War metaphors, health, and love

 

It’s common – in our culture, and our time – to use war metaphors in medicine and about our health.

As many have pointed out, it reflects a few different assumptions. It shows an assumption of a basic duality, or split, in ourselves and the world. An illness or medical problem is “other”, something that happens “to us”. And it also reflects an assumption that what’s happening is bad or wrong.

These views can be traced back to early Christianity, and Judaism, and perhaps even further back. And they can be found in some other cultures as well, in different flavors, although certainly not all cultures. Even that is a hint that these assumptions perhaps do not reflect something inherent in the world, and also that these type of assumptions are not inevitable. They are learned, and they can be unlearned, and perhaps be replaced with more helpful metaphors or assumptions.

I notice these basic assumptions in myself. Somewhere in me, there are assumptions that the CFS is “other”, something “other” that is impacting, me, and also that it’s wrong, bad, or at least unfortunate. There is also an assumption behind the label CFS, and what it means for me and my life.

When I notice that, there is the possibility to shift how I relate to all of this. Instead of taking it as how it is, and identify with the views created by  these assumptions, I can relate to these assumptions – and what they trigger in me – more intentionally.

I can, for instance, say you are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. I love you. And repeat this, quietly, and sit in it.

It’s often easier to first do this towards one assumption or reaction at a time, and then perhaps with all of it.

I can also use ho’oponopono towards these parts of me, these parts of worried love. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you.

I can experiment with simple loving kindness. I love you.

This is a 180 degree turning around from the war metaphor mentality. It’s an experiment. There may be fears coming up, especially at first. Worries that I won’t take care of myself and my health if I genuinely find peace with and love for the symptoms, and the reactions in me towards them. I can meet those worries too in this way, and see what happens. Is it true I won’t take care of myself and my health? What is the reality? What really happens when I shift into finding love for what’s here, including that which I previously saw as “other” or wrong?

Also, how do I change my view on these symptoms and what’s triggered in me (worry, confusion, fear, anger)? Do I see it as worried or confused love? How is it different when I genuinely see it more that way? Is there a sense of love meeting love, presence meeting presence?

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