Your health: Which you?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

8:30 PM. I lay in bed getting more rest and feeling the wheezing coming on, though not very quickly. I said, there must be a way for you to get my attention that doesn’t involve my breathing, why don’t you suggest it? I realized, right away, it isn’t really the place of the body to suggest such things – that is the proper province of the mind, the ringmaster. But I was and am puzzled as to what to suggest, for I don’t know the variables. So I thought, maybe try to thrash out the subject here.

I work always on the assumption that the ringmaster is to decide.


Yet decisions made in the absence of information are arbitrary. So how do I – how does any ringmaster – get the information? How do we become or remain sensitive to the body’s needs and possibilities?

You learn by paying attention, as in every aspect of life.

But – how? Specifically, why are my lungs wheezing in bed? Why do they wheeze – if they’re going to wheeze – mostly, and usually worst, at night?

No answer. Well, what could you tell me if I were to ask the right question?

Your health is under your own control, as is every other aspect of your life – but the joker in the deck is that definition of “you.” When your life is entirely under the ringmaster’s control, your life is entirely magical to others and entirely smooth and natural to yourself. But this is an end-result, not a condition of the beginning of a journey.

We start out – we ringmasters, I mean – only tentatively in control, as the whole troupe of players may not even know each other.

That is a way to look at it. Another is that the tensions and relationships among the components of a life are to be worked out – that is one purpose of life, after all – and therefore you couldn’t expect to begin where you hope to end.

It is 9 PM and the breathing is getting worse. Why? As far as I can tell, all it’s going to accomplish is to stop me from sleeping.

Suppose you’ve had too much sleep. You napped during the day, didn’t you?

So now you are deciding how much sleep I need and are preventing me from getting more? Aren’t you just a little bit out of your jurisdiction?

In your silence I can see that I will need help addressing all this. I accuse you and you don’t seem to feel any need to answer, or maybe I just can’t hear the answer.

[So I called Nancy, and we tried to thrash it out. She got a sense of others inside me who are not quite willing to relinquish their control. It isn’t just the body. She had a sense there was some benefit to someone, and heard the words investment and martyrdom. She got that the body was grateful to have me aware of it; she wasn’t sure the ongoing resistance came just from the body. Something gave her the thought that the group-mind could be involved, but we couldn’t get this thought clearer.

[We went looking for the payoffs. What did having asthma buy me? We were drawn to me as a kid, which is when the patterns would have been instilled. We certainly got the word fear.

[After our conversation, I napped on the recliner for a while, and then went to bed and had some sleep, awakening about 2 AM not in much discomfort but interested in writing down what I was thinking.]

4 thoughts on “Your health: Which you?

  1. “You learn by paying attention, as in every aspect of life.”
    Very similar to the responses I get from guidance in my own quest for health, wellbeing, and vitality … these last several posts are ‘right on’ for my current work.

    Does “Imagine Yourself Well” (four years later) reflect what you learned from this 2010 work? I’ve read it several times and can’t say I see ‘solutions’ there … seems more along the ‘paying attention’ line.

  2. Very interesting to look at the payoff phenomenon. Some fishy games going on under the hood here. Seeing me more clearly definitely takes the wind off the sails of moral outrage.

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