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Your mind - what a terrible thing to waste

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:06am

If you read my article below and came up scoffing, “Of course I’d give up my diabetes!” I get it. Of course I do. Hold that thought, and let me introduce another. I'm participating in Oprah's online book class reading Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Every Monday night they are teaching a million people around the globe that the only thing that’s real is this very moment, and the only thing that creates happiness is accepting this very moment completely as it is. That doesn't mean a new watch, house or mate, perish the thought, might not make you happy, but that happiness is not lasting. You know that; think about the things you couldn't wait to have. You got them, they made you happy for a while and now you barely notice them. Of course, this does not go for your mate, or maybe it does. 

Anyway lasting happiness comes from being at peace and accepting how this very moment is. That leads me to say this - in this very moment you have diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes you have next to no "choice" about “giving it up.” If you have type 2, you can affect it, yet not lose it. What you do have is a choice about whether you accept your diabetes in this very moment. How you see it, react to it, be with it, talk about it, live with it, this is your "choice," and, your seat of power.

Language is a powerful influencer of how we experience life. How do you talk about your diabetes to yourself and to others?Words flood into our brain so quickly we don't even realize we are putting them there. Unconsciously they create a picture, emotions attach to this picture then we base our actions on this.  The good news is we can change this chain of events with awareness and a desire to do so. 

Just look at some of the words around diabetes and how they color things. We "test" our blood sugars. Naturally you feel like you get an 'F' when you don't like the number. Tell yourself instead that you're "monitoring" your blood sugar so you know where you are and can take appropriate action. You're not "Failing" but "gathering information." You're not "judging" yourself for the number but "learning" from it. Do you call yourself "irresponsible" or "stupid!" when you don't manage your diabetes the way you think you should? Do you tell yourself, "I'll never get this!" or "this is too hard, forget about it!?" and then give up? See the connection between what you tell yourself and what you do. While this is probably uncomfortable right now, say to yourself, "I have a good life and diabetes doesn't take away from that. In fact, it's actually given me something that I appreciate." Do you laugh at this or immediately dismiss it because you think it could never be true for you? How you relate to this statement is likely showing up in your life. I'm not saying diabetes is a joy-ride, but how we look at it and talk about it -- to ourselves -- and to others, creates our experience of it, and, frankly how we manage it.

Changing your words is one way to begin improving your management. You can also get similar results working in reverse. Take more positive actions no matter what you think and tell yourself right now. Taking more positive actions will begin to give you better results. This will cause your beliefs to start changing and as day follows night, your words will become more positive and supportive. Remember the old line, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste"? It was a commentary on how drugs destroy our mind. Frankly we waste our mind every day if we fill it with junk words and thoughts. Like drugs, we are completely under their influence.    

My motto, "thrive" over "survive" living with diabetes is a bit of simple, catchy wordplay, 'tis true, but it's also a powerful affirmation. Today watch what words you put into your head and say to others. Do your words support what you want? If not, try speaking some that do. They may feel disingenuous at first but over time they will start to live in you. Different words will open a new window and instead of all the garbage that typically flies in around you, you might find something absolutely amazing and beautiful alights on your windowsill. 

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