Diagnosis doesn't mean give up!
The most important thing about illness is that a person not give
up when they get a diagnosis from a doctor. So often people do!
One medical doctor's opinion is that people need to take care of
treating the illness and then start examining what the learning is
in the illness. So, physicians are starting to say some of the
same things we've been saying all along in NLP. Do the medical
interventions, but if you don't examine the cause of the illness,
you're just putting band aids on top. It may pop up in some way
later on in your life.
We have some guesses about that - in terms of cancer in
particular. Research shows that cancer often occurs in people
who are in internal conflict - and it is usually a self/other conflict.
That is about, "Do I meet other people's needs at my own
expense?" People often meet other people's needs at their own
expense. Take the case of a young lady years ago. She was 30
years old and had a strange cancer in her neck so that she
couldn't hold her head up. She had to wear a neck brace. She
had three little kids and she was helping to support her husband,
who was in school.
Her mother asked an NLP Practitioner to talk to her. When
asked, "What's important to you?" her responses were
enlightening. She said, "My church. Doing my church work and
doing what it takes to get me exaltation." "What else," asked the
Practitioner. "Children. Taking care of my kids' needs." Less
important than that was her husband and making sure she was a
good wife and supporting his needs. The Practitioner then asked,
"And where are you in all this?"
At this point the elicitation of her hierarchy of criteria, she looked
down and said, "Oh, well - there's no time for me." Using a little
sleight of mouth, the Practitioner said, "Don't you realize that if
you don't take care of yourself, you can't meet any of those other
needs?" She had her church work at the top of her needs, and
she herself was virtually non-existent.
So a prevalent behavior found in people who have cancer is self-
neglect, as in this example. The cancer goes on growing and the
immune system doesn't even notice. The person has neglected
themselves and the body doesn't know how to respond.
Of course, cancer is not always the result of an internal conflict
or of putting others' needs before our own. Sometimes, taking
care of others is the most important thing in the world. The point
is that putting ourselves first is not an act of "selfishness", it's an
act of love – I can't take care of others, at least not for long,
unless I take care of myself first.