Coping With Illness – Are You Starring in Beauty and the Beast?

Are you your illness? How do you differentiate between who you are as a person and the diagnosis? It’s not uncommon for those facing a chronic or life-threatening illness to super-impose one identity on another. Too many people walk around feeling they are their illness creating their own version of “Beauty and the Beast”.

When revising your “beauty and the beast” script it’s important that you divorce the illness from who you are, and shift it to something you have. You’re a multi-dimensional being. Acknowledging that you are greater than the sum of your parts will empower your to act more definitively on the behalf of health.

So how do you tame the beast? Recognize that the diagnosis means that something in the body is out-of-control. Think about what soothes you. Proper nutrition and rest will calm the body by reducing irritants to your system. This isn’t like lion taming where you walk into a cage with a chair and whip expecting the body to respond because you give it a command. Taming the beast requires laying a foundation of trust. Trust that you won’t purposely harm your physical, emotional or spiritual being. Your mind, body and spirit must believe your intention. If you are trying to seduce the body to respond but you’re not being truthful, the body will turn on you.

They say that music calms the savage beast. Studies have shown that music can impact the physical body. You can read the work done by Don Campbell in The Mozart Effect for a greater exploration of the studies. The art and healing movement has shown that the creative process allows you to reveal your true self and that’s your “Beauty”. There is nothing more beautiful than authentic self-expression.

Being diagnosed with an illness often brings out one’s insecurities and vulnerabilities. You may have prided yourself on your strength and now you think that’s in question. Taming the “beast” within shows your strength, your integrity and your inner and outer beauty.