I often define Health-Esteem with a declaration, “I am worth being healthy!” To act upon that declaration, you may have to actually change much of the mind set you have adopted, inherited or been taught throughout most of your life. You must discover respect for yourself and knowledge that you are what you think. Every experience you have had in life has left you with both a physical and emotional memory. Good or bad, remembered or not, the events are imprinted in your cellular memory.
Embracing Health-Esteem means making a commitment to the one part of healing we can take charge of — our thoughts and emotions. Critical lessons come from the lives we live. Everything we need to know to initiate healing is available by accessing the data banks of our lives. Illness or crisis is inseparable from the fact that we are everything that has happened to us. Health-Esteem is a process of discarding sick-making lessons in our lives and replacing them with healthy thoughts and actions.
For instance, spending two decades as a frenzied workaholic was a sick-making pattern for me. I learned to push everything that I didn’t have time for and couldn’t deal with out of sight and out of my mind. Unfortunately, all those things hid out in my body waiting to be dealt with, or if ignored long enough, waiting to deal with me. I’m talking about disappointing love affairs, failed friendships, confused spirituality, lack of community involvement, sadness, fear, anger, frustration, and other emotions I simply had no time for. The result was that I got sick. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1985 after experiencing numbness from the waist down and partial blindness. To get well, I had to unlearn my obsession with work, separate myself from what I did for a living and literally birth a self that was willing to participate in all the other parts of life.
By healing, I am not speaking about a cure, but rather an evolution into consciousness. We don’t necessarily get over a disease. What we do is become conscious of the disease process and what underlies it. Then we set out to change as much as possible about cultural conditioning and mechanical thinking.
Health-Esteem engenders a rebirthing of yourself, independent from other’s perceptions and completely tuned-in to your own wisdom. Here is how to begin. Look in the mirror and say, “I am worth being healthy.” Repeat, “I am worth being healthy,” five times before you meditate. Say it to yourself while exercising. When someone hurts your feelings, or cuts you off in traffic say, “I am worth being healthy,” before responding. Before long, the phrase will be your guide to finding your Health-Esteem.
Test how far along you are on that road by taking this quiz:
- Do you feel illness is a natural part of life? Just something that happens with age?
- Do you feel like you’re being punished when you get sick?
- Do you find it hard to place value in your health?
- Do you resent spending time and money to stay well?
- Do you think it’s more important to look good than to feel good?
- Do you feel like you should be doing something more important when you are exercising?
- Is it fun or “comforting” for you to eat foods that are bad for you?
- In your childhood, was your family unable to teach you health-esteem?
- Does illness make you feel helpless or filled with self-doubt?
- Do you spend more time being critical or appreciative of your body?
- Do you feel like you must change your body in order to be loved?
- Are there negative parts of your personality that you work very hard to keep hidden — even from yourself?
- Is your own care and maintenance often the last thing you get around to?
- Do you feel that your health care practitioner is solely responsible for your health?
Every “Yes” to one of the previous questions is a sign post indicating an area where work needs to be done to improve your Health-Esteem.
Finally, is there a big enough “Why” in your life to motivate change? There certainly was a big enough “Why” in my life and it was called diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. I’ve been symptom-free since 1990 without taking one drug, and I owe that largely to my work with Health-Esteem. Find the “Why” in your life to help you feel, love and live a better life filled with realized dreams.
Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from the book Conquer Crisis With Health-Esteemby Judith Parker Harris.