Fundamental beliefs (aka Big Lies) held in common by people who suffer from chronic illness:
1. I have to be strong. (Strong enough to handle anything, regardless of whether the weight is unbearable by anyone.)
2. It is not right for me to be angry. (I have no right to anger, my anger is not justified, or even that anger is a sin akin to murder.)
3. If I’m angry, I will not be loveable. (Love and acceptance are earned by our character or our behaviors—which are inseparable.)
4. I’m responsible for the whole world. (Leading to hyper-controlling behaviors, being the Fixer, a compulsion to “save the world.”)
5. I can handle anything. (It is easier just to do it myself than get other people to do it, if you want it done “right” you have to do it yourself, needing to be perfectly competent in all areas of life—perfect mom, perfectly decorated and kept house, perfect garden, perfect on the job, in the bedroom, in the ministry—being good enough is never acceptable in anything.)
6. I’m not wanted—I’m not lovable. (Regardless of others’ intentions, I perceive that I am unwanted/unloved.)
7. I don’t exist unless I do something. I must justify my existence. (My only worth lies in my utility. I cannot fathom being valuable simple for Being.)
8. I have to be very ill to deserve being taken care of. (I should be able to buck up, mind-over-matter, just get on with things, no matte what.)
A major contributor to the genesis of many diseases… is an overload of stress induced by unconscious beliefs. If we would heal, it is essential to being the painfully incremental task of reversing the biology of belief we adopted very early in life. Whatever external treatment is administered, the healing agent lies within. The internal milieu must be changed. To find health, and to know it fully, necessitates a quest, a journey to the center of our own biology of belief. That means rethinking and recognizing—re-cognizing: literally, to “know again”—in our lives.
…The key to healing is the individual’s active, free and informed choice. … Liberation from oppressive and stressful external circumstances is essential, but that is only possible if we first liberate ourselves from the tyranny of our ingrained biology of belief.
From When the Body Says No by Gabor Mate, MD (the parenthetical remarks are my own)