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No longer TMS :(

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by semia, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. semia

    semia New Member

    Just reaching out to ask everyone for their prayers.. My symptoms have only gotten worse and started to think this was more then just TMS. I ended up getting another MRI of my brain and they found a lesion on my frontal lobe. I am currently bed ridden from the pain and discomfort... I have a lot more testing before I get a proper diagnoses. I am quite scared so just asking everyone for their prayers and hope I find answers soon and get on a path to healing, thank you.
  2. David88

    David88 Well known member

    Hi Semia,

    I'm so sorry to hear this. You've already been through so much. The best you can do now us wait for the doctors to do their tests and give you the diagnosis. Forget TMS for the moment. It's on your doctor's shoulders right now.

    I had a long episode when I was bedridden with back pain. I know how difficult being immobilized can be. Call on whatever friends and family you can for support. Figure out what you can do to entertain yourself while waiting: TV, books, music, whatever.

    Let us know how things go.

  3. Mala

    Mala Well known member

    Dear Semia, thank u so much for posting here & for letting us know about yr condition. It must be frightening & upsetting but I'm so very pleased that u do have some physical findings for which u can have further investigations. Hopefully once the Drs know what it is, it can be treated. A proper diagnosis is so important.

    I'm sorry to hear that u r bedridden. My thoughts & prayers r with for a speedy diagnosis & recovery.

    All the best

  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Semia, I am indeed sorry to hear this. If you can, please try to visualize healing and loving energy going to that part of your brain. The power of our thoughts is strong, and our thoughts can boost our immune response to help us to heal better and faster and with fewer medications. Banish the negative and fearful thoughts and replace them with constructive healing ones. It will help!

    From me as well, all the best,

    beachgirl, Eve and Mtngal like this.
  5. Mtngal

    Mtngal Well known member

    Semia I am sorry this turned out to be more than TMS but as Jan says our healing thoughts are with you.
    As Dr Judith Orloff M D says in her book The Ecstasy of Surrender repeat this mantra to yourself:" I am not just my fear or pain. I am larger ". Then connect with a loving force greater than your fear or pain..... The spiritual world contains healing that goes beyond the linear mind".
    Know our collective thoughts and prayers are with you.
    beachgirl and JanAtheCPA like this.
  6. Eve

    Eve Peer Supporter

    Hi Semia. I am sorry to hear this, but please have faith and keep believing in a positive and healthy outcome. You will get there. Keep us informed! Best of luck!
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Semia. I too am very sorry to learn about your situation, but agree with the others. Trust the doctors to heal you, and trust the Lord to do the same. Sometimes I think the Lord gives us scary situations to test our faith and also to bring us closer to Him.

    I wrote about faith in my TMS book with Eric Watson,
    GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO BE IN PAIN. I will post it here, for you and everyone.

    Faith and Spirituality

    You probably know more about how faith can help heal better than Eric or I. You are probably putting your faith in God and healing to practical use every day if not every hour of every day.

    Faith is the fuel that keeps many of us going when we are in pain, whether physical or emotional. Sometimes my faith fuel seems to be running on low or empty. Then I pray asking The Lord to give me an increase of faith.

    Friends and family and others you know are doubtless drawing upon their faith in whatever God they pray to, asking for healing, forgiveness, courage, and understanding. So this chapter will not be news to many of you, but hopefully will have something for you who have faith and perhaps more for those who may lack faith or may need more faith.

    I recently learned about Bethany Hamilton, who was 13 when swimming in the waters off Hawaii when she was attacked by a shark, and lost an arm. Her book, called Soul Surfer, tells how her Christian faith in God helped her to get the courage to relearn how to live with only one arm and go surfing again.

    Of even greater inspiration is the story of every military serviceman and woman who returned from war, any war, blind or without one or more limbs, or with emotional pain, whose courage and faith in God helped them, or is helping them, to live as close to a normal and pain- free life as is possible, or as God wills. So, too, are the tragic victims of terrorist bombings who are drawing upon faith to help them heal.

    I do want to mention the faith of a family in Evanston, Illinois, that I know and attended Mass with for many years of Sundays. Their son was an Evanston fireman and while with his fellow firefighters putting out a fire in an old house, was trapped in an upper room when the family’s dog was standing at the doorway, barking ferociously, too frightened to let him pass, so the fireman was unable to get out of the room and died there of the smoke and flames.

