What if you woke up one day and discovered that those negative things you had always believed about yourself simply weren’t true? In fact, they were absolutely false. How would you feel?
One man has documented his inspiring journey from negative beliefs about his health to total mental and physical freedom. Arthur was a disabled US war veteran. For 15 years he was constantly told that he would never walk again, and that his health would inevitably worsen each year. He accepted this diagnosis of his disability as true. He said: “I allowed others to tell me what I couldn’t do.” Like so many others, he came close to giving up on life. Then he made an inspiring discovery – he did not have to accept that hopeless diagnosis!
When we are told that we have a high likelihood of no recovery, or that we have a 50% chance of getting some disease, we may unwittingly buy into these beliefs.
Lissa Rankin, a popular physician, health author and speaker, writes about this problem of accepting dire prognosis about our health in an article in Psychology Today. Referring to studies that have verified this phenomenon, she points out, for example, that patients who believed they might die after surgery, usually did; but those who were just generally apprehensive, recovered. Arthur had bought into a similar notion that he would die within a few years.
But a negative health prognosis does have an antidote. It starts with inspiration.
That’s what jolted Arthur out of his hopelessness. A yoga video he chanced upon encouraged him to challenge those negative beliefs about his health. He took action. He began to exercise in the way the video suggested. At first it was really difficult, but he persisted. He did not give up. Gradually he realized that he could do it; and he gained confidence. Arthur’s VLOG of his journey to freedom has now, in turn, helped millions, and is one of the stories in the documentary Inspired. The movie looks at how inspiration has the power to change the way people think about themselves and their health.
Just what is inspiration? Is there something deeper going on when we choose to turn away from negative beliefs about our health, and rethink how we view ourselves and our wellbeing?
The word inspire comes from the same root word as Spirit, meaning God, good. Even though we might not make this connection to the divine origin of our inspiration, it’s important. One Bible character put it this way: “ …there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” It is this divine nature, and inspiration that flows from it, that enables us to change and transcend the negative beliefs about ourselves. It can take us beyond the limits of mere human willpower.
Arthur’s story reminded me of the healing in the Bible of another man who was unable to walk and felt hopeless. His friends, inspired by the work of Jesus, let him down through the roof of a house where Jesus was healing people. Their inspired manoeuvring to get their friend in front of the Master resulted in his complete healing.
Yet, what really stands out to me is how Jesus’ divinely inspired view of the man – not as a sinful, hopeless mortal, but as the upright and pure child of the Divine – changed the way the man saw himself. Can you even imagine Jesus telling him he’ll always be in pain, or never walk again; or, worse, predicting his death? Nope. His brief exchange with this fellow led, instead, to the man’s full physical restoration.
We can choose to not be helpless recipients of negative diagnoses and predictions. We can instead consistently look towards higher, more inspiring ideals that offer a healthier way to think and be.
This article was published in the Vancouver Sun HERE