Do you believe in that statement? I always heard people in my parents’ generation using the phrase, but I didn’t pay much attention. In fact, I never even believed it. How could your thinking overtake your doing? Even as an adult, I couldn’t accept the notion. No amount of brain action could ever influence our actions… or so I truly believed.
Now I’m faced with reconsidering the whole construct. I’m not saying that I can always mentally force myself to physically do something, but it does happen. I’m no mentalist, psychic, or magician, but more and more I’m finding that my frame of mind often directs what I do or how I do it. Here are some examples:
I usually have no problems getting in or out of the car. Yet, a while ago, I began to think I couldn’t lift my leg into the car. So, I used my hand to help with the lifting. It became a routine, and I was accustomed to the necessary action. Then I began to believe that my leg may be getting too heavy to lift, or my good leg couldn’t support me, or my hand holding the car door may slip off and I’d fall. These are all false beliefs – that is they never, and probably won’t, happen. I just perceive these results. Unfortunately, once I think it, I can’t do it. I must sit sideways on the car seat and let my husband lift my legs into the car. However, if I think that moving into the car is just a simple function, and if I don’t let the doubts niggle at me, I can easily get in and out.
The same thing was happening at bedtime. I convinced myself that I was too [exhausted, uncoordinated, weak – fill in the blank] to lift my leg into bed. Once I thought it, I struggled so hard, but I just couldn’t do it. My husband had to help me. Now, believe me when I say that none of the excuses were valid enough to hinder my getting into bed. But I believed it and it happened.
The shower entry and exit have always been difficult, but I CAN do it. So why do I allow the negativity to take over? I need to purposefully talk myself into being able to accomplish the task, or else I fail. Or better yet, I try to concentrate on something else – what scent of shower gel I’ll use, remembering to moisturize, last night’s TV show, whatever. Then, I can accomplish the task with no problem at all.
So, is this really a case of ‘mind over matter,’ or am I just fooling myself. I tend to choose the former because I’ve seen it happen over and over. Wouldn’t it be great if I could ideate and get rid of the MS? Even better, I could teach others to do the same! I think if that ever happened, Big Pharma would hire a hitman to off me!