    His parents and sister kept going to Mass and drew upon their strong Catholic faith to help them deal with their tragic loss. Firefighters and police officers, both men and women, and others in dangerous jobs serving you and me face such dangers every day, as do their loved ones who worry about and pray for their safety. In times of loss, their faith in God may be their greatest strength to comfort them.

    At the time I learned about that fireman’s horrible death, I asked God, as you may in your own grief, why He allows such injustices to happen?

    Why do the innocent become victims, all over the world, in war or natural disasters or famine? Whole books are also written on that subject and I don’t pretend to have a clue as to an answer. All I know is, God is with us always, beside us or in us, to give us the courage we need. His gift to us in times of sorrow or pain is faith.

    Not to sound preachy, but isn’t it a giant step toward healing our pain simply to ask whatever God you pray to for faith to heal?

    Jesus said, “I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For anyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.” -- Luke: 11:5-13.

    I’ve been a freelance writer of books and magazine articles for forty years. Whenever I finish writing a book or article and there is no new work in sight and only bills, before climbing into bed I get down on my knees and pray to God: “Please send me more work.” I never ask Him to send me money, just work. Over the years, He has always answered my prayer with a new book or article assignment. I don’t get rich, but it keeps me going in what I do best, write.

    I try to write books and articles that are helpful to others, from children and teenagers to adults. I’ve reached a lot of people through my books and hopefully have enriched their lives to some degree. A boy ten years old wrote me that he read one of my novels for preteens and was in the hospital recovering from an operation, and “It made me laugh.” A teenage girl in Texas wrote me, “Your book on web page design was the only one I understood, and have decided to go for a career in it.”

    This book with Eric is a new direction for me, Mindbody-Spirit healing, but we’re both hopeful that it will help anyone of any age who is in pain and searching for ways to heal. In our own ways, to Eric and me, it is a calling.

    To me, positive thinking is another way of having faith. It helps with stress management and even can improve your physical and psychological health.

    The Mayo Clinic offers some suggestions for eliminating negative self-talk, which is the opposite of positive thinking.

    Is your glass half-empty, or half-full? I’ve always seen my glass as half-full, but my older brother and my stepfather saw theirs as being half-empty. I seldom saw them happy.

    Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you're optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.

    Some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that typically comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don't despair — you can learn positive thinking skills. Here's how.

    Positive thinking doesn't mean that you be a perpetually cheerful Mary Poppins or keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

    The Mayo Clinic says positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

    If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

    Researchers have found that some of the health benefits of positive thinking are living longer, lower rates of depression and distress, fewer colds, better physical and psychological well-being, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better ability to cope during hardships and times of stress

    The Power of Prayer in Healing

    The controversial subject of whether prayer and faith in God heals our pain or illness or whether positive thinking alone can cure us was recently discussed in an interview Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, had with Joel Osteen, pastor of LakewoodChurch, the largest church in America. It is a nondenominational evangelical Christian mega church in Houston, Texas, to which more than 43,500 attend English and Spanish services each week.

    Gupta says, “It turns out that truly understanding optimism and relying on it to help you during tough times requires practicing it on a daily basis, and that may be the most important message Joel Osteen gives us this Christmas holiday season.”

    For many people of faith, that “daily basis” equates to prayer.

    Osteen’s description of a sort of faith healing or at least the power of prayer deeply divides the medical community. A recent Gallop poll reports that 92 percent of Americans believe in God, and 80 percent believe in the power of God or prayer to improve the course of their illness.

    Osteen tells how his mother, at age 48, was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in 1981 and was told there was no treatment that could save her. “She prayed, she believed, and she quoted scripture. Thirty-some years later, she’s alive.” They both credit the power of prayer, not just positive thinking, to her healing.
    Gupta says that it is a “profoundly human response” when many people turn to God when they are ill, based on belief in some mechanism that the medical profession cannot explain.

    However, he said that critics are concerned that studying prayer relies on the assumption of supernatural intervention, which always will place it outside the realm of science. At its worst, medics say, people may rely solely on prayer instead of medical treatments.

