I was chatting to a new acquaintance last week after an early morning swim. He wanted to know what I did for work, so I gave him a quick run-down – helping people resolve anxiety, depression, PTSD, and on the flip side, helping people to perform at their best. (That’s the very general gist, anyway. I was a bit more generous in my explanation at the time!)
It was interesting to me that, even after my explanation, he asked:
“OK, so let’s say a group of ex-military with PTSD come cold-water swimming every morning. Would that help them?”
I sighed an internal sigh and answered: “Possibly. But would it resolve their issues or just help them manage?”
WHY OH WHY?
Why oh why oh why are we intent on helping people just get by, just manage, just live ‘ok’ lives despite their symptoms – PTSD, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, Imposter Syndrome etc.?
Why oh why are we not asking much better questions?
Why oh why are we imposing limits on ourselves and possibilities by assuming people can’t get fully well?
In fact, why oh why are we choosing to believe and assume that people can’t heal and live better lives than ever before?
Why oh why are we asking the WRONG QUESTIONS?!
Why do we continue to ask them!?
Why are we not seeing that, by asking the wrong questions, based on limiting beliefs and assumptions, we are extending people’s pain and suffering needlessly?
Do you sense my passion? Do you sense my exasperation?
THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
How about asking these questions instead, for example:
- how can that person resolve their PTSD (anxiety, low self-esteem or whatever it is), and love life again?
- how can that person truly, fully know “I am enough”, and shine?
- how can that person find their spark again and live a magnificent life – not just a ‘good’ life?
- how can that person stop punishing themselves and fully, exuberantly like, no, love themselves?
- how can that person be free of the baggage that’s caused their ongoing self-sabotage?
DISCOMFORT IN THE ‘MIRACULOUS’
Consider some of the many, many things which are now considered normal and taken for granted, that would once have been laughed off as impossible – flying, modern surgery, life-saving effect of penicillin, sending a message across the world in a moment, speaking to someone on a different continent in real time…
The proposition of the seemingly miraculous is uncomfortable to many, until either it becomes so common it’s humdrum, or for others, until they understand the ‘how’.
Take Paracetamol, for example. Do you understand how it works? I’ll bet not! Yet you accept that it reduces pain and would most probably use it yourself if you had a headache. Right? It’s become humdrum.
On the other hand, Joe Dispenza is doing a great job of giving scientific evidence and explanations for phenomena like the placebo effect and advancing consciousness, making those ideas far more accessible to people who need to understand how things work before they find them credible.
It’s time to open our minds to the seemingly miraculous in terms of mental health solutions and in terms of living lives where we can all thrive – not just get by.
It’s time to get a little uncomfortable and ask the right questions.
I see ‘miraculous’ outcomes with clients every week. I could tell so many stories…
Like the woman who, for the first time in her life, felt subservient to no one.
Like the man in his 30’s who’d always felt like he was rubbish (he used a different word!), who came to experience himself as “awesome”.
Like the woman who’d had PTSD for so long she couldn’t remember ever sleeping the night through without nightmares… until she did.
Like the athletes who couldn’t seem to progress beyond a certain point in their careers… until they soared.
Let’s not limit ourselves by asking the wrong questions.
Let’s not prolong people’s pain by making limiting assumptions.
Let’s start allowing for the possibility of the ‘miraculous’.