“I’m too old for this.”
“Now that you’re getting older, you really need to think about health benefits.”
“Once you turn (fill in an age here), it all goes downhill.”
“My mother was a worrier; therefore I can’t help but be a worrier too.”
Do any of these sound familiar to you? In recent years, I have heard all of them, plus some variation thereof from well-meaning people who are not necessarily tuned in to New Thought or any positive deviation from the stale mental patterns that perpetuate ill health and/or keep people stuck in ruts. As I’ve been on this path since the early 90s, thanks to the influence of my oldest brother who first introduced me to Anthony Robbins’ Power Talk series, I’ve learned to respectfully reject these old self-defeating thought patterns while still loving the people in my life who cling to them. Wherever possible, I do my best to encourage family members and friends to shake off the old and embrace something innovative. And no, just because I’ve been at it a long time does not mean it has been a straight line to the top for me. Instead, it’s been much more of a zig-zag, with plenty of debilitating falls off the wagon along the way.
But I have always managed to pick myself up and go back to these proven methods of success. The one constant in all of it is that maintaining the discipline to meditate, pray, affirm, exercise, read and learn is the ONLY way to win. In other words, it’s up to me as the individual to keep working on the things that work, no matter the outer circumstances or the three-dimensional reality I am currently experiencing.
My beautiful friend Lisa Tarves gifted me with one of the most powerful books I have ever come across — You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Since receiving it a few weeks ago, I have literally jumped in and put every concept into practice. Much of it is just another form of expression of the same principles I’ve been studying through Unity Church, along with another dear friend. Yet somehow experiencing it in a new and captivating presentation has reignited my commitment to using the mind and spirit to maintain not only perfect health no matter how many birthdays I celebrate but also success in every area of life.
The study of these principles has led me to outright reject any notion that just because your physical body reaches a certain milestone — whether it’s 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and beyond — does NOT mean illness is inevitable. I also completely reject the idea that just because diabetes runs in my family, I am destined to get it too someday, or that just because my family heritage is Italian, I am doomed to be a worrier who immediately assumes the worst when any sort of negative physical symptom arises. As a little girl, I can recall watching my grandmother administer insulin needles and thinking to myself, “This is NOT for me! I am never getting diabetes!” (Now of course, I’ve learned to be positive via affirmations like, “I am enjoying perfect health”).
I hate the fact that many family members fall prey to this because all it does is create a lot of unnecessary drama and unfounded fear that helps to create a self-fulfilling doomsday health prophecy. Or even if it doesn’t adversely affect physical health immediately, it plants the seeds for future illness while putting the person through a torturous and unnecessary mental roller-coaster ride.
While I am on the topic of rejecting negativity, I am going to go out on a heretical limb and reject the notion that God put us on the earth to suffer. While I do believe we’re here to learn lessons, overcome our own fears and frailties, fulfill our God-given purpose and help other people, I see no reason why the entire process shouldn’t be as joyous as possible. Yes, there is tragedy. Yes, there is sadness. Yes, there is evil. But God is bigger than all of these things. And to me, believing in Him means believing there is a method to all of this madness even if we don’t fully understand it. Believing in God also means accepting the free will he’s bestowed upon us and the power He’s given us as co-creators with Him.
I reject the Catholic school indoctrination I received that said being rich was somehow a crime, while ironically asking for money from parishioners every week with a straight face. Even as a little kid, I could not reconcile how my 1st grade nun would lecture us about the evils of money — the same stuff the priests demanded every week at the offertory. I wondered, “How can anyone give away something that they don’t have? And if money is so evil, why is the church begging for it? And if the church wants money, why are they denouncing people for making it? How else are they supposed to get it?”
Before anyone accuses me of renouncing Catholicism, I am simply relating my own experience. The nun in question was very kind to me UNTIL she found out my father was a doctor (yes, my father who came from nothing and worked his butt off to get a medical degree). After that I instantly transformed in her eyes from a sweet little girl into a spoiled, indulged brat.
While as an adult I can now appreciate the origins of the animosity and thus forgive this woman for her actions (along with others along the way), this understanding has been a huge revelation for me on a personal level. I hadn’t realized how deeply ingrained the unworthiness about money and success had become, though I knew for certain it didn’t originate in my childhood home. There, my parents taught us that we could accomplish anything we set our minds to — and my dad and my maternal grandfather were stellar examples of this principle in action. Yet this positive message about hard work, money and success was in direct conflict with most of what I was ingesting in Catholic school.
Again, this is not a condemnation but rather an honest evaluation. On the flip side, I got a great education in a school system that enforced discipline and elevated students who studied hard and achieved excellent grades.
I’m grateful for the experiences and teachers I’ve bumped into over the past few decades because they’ve opened up new horizons and expanded my own spiritual awareness. By the way, I am not condemning the idea of having health insurance, a corporate job, a teaching career or anything else that makes a person feel fulfilled and happy. I am simply pointing out that as adults we have the ability to look back upon our upbringing and make a different choice if we so desire. We can break out of the mold. Just because your mother was a worrier does not mean you have to be the same way. You can reject that thinking while still loving the woman who gave you birth and raised you. She lovingly did her best. Your life is your opportunity to do even better.
A great place to start is with Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life.