Transforming Disease Patterns Into Healing Habits
by Gladys Wesley-Kennedy
March 10, 2015
Would you believe that to live is to heal? Would you believe that, because you are alive, born into a physical body, and bound to earthly physical laws are born…unwell? Regardless of what you may or may not believe, I invite you to ponder the old saying, “The road of the many is often the wrong way.”
I ask these questions because many of us believe that those who have been diagnosed with a definitive physical or psychological imbalance, addiction, or disease are sick or unwell, yet those who have not been diagnosed or who do not seem to present any obvious sign of pain or illness are considered healthy or well. In other words, if someone we know has a diagnosis, but we do not, we may think to ourselves, “He or she is sick, but not me.”
Many of us are unconscious of our deeper opinions and beliefs about those whom we deem sick. For example, when we encounter or hear about someone who has been diagnosed as sick, diseased, or dying, we may express concern, empathy, or some form of condolence to or about that person. However, simultaneously, we may also think to ourselves: “Oh that poor person, I feel so bad for them. I’m glad I don’t have that problem. I am so blessed.” Well, when we abide by these types of beliefs and attitudes, it means we have—erroneously and unconsciously—misjudged the outward reflection of our own inner un-wellness and dis-eased mindset.
The following is a true personal example. Many years ago, I went to a breast surgeon to have a biopsy taken from a mass in my right breast. Several months earlier, I had discovered the mass, and brought it to my gynecologist’s attention. At the time, she advised me to have it checked—but, I chose not to because I didn’t believe it was an issue, even though it had been painful for quite some time. After the breast surgeon thoroughly palpated the mass, he asked me, “If you noticed this mass a few months ago and you know your grandmother and mother died from cancer and, your sister currently has metastasized breast carcinoma, why didn’t you have this mass checked sooner? Smugly, I replied, “Because, unlike them, I don’t think I’ve lived a lifestyle that is conducive to developing cancer.” The surgeon sternly looked me in my eyes and sarcastically replied, “Well, Mrs. Kennedy, no breast lump is ever normal—regardless of your lifestyle.”
The point I am trying to make is that many of us do not know what disease really means. Due to this, I often hyphenate the word so that it reads, “dis-ease.” My intention, in doing so, is to jar the reader’s unconscious beliefs about this frequently misused and misunderstood word. Disease means, “A condition in humans, plants, or animals that results in pathological symptoms and is not the direct result of physical injury.” Whereas, if hyphenated, “dis” is a prefix meaning: “to undo” or “to do the opposite,” and, “ease” means, “a lack of difficulty.” Hence, dis-ease means, “the lack of ease or comfort,” (i.e., internal or external discomfort, unrest, or agony). Therefore, hyphenating “dis-ease” changes its meaning and context significantly—bringing into focus the concept of a general lack of wellness and lack of ease or comfort.
The fact is that everyone lives with some persistent form of dis-ease. It is an essential aspect of life—until we know better. Throughout our lives, all of us consistently experience various forms of suffering, distress, pain, and loss. Additionally, all who are born will surely die. Actually, the moment we are born, our bodies are simultaneously dying. Therefore, how can we label anyone else as “sick,” “diseased,” or “dying,” yet fail to recognize the same plight in ourselves? Why is it that we can readily recognize the plight of others, but repeatedly miss our own persistent dis-eased symptoms? Take a moment to think about this important question.
Prior to me being diagnosed with breast cancer, I believed I was healthy and well—despite the fact that for years, I had suffered from a history of persistent stress-related aches and pains, such as debilitating migraines, back aches, depression, and irregular periods. Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, I lived with a false sense of health and wellness. I rationalized to myself that because I was young, a vegetarian, and an avid fitness instructor, I was perfectly healthy. Hence, I ignorantly believed I was immune to developing any type of disease—particularly cancer. I also believed that my relatives developed and died from cancer because of their “unhealthy lifestyle.” I again rationalized that since they were heavy smokers and drinkers, ate meat, never exercised, nor took an interest in their health, it only made sense that they had cancer.
