Did we do something to deserve this disease? Sin? Karma?

Sing

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A good thread! Here's my addition: What if, in the realm of reality beyond linear time, from past to present to future, to where past, present and future are all happening together, in which the future affects and interacts with the present as much as the past---the point or value of an illness or unfortunate event has to do with the future rather than the past. What if it is about either how we relate to it and live with it (some posters have discussed this) or some future event that will resolve, transform or make sense of this present condition?

The Answer to Job, as Jung wrote about it, has to do with Job's full surrender to God as the Creator and Power of the Universe. When he willingly and graciously surrendered to God, his healing and restoration began. (I am not trying to suggest this is "all" any of us has to do in order to be healed. Please understand that.) This outcome demonstrated the exact opposite of the cause and effect perspective that Job and all his spiritual elders applied initially and unsuccessfully.

Dreams frequently display an influence of the future into the present. If you keep track of your dreams you will see. There are many instances of what we'd call pre-cognition, demonstrating that the future is known and present to the larger consciousness within which our egos function, the larger context of consciousness out of which the dream itself is created.

Jesus didn't deserve the cruxifiction, as another example from the Bible--his past didn't cause it morally or otherwise--but enduring it in THE WAY that he did, with initial faith and surrender to God, then loss of faith, then an even deeper, total surrender to God--making his relationship with God primary throughout, rather than his relationship with those people who did this to him or who abandoned him, etc.(choosing a blaming, hateful, vengeful, bitter, despairing attitude himself)--This was said to have brought in a much greater potential for humanity, a new pathway for forgiveness and redemption, somehow a restoration of wholeness or establishment of a wholeness which had been missing. I do not understand all of this, but am just giving it a try!

Again, the point of some very unfortunate situation may be the potential it can engender with the future, something coming to be....

Sing
 
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Victoria,
That is one of the points that I was trying to make in a post prior to this post that I started - (bear with me....brain fog is hitting me pretty hard today). I love the way you see your illness as a way to see the world and see other people. That's what I'm trying to do with mine. It's one of the ways I try to keep myself positive. If I can use it to make myself a better person....I was the same in my 20s - partying & superficial - and I admit that I was a bit materialistic (well, more than a bit) before I got sick. This illness has stopped all that. It has allowed me to see inside myself and find the good in me and learn to be patient with others and myself. It's easier sometimes to be patient with others than it is to be with myself because I know what I used to be capable of.

Thank you for your post. Its always good to get a reminder from others that there are some positives to being ill - even though it doesn't feel like it.

Kimberly
 

Victoria

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Kimberley,

I feel more & more positive as each day goes by now.

Not working (since Feb this year) has given me some golden opportunities to REALLY be the person I was born to be.

My current life isn't perfect, but then who has a perfect life. Even Nuns & Monks in religious orders must occasionally struggle with their beliefs.

I still have the occasional "off" day. I certainly still say & do the "wrong" thing.

But I think I actually like myself now. I can see where my opinions were too judgemental in my working life.

Letting go of anger has many benefits. Anger clouds our judgement in many facets of our lives. In fact all negative emotions have a detrimental effect on our health.

Mind you there are still a couple of people in my life who I wish were more supportive & positive, BUT like I said, non of us are perfect.
 

Cort

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if
A good thread! Here's my addition: What if, in the realm of reality beyond linear time, from past to present to future, to where past, present and future are all happening together, in which the future affects and interacts with the present as much as the past---the point or value of an illness or unfortunate event has to do with the future rather than the past. What if it is about either how we relate to it and live with it (some posters have discussed this) or some future event that will resolve, transform or make sense of this present condition?

The Answer to Job, as Jung wrote about it, has to do with Job's full surrender to God as the Creator and Power of the Universe. When he willingly and graciously surrendered to God, his healing and restoration began. (I am not trying to suggest this is "all" any of us has to do in order to be healed. Please understand that.) This outcome demonstrated the exact opposite of the cause and effect perspective that Job and all his spiritual elders applied initially and unsuccessfully.
Again, the point of some very unfortunate situation may be the potential it can engender with the future, something coming to be....

Sing
I agree. anyone who's ill and then recovers or maybe comes to complete terms with their illness has the opportunityfor real insights, I would think, into suffering and the human condition than somebody who's never had to experience that.

With regards accepting one's illness - I think hat that does is simply eliminate a lot of stress - alot of stress that simply exacerbates one's condition. Acceptance, being less angry, finding ways to be more joyful, etc. is all very helpful for me. Rik Carlson talks about how accepting his illness helped him to start healing. he's definitely not well but he has healed to some extent.if

Jennie - There is another human tendency at play in how we ascribe causation and blame to situations. No one wants to believe that something random and terrible and life changing and devastating can happen to them. We like to believe that we have control over our lives, so when someone has a dreadful illness with no diagnostic test that modern medicine does not understand it scares the crap out of people.
This brings to mind a concept from EST - that something called an 'UPSET' happens when something negative that you didn't expect happens to you. You have an expectation that the world is going to be a certain way and this thing happensthat is not only negative that it cracks your worldview in two. Here you have an expectation that you're going to be a healthy hearty individual with a career or whatever and then boom! you get CFS...not only are you sick but you're in turmoil... you're basically in an walking upset wondering what the heck happened to me - potentially for decades......an understandable place to be but not a happy place to be :)
 

biophile

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Spending time thinking about the reason and/or grand purpose behind suffering is a personal preference, it may benefit some but not others, and there is little pointing "blaming" onself if we don't know what we have done. Without getting into the issues of free will, consciousness, chaos, and infinite regression, I am of the opinion that processes like "karma" and even "reincarnation" (in whatever form) if they exist will eventually be detected by scientific investigation.

