Sunday, November 13, 2011

Big Lies I Believe

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)


  1. Hi Sandra,

    First time commenting. I think I first learned of your blog on Like A Child's blog. I think? :-)

    Dr. Mate's book is one of my favourites and was very helpful in my understanding of my own illness, emotional and physical. I highly recommend it.

  2. I really identified with this! I sense in my life that so much of the “human doing” is to try to compensate (though you would think that after 73 years I’d realize it simply doesn’t work!) for the fact that “I am bad” at core. That, of course, comes from this inbred fundagelical theology for both the “badness” and the human effort (in spite of what fundagelicals preach about grace) are basic to the theology of literal biblicalism.

    Only as I begin to see myself as good and valuable and worthwhile—that is, to change my grossly distorted beliefs as to who I truly am and see myself as God sees me—is peace and healing and blossoming possible. Thank God, I am sensing some of that growth as I am sensing and dealing with these unconscious beliefs!

    Terry Gray