You can heal by connecting to your own body’s capacity to heal. But that means connecting with every aspect of your being – including your “dark” side. It is the reason why The DOC Journey begins by acknowledging your skepticism and doubt. If you think it isn’t there, think again. You are trapped by pain and probably many other life circumstances. You have tried numerous treatments and your hopes have been repeatedly dashed. It is a dark place and the reason why I call it, “The Abyss.” If you try to generate enough belief to heal or rationalise that this isn’t that bad, you are suppressing and it fires up your nervous system and fight or flight chemistry even more. It is only by connecting with what is that allows you to let go and move forward.
This email was sent to me by someone that I have never met. A high percent of people find relief on their own with the medical system becoming a resource instead of a place to fixed. This letter illustrates a problem that created my original suffering – positive thinking. It seemed like a good idea for many years and I seemed to accomplish many things with it. My attitude was, “bring it on.” Then I exploded from essentially no anxiety to an intense panic attack. I didn’t see it coming and I did not emerge from this hole for over 13 years.
Dear Dr. Hanscom,
I’m a positive-minded person. I endeavor to never give up since I always think I will prevail over all adversity. Twenty-plus years of chronic LBP were not overcome by positive thinking. In fact, my almost exclusive reliance on my positive thinking added to my anxiety and fear of ever being able to relieve my chronic pain.
But, only through meditation and an immersion in your program did I finally find relief from my chronic pain. Positive thinking surely plays a part in one’s pursuit of accomplishment throughout our lives. However it is the rewiring of our thought process that brings pain relief. I can be positive that I can overcome my pain but it’s the follow-through steps that make the difference.
Only after going through an excruciating process of forgiving and forgetting, of riding myself of anger and resentment was I able to prepare myself to be rid of my pain. This process enables you to rid yourself of the fear and anxiety that chronic pain produces. You can be positive that you will get better. But, until you commit and do the work your chances of recovery are quite limited.
Do the work by detoxifying yourself. Write down and throw away all of your daily bad feelings, your anger, resentments and negativity. This process includes daily meditation, which when combined with the writing offers you the opportunity to be rid of your anger and negative thoughts that prevent hope. If you believe there is no hope of pain relief you have effectively given up on your current and future prospects of ever living a pain free existence.
At one point in my past I had given up all hope of ever having ANY pain relief. I was anxiety ridden and afraid to get out of bed to face another pain filled day. I was full of the anger and resentment that comes with chronic pain. I did the work and continue to do the work everyday. My LBP disappeared four years ago. I’m rid of the pain-induced anger, fear, anxiety and hopelessness that once controlled my life. Just do the work!
Thank you for your work!
Positive thinking versus positive outlook – my experience
The problem with positive thinking is that it is a global way of suppressing negative thinking. I didn’t want to feel bad, so I wouldn’t allow myself to feel unpleasant emotions. I was masterful at putting my head down, not complaining, and viewed myself as being really tough. But suppression of thoughts only makes them stronger–much stronger. When my anxiety exploded, it was brutal. It was like the top exploded off of a pressure cooker and I couldn’t get it back together. A colleague succinctly pointed out to me that the key is to first, ” allow yourself to feel before you can heal.” You can’t redirect you nervous system, if you aren’t aware of its current state. A positive outlook is much different and represents your efforts to create and execute your vision. Your focus is on the solution instead of the problem.