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Mette Maja Mouritsen
Mette Maja Mouritsen


Healing is a process

Rarely a disease appears in a split of a second. Mostly something has preceded, which we haven’t been aware of or ignored perhaps caused by a busy way of living. At the point where the symptom becomes sufficiently annoying we listen and seek help.

We may receive help, if the doctor can find some visible and measurable changes. However sometimes there is nothing to find, the suffering is invisible. Whatever the reasons may be, for the invisible discomfort, it can be just as uncomfortable as a visible disease, but it rarely gets the same attention, although it could be an invitation to take care of it before it becomes a visible disease. Anyway, it often has a valuable healing effect to receive the doctor's proclamation of "nothing is wrong", well of what we might have feared at worst.

It seems valuable to explore how we can improve our capability to discover and take care of the invisible before it becomes a visible disease. It is my experience that if we get better at sensing ourselves we will start trusting our bodily sensations and take care of what the body tells us that it needs. In this way the symptoms may disappear before we become sick, because the body is able to heal many conditions by itself when it is balanced and perhaps eventually with some help from others.

The diagnosis is the doctor's tool, a way to describe and classify the physical findings by the doctor, in order to provide a medical treatment. The diagnosis does not tell anything about the cause of the symptom or the appearance of the physical findings the doctor may observe. There are many different individual causes for symptoms and disease to occur. A single triggering cause is rarely found. Therefore, there is very rarely a single solution and treatment of a given disease, there are basically countless possibilities, just as many as we are different people.

Life is a process with new challenges and experiences every single day, so even if a symptom or disease is well-treated for a while, our body will meet new challenges in life that may result in the same or new bodily symptoms. With “body” I mean "mind and the body", that is, the body as a whole, since we are influenced by what we sense with the entire body, through words we hear, feelings, emotions, sounds, smell, food, radiation, touch and even the thoughts we make and much more.

Even though we do our best to keep us healthy, we may still get sick, and then another healing process begins. The process of accepting the loss of the self-image we had before the trauma or disease and gradually start re-discovering our self and find a new way to function different from the way that worked in the past. Having a disease is often accompanied by emotions as shame and guilt by being unaware of getting diseased and eventually by the judgmental attitudes of others, especially when the disease is not immediately visible. It may even be that some diseases receive more attention and care than others. So, in a sense, the diagnosis; the medical understanding and framework of normality, and also the socio-cultural assessment and valuation of various diseases are categorizing the diseased. In addition, the social isolation that often follows a disease if he/she can’t work or simply take a walk is also a great loss. It is obvious why it is so difficult to be sick when we know of this long and complex process of healing in order to find a new way of being and living; a kind of a new version of oneself.

It may be good to remind each other that healing is a process just like becoming diseased is a process, and that no one has chosen to be sick if they could choose to be healthy. Very few people go through life without experiencing disease, and we will all die sooner or later in one way or another, whether we believe in eternal life or not. I believe that this knowledge may bring some compassion for each other and ourselves if we become ill, since the first step in a healing process is acceptance of the actual condition together with a loving care of one self and a loving support from the surroundings.

In the same way life is a process, the process of becoming a more and more whole person. Despite whatever we may be suffering from of physical and psychological problems, there is always a core inside us that remains the same. The essence of love that brought us into existence on Earth, which we are still connected with, and that knows the meaning of life, which is far beyond our human mind to understand, especially when we experience ourselves sick.

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