The phone’s ringing, and I’m answering the call. I’ve been recommended to a man I don’t know, suffering from a neurological disorder, motor neurone disease (MND) to be exact. He asks if I can cure him.
“I can’t cure you, my dear sir.”
A hush fell over. After a couple of awkward seconds, he said:
“What do you mean you can’t?”
“Sir, I can’t cure anyone. You can cure yourself, and I can only help you find out why you got sick in the first place, give useful advice and encourage you when you struggle. Only if you understand the core and cause of your problem do you stand a chance of healing yourself.”
“I’ve heard you’ve helped many. Perhaps you can help me, too?”
“They helped themselves, my good man. You are suffering from a neurological disorder. As it happens, every neurological disorder mirrors ego problems, the ego being the biggest obstacle on our way to healing. I guess you know that our greatest enemy lives in the mirror. This is why I can’t promise or guarantee anything. Read my blog posts, think about everything, and if you are still interested, call me and we can meet to talk about your problem. I am warning you again that I know you have an ego problem, and that you might not like what I may say to you!”
Motor neurone disease is a currently incurable form of neurodegeneration, destroying motor neurons and impairing muscle function, leading to muscular atrophy. The symptoms include a progressive general weakness, which I’d rather call the disobedience of a body, making the patient feel completely helpless, like wearing an armour so heavy that they can’t move.
He sent me a message the next day to schedule an appointment. At my door was a man in his late fifties, coming in with his daughter. It’s a habitual practice in my office, because patients suffering from serious illnesses often refuse to accept what they get to know to be the underlying cause of their disease, misinterpreting it later on.
I didn’t let him talk about himself too much. I’m never interested in excuses. I don’t want to listen to any self-analysis either. It’s both insignificant and useless – had it been otherwise, the appointment would have never taken place. Initial meetings with patients like this one are very tense, filled with distrust and expectations. And I’m only a man with his own weaknesses and issues, so all I can do is to try with all my heart to meet the expectations and identify the cause of a disease. The Western medical model can’t offer any guarantees either.
Having examined him, I tried to give him a good account of his personality and his life, and to explain the root cause of the disease. The two pairs of wide-open eyes filled with expectation were looking at me from across the table. I’ll share only part of the interview – you’ll get the point, and his privacy will be protected.
“Sir, your biofield is telling me you are a very rigid man. Judging from what I saw, you were also born to a rigid family, living a life full of rules and restrictions. You’ve adopted the same model, living by harsh rules and routines, allowing yourself and the people around you no freedom at all. Your energy heritage gave you strength, along with confidence that you could do everything, and that no one could harm you. Life went on, and you didn’t feel the negative aspects of your way of life. Many feared your ferocity. Your family was aware of it, and suffered, distressed, but you believed it’s best for everyone. You were your only deity, closing the door to God and the universe, but growing old before you knew it. The mind was trying to warn you it’s time you slowed down, but you ignored it. The death of your wife was a final blow – it dawned on you that nothing’s eternal, and that it’s possible to fall. It was then that your nimbleness deteriorated rapidly, but you still didn’t understand what was going on.
You are wriggling, sinking ever faster. You refuse to understand that the universe is slowing you down, trying to block you in different ways, because you don’t know how. If you keep on, what matters the most – your soul – will be lost. In order to save your soul, your body is slowing you down, taking away from you whatever you might still possess to demonstrate your ferocity.”
His wife died of colorectal cancer. She would swallow and digest all the pressures of the rigid life and harsh rules imposed upon her, unable to get it all out of her system. She would keep everything bottled up inside, and couldn’t accept it. It was the repressed emotions and inability to reconcile with them that had eaten her up. It was her lesson to learn though, she’s moving on now, and we’d better get back to her husband.
His wife’s death was a serious blow, but he wasn’t fully aware of it. The possibility of losing control and his foothold translated harshly into a fear of the future. He would say to himself that he had to “move on, be strong, go faster, the usual way…” Quite the contrary to what he should have been saying to himself. He should have never pushed so hard. Instead, he should have slowed up.
He didn’t realise that it was his way of life that created his illness – the rigidity, discipline and unbending rules, crushing everything around, allowing no freedom to himself or others, he remained deprived of flexibility and the awareness that there might be another way.
Our life is the mirror of our mind, and what actually lives – our body – mirrors our life. His body merely turned into what his life had been, rigid and inflexible.
To him the disease wasn’t a sign to let up, but a call to do things his own way, more fervently so. His body wasn’t functioning properly any more, and the archetypal fear emerged: I’m not the strongest, I can’t do everything I want alone…
“You’ve just described me and my life more accurately than I ever would. Everything you said is true! My family is from Kordun,” he said.
“You are absolutely right,” his daughter added. “Our family suffers, because we got used to that model of behaviour, even though it hurts us all. We do understand how wrong it is, but we can’t live any other way.”
“What am I supposed to do now?” the man asked.
“First of all, accept your illness as a friend who’s saving your life! Accept that there are things that you can’t do any more, even though you once could. Admit to yourself that you are not the strongest person in the world. And you never were for that matter. You need to realise that no one around you doesn’t have to do anything, and neither do you. Allow freedom to yourself, and to others!
Think, then, and talk with your family about the moments in your life when you were rigid, inflexible, stiff and unforgiving… Think, and ask the people closest to you what they would have done differently to avoid repeating that despotic treatment. Then think how to make it happen and start doing it.
Remind yourself of the decision to change at every step of the way. Your ego will try to manipulate, to trick you and find an excuse not to. You might easily slide back to your old ways, without being aware of it!”
“He does it all the time,” his daughter added.
“Don’t forget that the support of your family is vital! Whatever happened, happened. You can’t go back, and you mustn’t accuse each other. Help each other instead, with compassion and sympathy, because you need each other.
I’ve told you what I had to tell you, and I’m here as a constant reminder and to supply you with an energy boost when you need it. The rest you need to do alone.
You’ll never be completely cured, because your ego needs the repeated rebuke – otherwise, it would make it so much worse and more devastating for all of you. Yet you can become more nimble, so much so as to live in peace, joy and happiness with your family until your last day.”
“I’ll do my best! Can I schedule my next appointment?” the man asked.
It seemed to me he was full of hope again. We’ll see how far he’ll go.