    As a personal aside, my sister used a combination of chemotherapy and other medical treatments for her cancer, together with prayer and faith in God, and won the battle with her cancer. Twenty years later she is 84 and still cancer-free. A friend did the same when she was diagnosed with cancer and healed. Neither relied solely upon their faith and the power of prayer, but together with traditional medical care, they healed.

    Gupta said it is not that science hasn't tried to prove and even describe the impact of prayer on healing.

    A review of nearly 50 studies involving 125,000 people showed those with low levels of religious involvement had odds of early mortality that were 1.29 times higher than for those with high levels of religious involvement. Religious groups such as Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, and Amish have lower rates of heart disease and cancer.

    Gupta also points to research into psychoneuroendocrinology,the relationship between psychology, endocrinology and neuroscience -- in other words, the interactions between the mind, hormones and brain. One study pointed to the positive impact of prayer on heart disease.

    When it comes to the power of prayer, though, proponents and critics do find some common ground. They both cite evidence that when it comes to our health, prayers and faith may have less to do about God than it does with optimism overall.

    Gupta said his interview with Osteen made him realize it is quite possible we will never have the answers we want, because the intersection between religion and science never can be fully explored.

    That would require trying to "reduce it to basic elements that can be quantified, and that makes for bad science and bad religion," according to Dr. Richard Sloan, author of the book Blind Faith.

    Gupta said, however, it doesn't mean that the medical profession will stop trying. “This intersection will capture our imagination as human beings as long as we are around.”

    The interview did not touch on the subject of TMS, which is a shame, because many believe it is a third part of the equation of healing. What role do repressed emotions play in our pain, illness, or suffering? Dr, John Sarno, author of Healing Back Pain, and other medical doctors and TMS healing practitioners believe it is.

    If a medical check-up, medical examination, or surgery do not heal the pain, believing it is not caused structurally but from our hidden emotions has healed thousands of people. Many of those have added the power of prayer to their healing.

    It is to be hoped that one day Gupta will interview Osteen again and they will add TMS to their discussion of pain healing.

    Fear and Faith

    Dr. Sarno says fear can be a major cause of TMS. I say we can overcome fear with faith.

    There are many ways to rid ourselves of fear through faith in The Lord. I especially like the methods suggested by Terri Savelle Foy. She is CEO of an international Christian ministry and co-host of a weekly television broadcast, an author, and inspirational speaker. Her best-selling book, Make Your Dreams Bigger Than Your Memories, has helped people discover how to overcome the fears of the present and hurts of the past and see the possibilities of a happy future.

    She came upon her faith philosophy after a troubled marriage and feeling that her life was falling apart. She decided to make a major change in her outlook and life by turning to God. It led her to discovering the power of having a dream and purpose. She began by writing down her goals and reviewed them consistently, like journaling with goals in mind. This written vision of her goals became like a road map to drive her life, and her dreams became a reality.

    You will find many of her inspirational words on her Terri Savelle Foy Ministries web site. Here are a few of my favorites:

    God says: I will uphold thee -- I will enable you to bear all your trials. Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

    Why should we fear not? The very next part of that verse says, “For God is with you!”

    No matter how alone you may feel in your life, you’re not alone. God is with you. His Holy Spirit is within you.

    Henry Ford said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

    I never realized until I began really studying God’s Word for myself that the biggest struggles I’ve faced in my life have all been rooted in fear. Insecurity, low self-esteem, a poor self-image, rejection -- they are all rooted in fear. Fear does not come from God. So, how do you confront your fears? You fight fear with a plan!

    Fear not! There’s nothing to fear!

    Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria offer these thoughts on faith and spirituality that I believe can be applied to recovery from TMS pain:

    “God has put dreams and desires in every person’s heart. But most times, there’s a season of waiting involved. Maybe you’re waiting for a relationship to improve, waiting to get married, waiting for a promotion, or waiting to overcome an illness. Much of life is spent waiting. But there’s a right way to wait, and a wrong way to wait. Too often, when things don’t happen on our timetable, we get down and discouraged or anxious and fretful. That’s because we’re not waiting the right way. Here is a prayer that can help us to wait the right way to be healed of any pain in our lives:

    “Father, today I choose to wait expectantly for You. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I put my trust and hope in You knowing that You have good things in store for my future, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

    My journey toward faith in God and spirituality is an ongoing thing. As pastor-professor Lawrence Ware says, “Spirituality, like all else in life, is about the journey, not the destination.” I might add about all else in life, faith in God plays an important part in the process of healing from pain. “Spirituality is not acquiescence to static dogma or intellectual certitude about theological truth -- it is a conversation between us and the divine,” says Rev. Ware, a professor of philosophy at OklahomaStateUniversity and pastor of Christian education at Prospect Church, Oklahoma City, Ok.

