I like to give my patients a life sentence. A life sentence reads something like, “you are a beautiful, whole, and complete human being," and “you will overcome this." and "you will be free from suffering.” This is in contrast to a death sentence, which says something like, “you are inadequate, deficit, deficient, or disordered. You will be diseased for the rest of your life, and likely deteriorate.”
Surprisingly, death sentences are still handed out by medical professionals. This is, in my opinion, an abuse of power. For the medical professional does have and is revered to be an authority and an expert. In the doctor’s office, the doctor holds tremendous power. I remember one of the first holistic physicians I met, Karl Maret MD, making the joke, “Doctors think M.D. stands for Minor Deity.”
So when I work with children whom have been diagnosed as ADHD, I reframe the condition to them as brain diversity rather than brain disorder. The human brain is beautifully diverse in its' brilliance and the native gifts that it bestows upon us. One of the major themes of my doctoral research was that children diagnosed as ADHD are remarkably gifted and talented.
The military has fortunately recognized that post-traumatic stress is not a disorder, and dropped the ‘D’ in the former diagnosis of ‘PTSD.’ What everyone needs to know is that the vast and innate intelligence of their body seeks homeostasis and strives to heal, including from trauma. We can assist the body in doing that. We know exactly how.
Caroline Myss points out that words either empower or disempower us in our health and healing. If the words that we use to diagnose a condition are essentially harmful in nature, then we, as a medical profession, are breaking the first cardinal rule of “first, do no harm.”
What would happen if the words that we use in both diagnosis and treatment were essentially healing in nature?
The language we use speaks to the connection between mind, body and soul. What a patient’s mind hears from a doctor is relayed to their body with chemical signaling. So if the doctor’s message is, “you will be well,” the patient’s mind immediately begins to drive the body process towards wellness.
A life sentence is life affirming. Affirming in the belief of you and your inherent ability to heal. Affirming in unshakable trust and knowing that joy, happiness, health, love and peace belong to you. It is possible to grab the reins of this wild steed called life, steer her in the direction of your choosing, and enjoy the ride.
A life sentence reads that it is possible for you to know and to unquestionably love each and every part of yourself. It inspires you to continually link the little you with the big You, your soul with the world soul, your spirit with the Great Spirit, and in so doing be nourished and fed all the goodness, wonder, grace, mercy, joy, hope, inspiration, creativity, wisdom, and awe of this majestic, mysterious, magical Universe.