Unravelling the puzzle

I swore I’d never go back to university. But here I am preparing to embark on post-grad research into the role the mind plays in the experience of side-effects… and what we can do to change this. And while the work involved is huge, there is something inside of me driving it… it seems that I’ve found my purpose.

In preparing my background paper I’ve been reading heaps of research. And I’ve come across some fantastic studies. One paper in particular stands out because it dares to go where few papers have gone before… this paper discusses the role of the subconscious. Yes, there in a medical journal put out by the university press is a paper that talks about the way the subconscious is painstakingly avoided in medical literature. Crazy thing is we all have one. A subconscious that is. And to my way of thinking it’s best we learn how to make the most of it, don’t you think? Otherwise it’s just like having a pair of legs and never learning to walk or skip or run. And that’s seems pretty silly to me.

Some people are a bit spooked by the subconscious. But really, it’s just a part of our mind that works to protect us in whatever way seems best. It’s the part of us that keeps us breathing while we sleep. It’s the part of us that remembers our pin number better than we do! It’s the part of us that stores our expectations, hopes and beliefs. It is the part of us where deeper meaning counts.

With the work I do I am often surprised at how many people don’t want help to reduce the side-effects. And it’s left me puzzled. At first I just thought that their beliefs didn’t even allow for the possibility. Or perhaps that if we were to realise we really can knock off many of the side-effects, then we would have to accept how powerful we really are. But then this paper helped me to realise there may be something even deeper going on. Because in talking about the influence of the subconscious it stated something profound. That a person may actually hope to have the side-effects at some deeper level as proof that the chemo is actually doing something.

I’m sure we don’t really want the side-effects. Not at a conscious level anyway. But perhaps there is a deeper belief involved that almost guarantees they’ll come our way. The great thing is when you choose to work at a subconscious level all this can be changed…

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