Grasping for cure…why trying to cure yourself is killing you

Many people come to my office looking for a cure for their issues, although I’m not sure everyone is aware of what a cure actually is. A cure has many definitions; it can be a remedy to relieve physical symptoms, it can be the beginning of a new behaviour that allows for a situation to change which relieves suffering, it can be the elimination of a certain substance to reduce pain. So cure for each person can be very, very different, and in fact, that is the beautiful thing about it!

When most of us experience discomfort, we would like to do anything to get rid of that feeling, call it pain or discomfort or disease or unease. Akin to sticking our heads into the sand like ostriches, it would be so much easier to get a straight-​forward solution to our concerns; a herb, a food, a diet plan, a medication, a massage, and often, these methods do help. However, many chronic diseases arise with the line of thinking that any one thing, person, situation can fix our problems. When we look at a temporary fix for our discomfort, it might give us more immediate relief (eating to self-​soothe, taking an Advil for our headaches for the sixtieth time) but ultimately our problems will return.

It’s a lot more work to deal with our pain head on, and come to terms with all of the facets that might be contributing to it. Take for example, weight retention. Notice I’m not saying obesity or being overweight, and I’m not referring to genetic weight retention that can be a lot more challenging to shift. The kind of weight retention I’m referring to is the kind that is related to negative self-​worth, a stressful job, a lack of awareness of healthy choices, and so on, that ultimately would prevent us from attaining lower body weight.

In the short-​term, it is easier to look for a “detox” or a diet plan for 15 days, where we can lose the weight, but ultimately, not make those permanent changes where we understand what our body, mind, and soul truly need for permanent weight management.

So the next time you are looking for the next “cure” for your ailments (be those physical, mental, or emotional) as yourself:

1. What am I really trying to accomplish?
2. What aspects to the situation am I seeing?
3. What aspects of my situation am I not seeing clearly?
4. Could I get a loving perspective from a friend, colleague or family member on some of the patterns they see in me that could use some support with my situation?
5. Are my expectations for improved health realistic, or could they also use a different perspective?

These 5 questions lead to important and objective understanding of what might be happening within you, and then, you will have a more compassionate method in which to go towards the goal you want; releasing excessive weight, improved stress management, decreased pain…whatever your end goal happens to be. The less we try to attain the “cure” (or in this discussion, the one solution) to our issues, and the more we strive to understand how our issues arose in the first place, the easier path to relieving our discomfort. It sounds counterproductive; but it gets us to our destination.

Think about one issue that has really been plaguing you. I’m sure you have a timeline for how that solution must be addressed, or who must help you, and what must the outcome be. Could you sit with yourself for 5 minutes, and consider all of the aspects of the issue with more objectivity? Imagine talking a friend through this and what you might say. Would you be willing to open your mind to all of the possibilities to solve this problem? You might surprise yourself with your own journey to cure — and how your whole self responds with much more ease to this healthy line of thinking.

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