I have yet to get to the point where I need reading glasses. Although it could be argued that I’m just fooling myself:) A good example of a catch 22 is losing your glasses that you need in order to see. Looking for them can be tricky. In healing, there is a very common catch 22.
Consider Karen for example. She came into the office complaining of severe leg pain. She recounted how this severe leg pain is keeping her from being active and it’s keeping her from enjoying her life. When I asked her how she is helping herself, she said “I meditate every day, I stretch, I do daily positive affirmations, I’m always thinking about how I can make this leg pain go away because I hate it!”
This is the Catch 22. By constantly focusing on trying to make the pain go away and thinking about it all the time, Karen is perpetuating a state where she can’t enjoy her life whatsoever.
When the problem, pain or other symptom, becomes all-encompassing, there is less room for joy, or real gratitude, or life enjoyment. It’s in these moments that we require more perspective.
I might sound harsh or uncaring when I say this but I’m stating fact: Many people die everyday worldwide. And there are many new souls incarnating every day. There is war happening on the planet somewhere every day. And there are miracles happening every day.
What we choose to focus on will determine what we experience. Could Karen possibly focus on the pain that she’s experiencing in her leg and at the same time be able to acknowledge the many-layered miracle that she is? Could she not also focus on what is working in her life as opposed to only focusing on what’s not working?
By focusing only on what is not working, this reduces her world to something much smaller than what her life really is; with less meaning, less enjoyment and less impact.
When we’re able to have a broader perspective, we are more likely to see how our thinking about the problem is adding to the problem. I’m not saying that we should never think about the pain that we’re experiencing. I am saying that it’s also good to remember that there’s more to your body and more to your life than the pain that you have. And that maybe, just maybe, the pain is a prompt from your body telling you that it’s time to change your relationship with your body, your life and the world.