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Can an illness make us feel safe? Growing up, when I wasn’t prepared for a test at school, I would get a stomach ache. It would buy me some time. It would give me another day home. It was an “excused absence.” No one questioned. No one poked or prodded. No thermometer had to read high. “My stomach hurts too much to go to school.” And I stayed home. Have you ever done something like that? Were my childhood stomach aches real? Yes. They hurt or made me feel nauseated. I mean, I couldn’t LIE about feeling sick without feeling sick to my stomach! Ooops. In energy medicine this kind of dynamic represents the “upside” of being sick. We ask the question, “What is the benefit of being sick right now?” “But there isn’t any!! I really want to be well.” Ok, I agree with you. I’ve really wanted to be well when I’ve been sick, too. But I also really liked getting my back rubbed for hours and hours every day when I had chronic tension headaches. I didn’t want to lose those. And there were times when I had ulcerative colitis that it gave me a convenient excuse not to do something, or to be late with something, or to do what I wanted rather than what someone else wanted. And there were other reasons, too. Hmmmm… In psychological terms they call these secondary gains. And you can explore what they might be by just asking yourself the questions:
How am I using this sickness for my benefit? How is being sick making me feel safer than I would feel if I were totally well right now?
The answers may surprise you. This isn’t about guilt. It is about awareness. With awareness we can take those energies to EFT and shift them. We can teach our energy system to feel SAFE—even when there is a “test” today—and not need a stomach ache or worse to follow our inner guidance. I knew what I was doing when I was a child. I knew I was working the system. The system included a Mom that easily gave in when I was sick. (Thank you, Mom; I didn’t need to get really, really ill.) She’d write a note. She’d give me the time and space I needed. Then I would go back to school and do really well. As adults there are systems, too. Companies have sick days—use them or lose them! Sickness is the cultural excuse not to be with people you don’t want to be with, not to do the things you “have to do” but don’t WANT to do. Sickness is insured. Heck, if it gets bad enough, you can even go on long term disability and the government or an insurance company will pay you. As an emotional freedom coach, what I address are the energies of sickness contrasted with the energies of total well-being. What I find in my life and in the life of every client with a chronic condition is that there are hidden ways that the sickness is shielding, protecting, and helping avoid a situation that is even WORSE as far as the primitive brain is concerned. When that is uncovered with some detective work, acknowledged, and soothed with EFT, we’ve returned to the road to optimal health. Do these same energy dynamics affect your financial success? Absolutely! How can you know? Ask the question, “Do I ever use excuses to feel safe?” Example: You hate working at the office. You get sick. Office accommodates your need to stay home. You like working from home better. It feels safer. You avoid people you don’t like. You get more time off. If your work isn’t always up to par, you can apologize and say you’ve been struggling with the illness (rather than saying you were unmotivated, uninspired, uninterested, and undisciplined… “truths” that would be more likely to get you FIRED…). As ugly and depleting as it is to be sick, the prospect of going back to the office and losing the safety of the excuses is WORSE. Not logically worse… but emotionally worse. Less safe. And your primitive brain can easily keep you just sick enough to keep you safe. This may not ring true for you. If it doesn’t, this dynamic may not be at work at all in your energy system. But if you’re feeling uneasy, if this is striking a bit close to home… here’s what I’d recommend: 1) Listen and tap along with the EFT session: NO! You Can’t Make Me! 2) Write down answers to the questions I’ve posed above. 3) Think of specific examples from as early as you can remember where you’ve used sickness or powerful excuses in order to avoid pain or gain pleasure (even if it feels logically absurd; let your intuition bring up the events without judging yourself). Use these specific examples with EFT. If you’d like to get a jumpstart on cleaning up these energies so you can truly feel in your body, “YES! YES!! No More Excuses!”, consider becoming a Thriving Now Team Member.