Author Louise Hay is a teacher, lecturer, and founder of Hay House Publishing. She contends that disease is caused by mental thought patterns, especially patterns of criticism, anger, resentment, and guilt. Festering resentments eat away at the self and can ultimately lead to tumors and cancers. Anger turns into things that burn, boil, or infect the body. A pattern of criticism can turn into diseases like arthritis, and guilt seeks punishment and leads to pain.
Ms. Hay knows the power of healing by changing mental thought patterns firsthand: she was diagnosed as having cancer of the vagina several years ago. She was already a teacher of healing for several years, and saw it as an opportunity to practice what she preached. Despite knowing the power of replacing negative thought patterns with positive and affirming beliefs, she felt panic like most would at this kind of diagnosis. However, she felt that if she allowed the doctor to operate without changing the mental pattern that created it, the cancer would just come back. In fact, she believes that when cancer comes back, it's not because the doctor "didn't get it all", but because the individual never addressed the mental patterns that created the dis-ease in the first place.
In Ms. Hay's case, she had never acknowledged the deep resentment she carried for being raped when she was 5 years old and being battered as a child. As she says, we are often blind to our own patterns--even if we're healers or teachers.
She had bargained with her doctor and asked for 3 months to work on the deep resentments and thought patterns that created her cancer. He grudgingly agreed, warning her that she was putting her life in danger. She began working immediately with a teacher to clear up her patterns of resentment, as well as working with a nutritionist to detoxify her body. Six months later, the medical profession agreed with what she already knew: she was completely free from any form of cancer.
She still keeps the original lab report as a reminder of how negatively creative she could be.
I have to admit, I never thought I would recommend Heal Your Body to anyone. My first husband was a Charismatic minister who believed that words were powerful and creative, and taught this concept to his congregation. However, he contracted leukemia at age 28, and despite a lot of positive thinking and affirmations, he suffered physically and died. Entertaining the theory that he created his suffering, especially after believing in God, healing, and the power of words, made me mad. Very mad. I scorned Ms. Hay and her theories of blame.
So what changed my mind? I had a series of physical symptoms that I knew were connected to my beliefs and thought patterns. As a former Charismatic minister, I used to teach the same thing as my deceased husband. However, deep down, I don't think I really believed in co-creation, but just wished it were true--especially in the area of prosperity and "name it and claim it." After following a different spiritual path from the one in which I was raised--and upon further metaphysical study and reading while working on my own thought patterns, I began to realize, deep down, that my thoughts were powerful and that there were mental and emotional correlations to my physical symptoms. It was then that I felt to give Louise Hay another try.
First off, let me say that Ms. Hay believes in taking full responsibility for your health without self-reproach of feeling guilty. This means no blame. But if you're anything like me, especially one that struggles with guilt from being brought up in a fear-based religion, it's hard not to feel blame when exploring the ideas of metaphysical causation. Some people blame God or an evil entity for dis-ease, and others blame it on the environment, poor lifestyle choices or genetics. Ms. Hay doesn't believe in participating in self-loathing and self-blame when you get ill; this is yet another destructive thought pattern.
I bought Heal Your Body several years ago, and I have to tell you, it's really helped me pinpoint issues I needed to acknowledge and work though. I was suffering sinus trouble, and sinus trouble supposedly correlates to being irritated by one person--someone close. I began to look at the fact that I held unacknowledged resentment towards my Autistic son because of the arduousness of dealing with his behaviors, as well as wishing my situation was other than it was. What mother wants to acknowledge she may resent her son on some level--especially a precious 4 year old with Autism? Yet, this is what becoming responsible for myself and my health entails: ruthless self-examination without self-judgment and self-blame. Then, it's possible to actually work on the root of the resentment, see where I was resisting reality and wishing it to be other than it is, and changing my mind and negative thought processes.
Needless to say, after a few months of working on it, the sinus trouble disappeared. (And it was plaguing me for many months.) I've had this work for me with other ailments, as well.
If anything, this book is a great starting point for examining our beliefs and thought patterns and observe if there is truth to Ms. Hay's correlations. If it doesn't seem to fit, sit with it awhile. Be honest with yourself. Allow yourself to explore the idea that it's possible. You may find some surprising insights into your health and your life, and begin on a path to a level of health that you never imagined possible.
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