False Beliefs About Illness

The first part of our lives, we come to learn the ways of the world.

The second part is spent unlearning.

Some of us are faster learners than others, and unlearners. The trick is to remember the unlearning because if you don’t, you get stuck in delusion.

For instance, I’ll use the example of illness, one of the Big Ones.

We learn early on to have an aversion to getting sick.

Yet we may get more attention, people take care of us, we may get to stay by ourselves to contemplate the delirious thoughts rumbling round and round in our heads.

Most recently, I was in bed with a fever of 103 degrees. I used “The Work” of Byron Katie and Ho’oponopono to heal my thoughts about the illness.

Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian healing technique that simply requires the inner chanting of four phrases: I love you, Thank you, Please forgive me, (for the part I played in bringing about this “problem”), I am sorry (for the part I played).

Byron Katie’s “The Work” is a process where a “problem” is scrutinized with Inquiry, or a series of questions, that puts the responsibility right back where it belongs–inside yourself.

The 4 questions of Byron Katie’s “The Work”

1) Is it true?

2) Can you absolutely know for sure that it’s true?

3) How do you react when you think that thought?

4) Who would I be without that thought?

—and turn it around—


I awoke at 3 a.m. one morning with fever and said to myself: “I feel terrible.”

“The Work” began to immediately flow through me, as if called by the Creative Source.

Is this true?

Yes, it is true.

Can I absolutely know without that it is true?

Yes, without doubt.

How do I react when I think the thought: I feel terrible?

Well, I create a story of how terrible I feel, how frustrated I am because the fever won’t break, how I want to do other things but can’t. I just am not enjoying myself.

Who would I be without the thought: I feel terrible?

I’d just be me, lying in bed with a fever, turning to look out the window, witnessing hundreds of lightening bugs blinking majestically there, like a mid-year Christmas light display.

I’d just be lying here saying: Thank you body, thank you fever;

I love you body, I love you fever; I’m sorry and forgive me for the part I played in bringing about this illness.

Turn it around?

I don’t feel terrible.

I feel enlivened.

I feel like the inner fire of the fever is changing me forever.

I feel like the fever is the gateway to transformation.

I feel like the fever gave me this opportunity to spontaneously use “The Work” without even trying to use it and that “The Work” was using me.

Ho’oponopono effortlessly flowed through me like music to my soul.


I was sick a few days after that, but didn’t complain to people about my illness, didn’t want to, thus did not create a story that would make people say, “Poor you.”

I didn’t have to dramatize the illness with a Poor me, martyr complex that takes longer to undo than it’s worth.

I got to simply be sick, listen to thunderstorms, and the rain gently falling on the vibrant green of summer.