As a kid, I can remember a subtle but pervasive fear that lingered in our society regarding health. No one wanted to have to discuss this scary topic and as such, it was often referred to as the C word. The euphemism of course for cancer. I can recall dreading that long distance phone call from a relative informing us that Uncle so and so had just been diagnosed with cancer. A battle that could not be won. The message might as well said they were dead.
There's no question that any serious health challenge, of which cancer certainly qualifies, can conjure up our life and death reflex. With the C diagnosis, we are suddenly at war and it is time to do something, time to fight for your life. There is a similar vernacular tone used with all diseases, but especially with cancers. Kill it, beat it, fight for your life, be a warrior, I'm a survivor.... all phrases inherent to a war. Easy to detect in these inspirational quotes regarding cancer.
“I’m going to beat this cancer or die trying.”
– Michael Landon
“We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell.”
– Lance Armstrong
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me.”
– Dr. Seuss
With this mindset in play, it was no surprise when the War on Cancer campaign officially began in 1971. It's goal was to find the cure for cancer within 5 years. Almost 50 years later and well over 100 billion dollars spent, are we making progress? Well, today, it is talked about more freely and openly, but sadly it is still as pervasive and as scary as it was when I was growing up.
Current statistics from the CDC show cancer to be the 2nd leading cause of death in the US, totaling 22.5% of all deaths in the US. First place goes to heart disease with 23.4%. In spite of all the focused resources of money, time, and attention, these top two rivals of death have not really changed significantly over those years. In summary, cancer is still the scariest diagnosis.
I realize that my discussion thus far has centered on cancer. But I am only using the plight of cancer as a vehicle to illuminate the underlying dynamics of how our healthcare system and most of it's doctors and patients approach a disease process. It can be summed up in one word, adversarial.
My specialty and interest is health, so the War on Cancer was my choice to use as an example. But we could have used the War on Poverty (1964), The War on Crime (1965), The War on Drugs (1971), or The War on Terror (9/11) to make the similar point. Has any of these war campaigns accomplished a significant benefit relative to their cost? Is being adversarial with an "issue" really the best way to solve it?
I'm not a historian or well versed in sociology, but just a few Google searches on any of these war's will reflect serious doubt as to their successful outcomes. We as a nation, still have a real problem with poverty, crime, drugs, terror, and cancer.
I know, this discussion has appeared to shift towards questioning the purpose of wars. But in fact, it is a continuation of an intended journey to bring our attention to ourselves, to within ourselves.... What elements are in common with all of these problems? We are. And that simple fact is hard to notice or to admit, when we hold an adversarial position. An attitude of right and wrong and blame and the need to kill our adversary.
Whether it is a tumor or a terrorist, the strategy to kill the bad part and leave the good part doesn't hold up to the laws of life, or the concept of wholeness.
The stated outcomes of war is peace, but instead we get pieces. Fragmented chaos longing to reorganize back to wholeness. All of this being an out spring of an adversarial viewpoint, keeping us from doing the true healing which starts within. Which brings me to the original purpose of this article.
On several occasions I have heard "authorities" say that dangerous viruses are now going to be a part of our everyday lives. The impression one could easily reach is that NOW suddenly malicious viruses are out to get us. This is now our new normal. For the record, there are more than 6000 different viruses, the oldest being over 300 million years ago. Is it time for The War on Viruses?
If history teaches us anything, it's that the war is within us. The enemy is within. If you kill the enemy, you kill yourself. Do you want to kill yourself? That ironically is what an autoimmune disease is doing.
The battlefield is our bio-field and our battle strategy is clear. Alignment of your nervous system, operating with optimal metabolic function, is how to truly win all wars.
Find inner peace by reuniting all your inner pieces.