At that time, I failed to realize I held prejudices and ignorant beliefs about those whom I judged as sick or healthy. Today, however, I clearly recognize that not only did I, but most people make this same mistake. Subconsciously, we judge others as sick or diseased, but fail to recognize our own un-wellness and dis-ease. We delude ourselves by believing that, unlike them, we are healthy and well—despite our many symptoms to the contrary. Specifically, we judge others as “sick,” while we also show symptoms of dis-ease by relying on or indulging in one or more of the following:
- Regularly taking prescription or over-the-counter pain medications
- Consuming alcoholic beverages three or more days per week
- Relying on sleep aids for insomnia
- Daily consuming two or more cups of coffee
- Taking antidepressants for months or years
- Depending on blood pressure medication/s
- Relying on diabetes medications
- Are thirty or more pounds overweight or significantly underweight
- Have several strained personal or work relationships
- Secretly and excessively engage in sexual activity or have many sexual partners
- Frequently engage in “road rage” reactions or confrontations
- Suffering from persistent worry or anxiety
- Having a history of financial instability or lack
- Habitual busyness, (i.e., overworking or over-doing certain activities)
As you can see from this list, we do not notice how distracted we are from our daily burdensome presentations of dis-ease and un-wellness. Hence, we live in total denial.
The truth about life and living is this: everyone and everything born and bound to a physical body, is destined to experience pain, suffering, sickness, and ultimately…death. Life is fair in this regard. Furthermore, the great majority of us will die—not from natural causes—but rather, from an incurable sickness or disease. Why? Because, unbeknownst to us, our daily life is driven by unconscious pathological mind activity, (i.e., dis-ease).
In this specific context, dis-ease refers to a pathological mindset, or a long-term habitual repetition of negative thought patterns. This means we habitually and unconsciously think about and/or react to situations, people, or memories with negative thoughts or emotions such as anger, fear, worry, resentment, sorrow, or jealousy. In other words, in mind and body, we create some form of psycho-emotional and physical suffering. The most common consequences of such negative thinking are acts of self-abuse, self-medicating behaviors, over/under eating, passive-aggressiveness, physical pain or tension, relationship dramas, and, feelings of despair, lassitude, or depression. Usually, however, even though we are experiencing distress, we fail to recognize the real source of these dis-eased conditions and feelings. The long-term consequence of not addressing the destructive causes in mind is a matured form of dis-ease, as in cancer or heart disease.
So, all health problems are the formed effects of dis-eased or toxic emotional thought patterns. Negative habits in mind are pathological, and produce toxic chemical and physiological reactions in our body. Such toxicity eventually accumulates, resulting in the manifestation of diseases, as in persistent pain, deformation, tumors, cysts, chronic sickness—and ultimately—full-blown disease. Therefore, no manifestation of pain, sickness, or disease “just happens.” Instead, dis-eased thoughts create a dis-eased body and life circumstances.
When I have expressed this sobering principle to our students or patients, some have asked me, “If we live only to die from sickness or disease, then what is the purpose of life?” I explain that the purpose of life is to heal. We are born to heal our “karma” or “pathology in mind and life.” For some, this answer is difficult to comprehend or accept. However, the truth is that every aspect of our physical life—without exception—is the formed reflection of our mindset. How and what we think determines the quality and conditions of our health and life circumstances. Therefore, the purpose of life is to identify and repair our faulty mindset.
In summation, the purpose of our life is to liberate ourselves from ignorance, perpetual suffering, and a death that—unnecessarily—results from a lifetime of unconscious habitual dis-eased thinking and behaving. To accomplish liberation, recognize that every living being is created equal. Everything and everyone born will, equally, experience suffering and death. Therefore, all of us are born un-well and dis-eased. However, the goal of life is to heal all forms of dis-ease by replacing our thought patterns with intentional thoughts of gratitude, positivity, and compassion…for ourselves and all others. Now that you know this, endeavor to heal the source of your health and life circumstances—your mindset. Heal by recognizing and correcting your erroneous beliefs, judgments, and dis-eased patterns—in mind and behavior—so that, when it is finally time for you to vacate your physical body and the world, you can leave, and truly…“rest in peace.” This is the goal of life: to transform disease patterns into healing habits. To live is to heal.