ACIM among several other philosophies teaches that illness is a choice and when we no longer find value in it, we no longer invest in it and it withdraws. Others will claim illness is simply misdirected thought.
When I was in college, I was amazed to discover how I would get sick at the times I needed to get away from all the stress of work and school combined. I simply thought it was the body’s way of helping, that it possessed an inner wisdom. I would never have bought into any theory that it was I who created it with my mind. Now I wonder.
Initially, the idea someone is creating their own illness does not sound very credible to them. They may become angry for mentioning such an idea. Still, buried in our unconscious are many conflicting values and teachings given to us by our families, education, religions, and society.
One of the many subtle teachings society gives us is that illness has its rewards. As children, we learned it gets us out of things. When a child is sick, especially with something contagious, he stays home from school. The child is often excused from any household responsibilities. If the child is sick enough, mom will stay home. The child will get special attention, even perks such as breakfast in bed and the television moved into his room. Sometimes the patient will get special deserts.
Faking an illness works just as well. Both children and adults play “hooky” to avoid school and work. Most adults have a paid day off. If you want a nice family day, call in sick and write notes to the kid’s teachers.
Even partial sickness or injury works. I remember kids who were well enough for everything in school except for Physical Education class. That was the ultimate, getting excused from gym class. Sometimes we envied them.
For those who feel guilty or dishonest about deceit, a little bit of convincing may be required. “Maybe the thermometer will show a fever and back my desire so I won’t have to tell a lie.” The more skilled among us learn how to create the illnesses or the symptoms.
Eventually, the minds of honest people can unconsciously create the infirmities for them. They no longer have the guilt of lying. It’s a really cool trick that they aren’t even aware they possess. Instead, they modestly credit germs, genetics, environment, or another phenomenon.
Did you ever hear someone say the following? “It’s flu season. I know I’m going to get sick. I always do.” Soon after they are sick. It is a classic case. The focus on sickness repays this person by manifesting itself into an illness. But at least now they can prove they were right.
Some people lack love or attention. What better cure than through a medical condition? What worked as a child works as an adult, however not quite to the same degree. Yet it will often attract attention or sympathy.
The more diabolical of our society will create the illness onto their children. They get all the benefits of sympathy and attention, without having to manifest the illness. Most of us have met parents that keep a child in a suspended state of infirmity while appearing to be good parents or even appearing as heroes or saints. Not even Child Services would lay a hand on them.
Some find illness or infirmity financially beneficial. You can receive money from the government or insurance companies. You could a get a big bonanza for an injury, or may get minimal financial support for life. You no longer need to work. Some people create their own disabilities, even thru accidents. Naturally, it is at the unconscious level.
Don’t forget good old-fashioned masochism, self-punishment, and martyrdom. Here is where the unconscious rears its ugly head. Parts of our society teaches things such as suffering is a virtue. There is nobility in suffering. Sacrifice is a virtue. We also believe the guilty should be accountable for their crimes. We also feel it is good to help the sick. With teachings like this, is it any wonder some wear their ailments as a badge?
If we believe ourselves guilty, and undeserving of anything good, we may unconsciously use illness to fulfill another unconscious need for punishment or justice. If we dislike ourselves enough we may inflict pain unconsciously. It is even possible for a person to like pain at the unconscious level, in direct contrast to what is consciously thought to be believed. In such a case, the illness fulfills the unconscious need.
It can also be a case of “look how much I sacrifice! I did everything till I got sick, and no one appreciates it.”
Sickness and disabilities can also be revenge, a husband’s way of punishing the wife or the wife’s way to punish the husband. Sometimes a heart attack or an ulcer can prove how bad and stressful someone or something has been to you.
In summary, psychosomatic sickness and injuries can assist you with the following. They can get you out of work, get you sympathy, help you avoid things you do not want to do, get you money, allow you to punish yourself, prove you are right, or can be used for revenge.
As for me, I seem to give myself headaches. Both a medical doctor and an eye doctor found nothing wrong. I’m trying to get to the bottom of it. I have not yet discovered what my unconscious thinks of these headaches. Maybe I want them and just do not know it yet.
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