Do We Make Ourselves Sick?
What is your personal philosophy on the concept of choice (and I don't mean abortion)? More specifically, do you think we choose all, some, or none of our illnesses?
I'm not sure I have a simple answer to your question. If you believe in reincarnation, then at the cosmic level we choose the circumstances of our lives in one way or another before birth. But on the mundane level, it's obvious that some of us choose our illnesses by our patterns of behavior.
For example, if you are a cigarette addict and don't try to break the addiction, you are increasing the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or cancer. The same can be said of people who eat diets high in fat. Or heavy drinkers. There are also ways in which the mind can depress the immune system and obstruct healing. Stress is often a primary or aggravating cause of health problems. That being said, it makes sense to think that if we improve our diets, boost exercise levels, take appropriate vitamins and supplements, reduce stress, and alter unhealthy habits, we'll pave the way for greater longevity and better health. Those elements are the foundation of my "8 Weeks to Optimum Health."
On the other hand, in many cases it seems that illness just is. It doesn't necessarily mean anything or result from any particular behavior. We all know people who've developed cancer but who never smoked or had other unhealthy habits, or nondrinkers diagnosed with liver cancer. To say that we choose our illnesses implies that we are responsible for them, and that line of reasoning can lead to blame and guilt. There is a crucial distinction between understanding the mind-body connection and "blaming the victim."
Over the years, I have received hundreds and hundreds of testimonials from people who have taken charge of their health in a host of different ways. In their totality, these stories make one powerful point: People can get better. And they can get better from all sorts of conditions of disease, even very severe and life-threatening ones. Above all, these healing stories are testimony to the human capacity for healing. Let's drop the blaming and focus on healing.