The characteristic that I love and admire most about many people who face serious challenges to their health and well-being is that they dig deep for truth in life. They explore philosophies, health and well-being research, spiritual practices, and supportive relationships. All of these endeavors lead to truth. Much of the truth that they discover is universal truth; but most importantly, they discover truth that applies to them individually, whether it applies to anyone else or not. There is an internal sense of knowing that they have found a truth that they can stake their lives on, regardless of what others might say and regardless of what temporary circumstances might indicate. They have found a truth on which they can depend for themselves.
One example from my own life is when my brain had become shot-through with rock and bone fragments after having my skull and brain bashed in by a huge boulder in a landslide. I was pronounced dead, but my parents did not accept that as their truth, and they convinced a neurosurgeon to at least try to piece as much of my skull and brain back together as possible. He did, but after many hours of surgery let them know that my brain was riddled through with rock and bone fragments as if being shot through with bullets, and that the kindest, most humane thing to do would be to take me off of life support. Again, my parents knew a higher truth than the highly competent medical experts, and bargained with them for just 3 days on all life support measures possible. After 3 days on life support, and no indication that there was anything other than a vegetable lying in that Critical Care Unit, all life support was discontinued.
To make a long story short, 2 months later I took a cruise to Hawaii with the current Miss America (another blog), then returned to my classes for gifted students and finished to the school year with straight A’s. Not bad for a brain-dead sixth-grader!
Through several other brushes with death in my life’s journey (completely unrelated to the brain injury), I have held onto what I experienced at age 11 after that devastating landslide. I have had faith and a connection with Higher Power that has gotten me through many dark discouraging times because I learned to tune into a higher truth than what the experts and circumstances were telling me.
This true story from my childhood illustrates some important principles to remember when all of the evidence lines up to refute what you have learned from your seeking of truth and guidance. Regardless of what experts tell you, regardless of physical evidence to the contrary, regardless of the fears and discouragement that might grip you, regardless of what a religious leader or philosophy might tell you, regardless of well-meaning friends telling you to face the facts, hold onto what you know within yourself to be truth.
Discouragement and fear come in many forms and from many sources. Discouragement and fear have absolutely no useful place in your life when it comes to your health and well-being. Reject them and return to what you have learned in your meditation, your research, your experience, your intuition, your prayers, or the wise counsel of others. Those of us who have to wrestle with life and death issues in our own lives develop a keen sense of what we need to believe and what we don’t need to believe. Hold onto your truth.
And, do remember to daily seek truth. Read, meditate, pray, and seek supportive relationships (they will primarily Listen, and never judge). Find your truth.
The truth will set you free.
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D., July 20, 2016