Sickness Is NOT a Pathology

Sickness is not a pathology. By this I mean that it is normal to be sick. It is something bodies do. Sometimes you’d think being sick was a sin. You are on the couch, down for the count, and you are thinking “I should be at work.”, “why am I so useless?” or “what did I do to deserve this?” In a culture of constant work, constant contact, constant availability by phone, tablet or computer, we are left with the sense that if we aren’t doing something, there is something wrong.

Pathology is something abnormal, something doing or being something that it isn’t meant to be. But bodies, believe it or not, were meant to be sick. Sickness is really another way of saying “change is happening.” Being sick is a way our bodies allow new ideas to take shape, a way that new “roads” can be built, old ones dismantled. Renovation, repair, and even destruction of our cells is absolutely necessary for vibrant health.

When we are sick, our bodies put the “doing” out there in the world on hold, so they can focus on what needs doing inside. Your body systems conspire to slow you down, keep you sleepy and basically prevent you from doing much in the usual sense. For good cause. The cause, the need, even the demand for change on the inside. You wouldn’t try to change the tire on your car while it was moving, would you? Why then, would you try to change seasons, jobs, relationships, or even hairstyles, without slowing down, let alone stopping?

What if we could accept that sometimes sickness is a necessary, even important, part of being human? What if we could use our sickness as a way to regain choice, to empower our health with the knowing that our bodies can and do absolutely know how to heal when given the right conditions. Health, then, is NOT the absence of disease or sickness, but rather the presence of each of us in our own bodies, in our own knowing, in each moment.

I guess this could sound like a tall order, but the truth is, you are already doing it much of the time. You already know how to be a body. You already know how to listen to the signals; hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain. The question is do you? And the even bigger question is when you hear the body calling do you know what your choices are?

This post was previously published on Change Becomes You and is republished here with permission from the author.


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