One of the things I've learned over the years, via my own journey of healing and my eighteen years of private practice with clients, is that intention matters. An individual's intention to heal and to be accepting of the unraveling process they're needing to go through to resolve their health issues and life issues is a primary factor.
This is especially true with chronic illness, chronic mental/emotional challenges, chronic relationship challenges, and chronic life issues. Chronic situations typically map to complex themes in the mind-body system and the working out process for those themes is a highly dynamic, non-linear, multi-layered process.
Fortunately our body wisdom, the part of us that is connected to an inner divinity, knows the path. Our job is to show up to that path and surrender to the unraveling as best we can.
It's confusing at times and prompts us to ask questions - (e.g. why are we working on the lungs when I'm suffering from blood sugar problems?, or why are we focusing on my gut when I'm dealing with heartache from my divorce?).
I often tell my clients that they are allowed to think and feel whatever comes up for them. If they are fearful that they won't get better I want to talk with them about that fear. If they are despairing about their situation, I want them to give voice to that despair and be present with it. If they are not trusting in their healing process, not trusting that it is taking them to a long-term resolution of their problem, then I want them to give voice to that anxiety and distrust as well.
All feelings are valid in the work of recovery and it's important that we are allowed to surface, express and unravel material as it comes up.
At the same time, intention matters. So, even in the midst of a difficult journey I still encourage my clients to set the intention within themselves to connect with the part of themselves that knows the path.
Borrowing a saying from a friend of mine with fifty years of experience as a faith based psychotherapist - God knows what needs to be healed, when it needs to be healed, and how it needs to be healed.
Overlaying this same principle on the process of mind-body healing - your inner divinity knows what part of the mind-body system needs to be healed, when it needs to be healed and how it needs to be healed.
Our job as individuals in recovery is to surrender to that inner divinity/deeper wisdom and allow the unfoldment (unraveling of material in the mind-body system) that needs to take place.
I've also come to believe that setting an intention is identical to making a prayer request from a higher power or a deeper wisdom, or "God", or "Spirit". When we set an intention, our deeper wisdom, the part of us that is connected to our own inner divinity hears this intention and then acts on it.
So, what is the actual result of an individual setting intention, or making a prayer request basically? My experience has shown me that when individuals set the intention to surrender to their healing process, their mind-body system hears their intention and releases material more aggressively than those who don't set intention. They heal faster, more radically, and more gracefully.
With these concepts in mind, many of my clients have crafted their own intention statements over the years. I have borrowed from many of these clients and added some of my own for this list below.
If you are dealing with a chronic life situation and are in recovery, feel free to print this list out and read over it as you feel appropriate. Also, feel free to modify these or craft your own intentions as you are inspired.
I am aware that there is a deeper wisdom, within myself, that is connected to something greater than myself and that knows how to heal this illness and life situation.
I am open to receiving information from that deeper wisdom and learning whatever lessons I need to learn.
I choose to connect with the part of myself, my deeper wisdom, that knows the path and can give me the clarity I'm seeking.
I choose inner listening.
I choose to endeavor towards self-love and self-acceptance.
I choose to acknowledge, give witness to, and be present with the parts of myself that are wounded and needing my attention.
I choose to have the thoughts and words that are most optimal for healing myself and for healing my relationships with others.
I choose to accept and love the parts of myself that are messy and complicated - the shadow parts that I have historically been fearful of or ashamed of. (See my write-up on Shadow Emotions for more information on shadow parts.)
I choose to create a safe haven for those parts as they emerge during this healing journey. (See my write-up on Self Parenting for more information on self parenting.)
I choose to process through as much subconscious material as I can - to surface, release, embrace, and integrate as much shadow material as I can - in my dream state - to whatever degree is in my highest good.
I choose peace, for myself and those around me.