Springingtiger's Blog


The Language of Suffering

Yesterday I woke in the middle of my allotted sleep time experiencing “heart burn” . A funny name for something in the digestive system, but so much of what we go through arises in our description of it. Neelam blamed it on my earlier breakfast of a cheese twist, followed by two rolls with fried potato scones. However I was aware of discomfort in my throat and sure enough it was red raw.

It’s my way that I have to construct a description of an event and examine it before I know what’s happening. As I constructed my statement about my throat it occurred to me I had a choice of three alternatives. Technically I suppose I had unlimited alternatives, but there were three that made the most sense. The first was, “I am unwell.” which I immediately rejected. The problem with, “I am unwell” is that it is an Identity level statement, it describes who I am as a person, it is integral to me and hence it’s extremely difficult to change.

My next choice, “I have a throat infection” operates on the level of Belief. It may be thought that “I have” suggests it is at the level of activity, but you will notice it is phrased as a truth about what is happening, thus it is a belief. While beliefs are easier to change than one’s identity, and NLP has techniques to change beliefs, beliefs still exist at a deeper level and are harder to change than one’s behaviour. I rejected this alternative as well.

I settled on, “I think I have a throat infection” (actually I settled on, “My throat is red and I am experiencing a burning sensation in my stomach which makes  me think I have a throat infection” but that’s a terrible mouthful!) Thinking is a behaviour, and thoughts are easily changed when one is aware of them. Of all Robert Dilts’ Logical Levels, Behaviour is the easiest on which to work. To change behaviour act differently, we are aware that even our habits are chosen behaviour that has dropped into the level of Belief, but awareness allows change to be made fairly easily.

Because my discomfort was now existing  as a thought which I was thinking, it carried no emotional charge and I was free to approach it logically. There are those who may question the logic of using homeopathic remedies, however it is logical to use what works. I don’t subscribe to the theory of homeopathy, but I know from experience that  Arsen alb works very well for my sore throats. It would be illogical, not to mention idiotic, to reject a treatment I know experientially to be effective on dogmatic grounds, that would make me no different from a religious fundamentalist, a mistake many sceptics make. My only regret is dealing with my throat so quickly I had no reason to employ Access Consciousness.

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