5. 5. By Avinoam Lerner, CHWhile discovering the meaning and purpose of your illness does not necessarilyguarantee that you will overcome your physical predicament, it does meanhowever you will be moving more rapidly toward a state where healing of yourcondition is possible.Listen to the conditions illness created within your body. Doing so you can learnyour personal internal language, the way your soul speaks to you through yourbody.Discovering the purpose of your illness will not only make it more bearable andless difficult to cope with, it will reveal the areas in which you need healing themost. 4|Page Avinoam Lerner  1157 Walnut Street, Newton MA  Phone (617) 564-0707 Email: 