How to best respond to the situation?

As Cort points out, acceptance is fundamentally important, albeit difficult when facing losses and suffering. Outsiders have unfortunately confused acceptance of ME/CFS with "passiveness" and "wanting to remain ill". Anger can be detrimental, but we have good reason to be frustrated with the hostility, prejudice and indifference we face from others.

I am not Buddhist but it is also true that ignorance can cause suffering. So another important step is knowledge, discovering and informing ourselves about the nature of our illness, as it can be worsened by our own ignorance and the ignorance of others.

Some of us have felt that they underwent positive personal changes because of illness, cherished changes which may have not occurred without the illness. A small solace for a life-changing situation with such a high price.
 

biophile

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how can one accept this?
Good question. There may be no simple answer that suits everyone and the process is not easy. I can only speak for my own experience and I learnt the long hard way from first ignoring or pushing through the symptoms and then being defiant about the impact they were having.

To me, acceptance of illness means coming to terms with the reality of what's going on and changing one's approach to life to suit. It does not mean giving up or conceding defeat for the future. However, reducing immediate expectations out of life and being less attached to specific outcomes in general does go a long way to avoid the pain of constant disappointment. It also helps to cultivate "contentment within oneself", as cliche as that may sound. It takes time for the mind-brain to adjust and the symptoms make the entire process more difficult than it should be.
 

muffin

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I am going back to "$hit happens" - this is our cross to bare and so we bare (bear) it!

No one asks for horrible things to happen to them. And no, we all seem to be quite decent people. And NO, I did not do anything bad in a previous life. Though in my next life I am coming back as a rock at the bottom of Lake George in the Adirondacks in Upstate NY. Love that lake and don't want to be where humans can get to me. So it's a ROCK at the very bottom of the lake for me next round. So not kidding!
 

IntuneJune

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:Sign Good one:

.............in my next life I am coming back as a rock at the bottom of Lake George in the Adirondacks in Upstate NY. Love that lake and don't want to be where humans can get to me. So it's a ROCK at the very bottom of the lake for me next round. So not kidding!
What an idea!!!

June
 
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As a Christian I treasure my illness as a gift from God. It took many years for me to understand this. I see the good it has brought. I am not a patient person, yet I have learned to be patient with myself. I can not change that I got CFS at the age of 15, but I can change my attitude. It is my choice alone how I feel about it. I wasted many years feeling miserable and upset about not having a "normal" life. I now spend my bad days appreciating what I have become. The illness has not changed, just my attitude. I see others admire my husband for taking care of me. I see independence in my young children they would never had learned had I not been sick. I see love from a neighbor who watches my children a few hours every week so I can get the sleep I need. I see understanding in friends who are trying to figure out what's wrong with me. As a Christian, I strive to be Christ-like. I realize that in order to be like Christ-like, there must be people in need. We all help each other to achieve goodness. I have become a tool for others to help. I am glad I am able to stay home with my children instead of working. I am so lucky to have someone come and clean my home. Sure, I'd love to do it myself, but changing my attitude has helped me through it all. I know it's all about my attitude that makes a difference. I find comfort in my faith.
 

Forbin

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There is another human tendency at play in how we ascribe causation and blame to situations. No one wants to believe that something random and terrible and life changing and devastating can happen to them. We like to believe that we have control over our lives, so when someone has a dreadful illness with no diagnostic test that modern medicine does not understand it scares the crap out of people. It is MUCH easier to believe that the patient did something to deserve or create or perpetuate the illness, than to believe that any of us could be struck down at any moment by something like it. It's a defense mechanism, designed to protect that belief in control, and I would not be surprised if it is hardwired in some way.
I have a slightly different take on this. I think that it's not so much a defense mechanism as a survival mechanism and that it is hardwired into us. We are the end result of countless generations who were able to correctly associate a given cause with a harmful outcome ("I ate that plant. Now I'm sick. Don't eat that plant again.") Those who were no good at this tended not to pass along that shortcoming.

Thus, when we become ill, we are hardwired to search for what did I do wrong? so we wont do it again. For instance, when we catch a cold, we may wonder if we didnt dress warmly enough.

Sometimes this still serves us (I've got a hacking cough must be those ten packs a day!), but unfortunately we are wired to seek a behavioral cause even though many illnesses are not related to behaviors at all. In those cases we may go on to seek more abstract (and pointless) relationships between cause and effect such as what did I do to deserve this?

I knew someone who lived a very healthy lifestyle who, never-the-less, went on to develop a very rare form of terminal cancer at a young age. During his illness, he wracked his brain trying to figure out what mistake he had made what had he done that had caused the illness. Like all of us, his mind was hardwired to seek that answer.

The answer, of course, was nothing.
 

Sallysblooms

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Thus, when we become ill, we are hardwired to search for “what did I do wrong?” so we won’t do it again. For instance, when we catch a cold, we may wonder if we didn’t dress warmly enough.
I never thought of this. I do think we are wired to learn from mistakes asking what when wrong so we will not repeat a mistake. It does work sometimes. Get a sunburn, learn not to repeat, etc.

I said before we are not guaranteed a healthy life, but I believe God is with us to guide us to get better live with what has happened if we are ill. You can keep from getting ill from many things like smoking, but many problems cannot be helped.
 

BEG

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Confession: Yes, I did do something. I don't know if I deserve this disease, but the irony is glaring. I said of people who moved slowly that they have "tortoise itis". Honestly, I did. It made me plain crazy to be around people who were slow. Now I am one of the biggest tortoises around because of this disease. I'm a super-speedy type A trapped in a tortoise's body, and it sometimes makes me plain crazy.