    Not that I put Deepak Chopra (1947- ) at the top of my list of others to quote from regarding faith, but in this one the Indian-American doctor and advocate of holistic health and alternative medicine seems to cover a lot of ground for us: “Ultimately, spiritual awareness unfolds when you’re flexible, when you’re spontaneous, when you’re detached, when you’re easy on yourself and easy on others.”

    The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) spoke often on the importance of faith in our lives and in his work as a Baptist clergyman and nonviolent civil rights activist. He knew that achieving faith in God healing our pain is not easy, when he said: “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

    This seems to be a good place for me to add that the quest for increased faith should apply not only to Catholics and Protestants but to Jews and Muslims and those of any other faith, I believe we are all under the loving care of one God, whatever He is called and in whatever religion He may manifest himself to us. As said Italian Roman Catholic Dominican priest, philosopher, and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), “How can man live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.”

    I had been baptized a Roman Catholic and grew up and into maturity in the Church. As a boy, I went to catechism lessons, received First Holy Communion and then Confirmation, and went to Confession every Saturday afternoon and attended Mass and received the blessed sacrament of Communion every Sunday with my mother and father and older brother and sister.

    Remembering about going to Confession reminds me of something funny and maybe we could use it here. Priests have to sit in a dark little cubbyhole and listen to a lot of sins. Sometimes they get an earful and are attentive, while other times they may get what Catholic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) said: “Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.”

    I continued those rituals of confession and Mass and Communion as an adult and also attended several Catholic retreats, one in Berschtesgaden in the German Bavarian Alps while I served in the U.S. Army Third Armored Division in Germany 1957-1958. I always had good spiritual feelings from my faith, but did very little outside reading about being a Catholic and Christian.

    Sermons at Sunday Mass seldom taught me anything to enhance my faith or spiritualism. I did feel blessed because of good health and having a gift for writing which led me to become a Chicago Tribune reporter and feature writer and then a freelance writer of novels, nonfiction books, and magazine articles.

    But if not for the accident of lifting a case of beer and hurting my back, I might not be writing this book about how my faith in God helped heal me of physical pain. The Lord definitely works in mysterious ways.

    I began to have problems with the Catholic Church more than ten years ago when the priest pedophilia scandal became known, and at the same time Church leaders began to tell Catholics who to vote for and not vote for in elections including presidential, and also what issues were to become the main reason for choosing candidates, such as abortion and gay rights. I always thought that Catholics were able to exercise free will in elections and that there was a definite division of church and state. Now I know I was naive. Religion has become a political tool.

    I stopped going to Mass but still considered myself to be a Catholic, and a good one. But my faith became just between me and God, with no middle man such as a priest or the Pope. This set fairly well with me for a few years and I even began to feel closer to God, but then I missed being a closer part of the Church. This changed when I hurt my back and began reading about TMS, first from Dr. John E. Sarno’s books and then from Dr. Scott Brady who in Pain Free for Life suggested adding a spiritual element to our efforts to heal pain.

    That made sense to me and I did something positive about it right away. I confessed my sins including having fallen away from the Church, and received absolution. Immediately, I felt peace, which told me I had done the right thing. I still do not accept Church leadership insisting who I vote for and what issues I must vote on and ignore others. I believe abortion is wrong, but it is not for Congress to legislate. I sadly believe that many politicians are opposed to abortion just to get votes.

    I am also strongly opposed to the Church’s inability to face the priest pedophilia issue and wish it would take a strong stand against all wars and the growing inequality between the rich and middle-class and poor. I also wish it would take a more worldly position in recognizing that all religions must work together for peace.

    One of the last times I attended Mass, the priest asked the congregation to pray for conversion of Muslims. I nearly stood up and shouted “That’s exactly what we should not do! We should pray that everyone respect the others’ religions.”

