Monday, October 27, 2008

Changing The Way You Think About Your Illness And Your Life

If you have been chronically ill for an extended period, it may be time to examine your thoughts about your illness and your life in general.

As if with some predetermined purpose, several years ago, a tree began to grow in my yard. Living in a wooded area, a new tree was not a novelty. I did not particularly like where it was growing. However, I had stopped performing my own yard work and had a lot more pressing issues than a new tree in my yard.

Still, the tree had one quality that I just loath. Each fall, it produced these large green balls. They seemed to have no useful qualities. The dogs would not even play with them. By inadvertently stepping on one, I had lost my footing. In addition, on more than one occasion, I had been conked on the head by one of these unwanted visitors as it made it's descend to earth.

I had literally cursed the tree and had marked it for future firewood. I had grown to hate the tree.

One bright autumn Saturday morning, a friend called to invite me to lunch. We had not seen each other in a while and I quickly took her up on her offer. Like many who take multiple medications, no longer having the luxury of driving available, we are at the mercy of those who do. She told me the time she would pick me up and I was ready and waiting.

We have been friends since childhood. Therefore, lunch together is a talkfest. It was wonderful. We immediately turn into nine year olds again. We sat in the restaurant completely oblivious to others around us while still soaking in the accommodating ambiance of the restaurant.

When we returned to my home, I invited her to visit the recent changes in the garden. Each season is a change in the garden for with nature that is the rule, nothing stays the same. As we walked, I described what each tree, bush, and plant did. We collaborated on the best way to grow the ones we had in common.

As we headed back toward the house, she asked me about the dreaded tree. "I don't know what that is." I declared. It just started growing. I have grown to hate it. It drops those green balls on the ground. I grudgingly stated; "The dogs won't even play with them." She bent down, picked one up, and said; "If this is what I think it is," then she abruptly stopped.

"What do you think it is?" I asked.

"I'll show you in a minute." She said.

We walked to a concrete block. She laid it on the concrete block and asked for something to smash it. I quickly obliged by handing her a brick. With one crunch, she stood up and started to smile.

What is it? I asked again. This time a little more impatiently.

Here! I could smell it before I saw it. "It's a walnut!" I said, answering my own question. "Yes!" She replied. Walnuts! We both started to laugh. All those years I had a FREE walnut tree in my yard and did not know it.

Of course, I had help in the cover up. The squirrels did know the value and they were busy taking care of their interest.

As with our health, I had not investigated deeply enough to learn the value of the tree. Often when introduced to techniques or procedures previously unknown or foreign to us, without even investigating the possibilities of the veiled results, we tune out or shout down.

If our doctor or therapist did not suggest it, we are afraid to try it. We are even afraid to discuss it with our medical professionals. The fear of hearing we are wrong or that is just "mom bow jumbo", keeps some of us needlessly tied to our illness. Could it be that we remain chronically ill, to some degree, as much a part of fear of the unknown as the illness its' self?

The easier or less expensive the technique, the harder to believe it could possible work. We would rather curse the technique or procedure than give it an opportunity to work.

The walnut tree was free. Not one day did it require me to water, mulch or fertilize it for it to grow into the fruit-bearing tree it is today. And, subsequently, it is the same with some illness we experience with our body. We could very possibly stop the pain or end the illness, if we would just delve a little deeper into what is really causing the malady.

An injury we understand. We know that, with time, a simple injury will heal on its own-just as the tree grew on its own. However, what about a disease, can it be that easy? Can it be the body's dis-ease? Once we understand it, by mentally putting the body at ease, cure the illness?

Emotion Free Technique (EFT) suggested that it is. Following a post earlier this month, several people agreed that it is just that simple. To give it a chance to work in our own chronic pain-filled lives, would mean that we would have to change the way we think about ourselves as we relate to the rest of the world. We might even have to admit our own preconceived believes and uneducated decisions determine our poor health.

As with the walnut tree, I made decisions concerning the tree based on my limited knowledge of the tree. I had never taken the time to explore a little deeper into what the green balls were. All I knew was come spring they were gone.