    There is a lot more to my rejoining the Catholic Church but it’s not necessary to go into it further in this book. It’s enough to say that I am following the advice of a priest who I believe is gay but not a pedophile. He told me he has many problems with the Church but decided to “Toss the basketball to God and let Him handle them.”

    Rev. Martin Luther (1483-1546), German monk and theology professor whose doctrines led to the formation of the Lutheran faith and the ProtestantChurch, put it this way: “Pray, and let God worry.”

    I feel now about God and the Catholic Church as did British novelist Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), author of the Lord Peter Whimsey mystery novels, when she wrote to the Lord: “I love you. I am at rest with you. I have come home.”

    Now back to my journey to faith. During my efforts to heal my back pain I prayed to God to help in that, and believe He did.

    I also prayed for an increase in my faith, and believe He has and continues to give me that. One thing regarding my faith is knowing that you only have to ask God once to forgive you for a sin or guilt or other thing that bugs you, and it is forgiven for good, for once and for always. You have a clean slate. You’re like a newborn baby or a car just out of the car wash.

    This was not easy for me to accept and, like many others, I’m sure, I either keep asking God’s forgiveness for a specific or general sin or failing whether real or imagined and keep asking it of myself. Now I know I have to forgive myself once and then let it go. If we keep hounding God or ourselves for forgiveness, our repressed emotional pain may never go away, nor will we achieve peace of mind.

    But do ask God’s forgiveness on a specific sin or subject. Martin Luther said, “Forgiveness is God’s command.” And Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

    King asked us to remember what Jesus preached about forgiving others and ourselves: “Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long.

    “Oh, they may react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says ‘Love.’ There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.”

    The inability to see the light of forgiveness from God was shown to me in a remarkable way by my dog, Annie, a black Labrador Retriever mix. My dog before her, Max, also a black Lab mix, had been my constant companion and love for sixteen and a half years, as had Chelsea before him.

    When Max died I waited a month to get a puppy while I cared for a neighbor’s dog while they were on vacation. When they returned, friends asked me to look after their black standard poodle, Valentino (they had gotten him on Valentine’s Day). I was going to wait another week for their return and then look for a puppy for myself.

    But meanwhile, I had asked local police where abandoned and stray dogs were taken and they told me about a nearby animal hospital. I was on my way driving home six blocks from my friends’ house and leaving Valentino taking a nap, when while approaching my block to turn and drive home, intending to wait a week before going to the animal hospital and look for a puppy, a man’s voice inside the car ordered me, loud and clear, “Go there now! They have a dog that needs you, and you need that dog!”

    I took it as a command, so I drove to the animal hospital and saw a little black fluff of black Lab who came to me right away. I bought her faster than I’ve bought a pair of penny loafers, which all look alike.

    Long story short, I took the puppy home and called her Annie because she had been abandoned and was my Little Orphan Annie. She adjusted well and became house-trained quickly, but constantly climbed into my lap to be held close even when I was on the computer in my home office. For at least a month, she had to be almost glued to me.

    Then one day Annie came into my office, sat upright, and looked at me. Her eyes told me what she was thinking: “Oh, I get it now. You love me. This is my new home.”

    Apparently, from deep within her, Annie was finally letting go of a lot of rejection from her first owner and of the feeling of having been abandoned. Since then, and she is ten years old now, Annie has been content to just be in the house with me. It is no longer necessary for her to climb all over me to know she has my love and I will always take care of her, which I will. And I can let her out on the dead-end street in front of our house and she would never think of running away. She feels so confident in my love and her home.

    Whose voice called loudly to me in my car as I was driving home and told me to go to the animal hospital because someone there needed me and I needed that someone? I have no doubt whatsoever that it was a command from Above. I even believe that my first two dogs, Chelsea and Max, are inside of Annie, and she is her own dog besides. Did Chelsea and Max ask God to bring all of us together? I have no doubt about that, either.

    Yes, I went to the dogs long ago, and am loving it.

    So it seemed to me I had to accept that God would forgive me for something that troubled me or I considered to be a sin, such as being unable to keep being the caregiver to my mother after about two years because she was about seventy-five and living in an apartment about a block away from my house, but was virtually impossible to please. I felt God had forgiven me for that, but wasn’t fully able to forgive myself. Now I think I have.