I personally like Emotion Free Technique (EFT). However,
EFT is not the only technique that can help stop our pain and/or cure an illness that medicine alone cannot reach. Others diverse treatments include Integrated Medicine (ATTITUDE), Reiki Life, Natural Health, Super Brain Therapy, etc.

You have to know that the squirrels were benefiting from my ignorance about my walnut tree. Who is benefiting from your ignorance about your illness?


Jessica said...

This is just THE BEST story I have read in a while! I was at the edge of my seat to find out what those "fruits" were! And if they are really walnuts, they are a blessing in disguise! Walnuts are rich in DHA and EFA and can help your brain function smoother. They are on the recommended foods list for preventing early onset Alzheimers and Parkinsons. In fact, since my local stores charge so much for them I was thinking about buying them in bulk online...and you've got 'em in your back yard! I remember the kids when I was 9 used to hit each other with tree balls like this, but they were chestnuts. I loved your story and the allegory to think about your illness differently. What a eureka moment for you.

Mckay K said...

Jessica, they are truly a blessing in disguise. I have been gathering them by the boxes.

Thanks for the nutritional information. I know that if my brain is functioning correctly, there is no limit to what I can think up.

This summer I discovered a cherry tree and wild blackberries. I thoroughly enjoyed them. I am convinced my body is determined to eat properly. I am going to give it all the help it needs.

I am glad you enjoyed the story. I definitely enjoyed the experience!

Be well

Carrie Tucker said...

Seems that everything up close is hard to take a close look at, huh? My chronic illness is a blessing to me today. When I meet people my age that are facing difficult life changes in order to get their life back, I say a prayer of thanks that I lost my health so young that the changes were not nearly so hard to make. I would not be the healthy strong person I am today, without the illness that drove me to take care of myself.

Renee said...

This is a very good way of looking at new ways of helping our pain. I have been using alternative or integrative medicine for quite awhile ~ acupuncture and homeopathy were a couple. Now EFT has entered into my realm of possibilities to help myself and of course the tapping that is used is done on the trigger points that are used for acupuncture. I also use the "gait" points to balance my body which are also acupuncture points. I am still new to the EFT, like I said before, but I use the points and say affirmations with them or what I am grateful for also. Saw that idea is one of the EFT newsletters I get. So much out there and some it is sounds so strange like you said, but your story on the walnuts is such an easy way of explaining the unknown to us :)
Thanks for sharing it.

Mckay K said...

Carrie, like you, I became ill as a young woman.

Because of my long term illness, it is much easier for me to talk to people who have recently become ill and are afraid of what life holds for them.

You are doubly blessed. You learned from you illness and are now able to share your wisdom with others who need it.

Be well

Mckay K said...

Hi Renee,

I used to depend solely on my doctor for my wellness. There is so much we can do to assist with better health. I like this integrated way a lot better.

You have incorporated a lot of interesting techniques into you wellness program.

Your comment helps to emphasize the fact that they are tools to be used when needed, not just one time and given up on. We don't take a pain pill and when the pain reoccurs, decide that they are not working and refuse to take them any longer.

These tools should be used in the same way-until we no longer need them.

Be well

Anonymous said...

it should be necessary that you should think positive in any sort of problem. It is also very much helpful in curing the diseases.

Christina Crease

Mckay K said...

Christina you are so right. Positive thinking is the key to tackling any situation. And, never more so, than with an illness.

Pamela K said...

What a wonderful story and analogy. It reminds me of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. At the end of the movie she's in bed surrounded by her family & friends (and Toto too). After trying to describe her journey to Oz, she says that what she learned was that if she ever needs to go searching for for her hearts desire, all she needs to do is look in her own backyard.....Your story proves that in so many ways... Maybe to find a cure for what ails us we might start by looking right inside ourselves as well. Thank you for helping me stop and think about the possibilites that are out there. I'm still tapping & feeling less pain daily. EFT is amazing.

Continued healing & blessing

Pamela K.

Mckay K said...

Pamela' thank you for the great "Wizard of Ozz" analogy. Some of the smartest people on the web read this blog and you demonstrate that.

I am glad that EFT is helping you as well as others around the world. It continues to be a blessing in my life too.

Keep tapping-I am!

Be well

GigiSehatBadanSehat said...

i vote for your blog on bloggers choice award...
success for you!

Mckay K said...


Thank you so much. It is always nice to have others show their appreciation for your work.

Be Well

carol said...

This is a really great post McKay, what a blessing indeed. I am constantly inspired by your great writing. After reading your post the first time I went away and wrote a post on my latest experiment with EFT. Although I should not call it an experiment as I am a true believer now. I thank god that I have an open mind because there is so much in the universe yet uncovered.

Here's my EFT post, please let me know your thoughts.

Mckay K said...

Hi Carole;

Your results of practicing EFT is awesome. And, you have the photos to prove it.

You are right, the universe has so much that we have yet uncovered. It is doing all it can to reveal the many blessings that are available to us.

It is up to us to see what our creator provided from the beginning so that we can live our life with the INTENT of joy and peace and not pain and suffering.

The movie (What the Bleep Do We Know?), that you introduced me to on your site (Inspired Journey), taught me to live with the INTENT of what I want. I choose joy and peace and the ability to reconize what the pain and suffering is and why it has (if it does) shown up in my life.

Carole, I have the utmost respect for you and your credentials as a Life Coach. Much success in ALL your endeavors.

Be well

tikno said...

The way of thinking and viewing will also influencing the way we appreciate our life.
This post is the best story!

Mckay K said...

Tikno; You got it! It is pure and simple. We determine how what we experience effects our life.

Thank you for positive feed back on the story itself. I appreciate it.

Be well

Speedcat Hollydale said...

I think my own "Walnut Tree" was growing unnoticed for years. Sometimes what we need to see, and need to find, are right there in our own front yards.

I do not have a yard, but the simile remains intact :-)

Mckay K said...

Hi Speedy! I think we all have our "walnut trees". The best part is when we finally do discover them.

Be well

Chronic Chick Talk said...

Intreasting post. Often time us chronic illness surviviors forget to take care of our self. That's were I have been. Recently I've been trying to pull myself out of that rut once again. Its not easy and really I put myself into a time warp. Forgeting myself Instead I got so consumed with the "why me's". Esentially I forgot myself as a human with an illness. I allowed myself to become the illness. Being unhealthy to be that way. I lost my will so to speak. I became lupus and other illness. My name became lupus, not my real name. If that makes any sense. You always have very good words you speak.

Chronic Chick Talk

Mckay K said...

Chronic Chick, it makes perfectly good sense and we with chronic illness do, from time to time, start to become the illness, instead of a human being who suffers with an illness. That is when we lose our joy. The depression can be devastating both to us and our loved ones.

Chick over the years, you have learned coping skills that help to get you back to a happy productive place. And, now, I hope that you have chosen to learn some of the ones we are practicing and benefiting from.

Once you have talked to your doctor, read the manual and learn the Emotion Free Techniques (EFT). It may be able to help you rediscover Chick a lot faster.

Be well

Pamela K said...

I love your picture at the beginning of your blog page. In a word BREATHTAKING !!!
Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.
Continued Healing & Blessings,
Pamela K.

Mckay K said...

Thank you Pamela K. That is so nice of you.

This is one of the last pictures I took as a model. I was terrible ill that day. However, during that photo shoot, I was in a wonderful state of peace.

Jeanne said...

Mckay k,

Your walnut post may be my favorite ever on your entire blog. I was just looking through your blog and came across it. I swore I had commented back when I first read it but I don't see it here... So apparently not! Anyway, I just love it!


Mckay K said...

Jeanne I am soooo glad you liked it. I enjoyed researching it as well as writing it. It was one of those post that just begged to be written.

I think you may have emailed a comment. But it is always good to see it here.

Be well.

ROSIDAH said...

Very inspiring post! Thank you for sharing. Take good care :)

Mckay K said...


I am so glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for the encouraging comment.

Be well