    If you wonder why you are still in pain after months or years, perhaps it is because you are like Annie was, you can’t believe you are safe now, no longer feeling abandoned, and having forgiveness from both God and from yourself.

    I believe that praying and searching for increased faith in whatever God we worship is essential to healing physical and emotional pain. My sister is an excellent example of this. Her husband had died young of cancer and soon afterward she was diagnosed with rectal cancer. She prayed for healing and became cured and remains so after nearly twenty years.

    The rest of this chapter will be about how to increase your faith for both physical and psychological good health. It will mainly be quoting famous theologians and others on their journeys to stronger faith.

    It isn’t easy to talk about faith because some people will think I am “holier than thou,” which I definitely do not think I am. And also, it may be impossible to talk about faith to those who don’t live by the importance of faith.

    As St. Thomas Aquinas said, “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” But I’ll try, keeping in mind what Martin Luther said: “Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding.” Faith, after all, comes from the heart as well as the mind.

    Luther also said, on the subject of faith: “All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired;” and “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”

    A starting place, if you do not have a strong faith in God or may not be certain God exists, is to learn what C.S. Lewis, Irish-born British novelist, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, and lay Christian theologian, wrote on the subject. After long study, Lewis arrived at what has been called the “Lewis trilemma.” He argued that Jesus Christ was claiming to be God and used logic to advance three possibilities: either Jesus really was God, was deliberately lying, or was not God but thought himself to be (which would make him delusional and likely insane).

    Lewis said the latter two possibilities are not consistent with Jesus’ character and it was most likely that he was being truthful. Lewis’ conclusion was Jesus was/is God. “I gave in,” Lewis wrote, “and admitted that God was God.”

    Does faith in God heal?

    The Bible says, “I am the Lord who heals you.” -- Exodus 15:26.

    This from a conversation in 2008 between authors and lecturers on faith and other religious topics, Jan Coates, founder and president of Set Free Today, and Rebekah Montgomery in 2008: “When your heart is shattered, there is one truth you need to hold on to: God loves you unconditionally. God does hear us when we call for His help. We need to hold on to this important truth. God heals because he is The Healer, and because he loves you.

    “In Jeremiah 31:3, God says to you, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love,’ and in Jeremiah 30:17, God says to you, ‘I will restore you to health and heal your wounds.’ Jesus dedicated much of his ministry to healing diseased bodies and minds and broken hearts.

    “God heals when you demonstrate faith, even a smidgen the size of a mustard seed. No matter what sins you have committed, no matter how terrible your life may be [or how much pain you may be in], God loves you. Your job is to rest in his unfailing love and surrender your heart to him. Let the healing begin!”

    “Oil and salves and waxes and dies, in all of these gods they believe; But the healing takes place by your faith and your work, and not in any of these.” Lyrics by American folk singer and song writer Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) in his song “Faith Will Heal You.”

    I found some other very inspirational thoughts on God’s healing powers from Tom Brown Ministries, El Paso, TX.:

    “Because God wants to heal you, if you’ll have faith, He will heal you! The key to receive your healing from God is to have faith. Jesus often said to those He healed, ‘Your faith has healed you.’ Anyone with an open mind and an open Bible will become a believer in God’s healing power.”

    If you read books on mind-body healing, you are urged to read The Bible to learn more about God’s healing power. You may say, “Yeah, but that was in ancient times. What about God healing today? Hebrews 13:8 assures us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

    “Jesus still heals,” says Brown. He has not stopped healing. It is God’s will to heal every believer. Nowhere do we find in the scriptures that Jesus refused to heal anyone who came to Him in faith. He healed everyone who believed, without exception. God will do for you ‘according to your belief.’ If you believe Jesus still heals and that He wills to heal everyone including you… if you believe that He paid the price for your healing [by dying on the cross for our sins]… then you have begun your faith journey to walk in health.”

    Of what value today is there in reading The Bible? The same as Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Catholic Trappist monk and mystic, wrote more than a century ago: “By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.” Thank you, Rev. Merton, for that beautiful healing affirmation.

    As for asking to be pain -free and receiving relief, even though it doesn’t come fast enough to please us, Merton wrote, “We have what we seek. It is there all the time, and if we give it time, it will make itself known to us.”

    Merton could have been writing about forgiving ourselves and receiving God’s peace when he wrote: “We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.”

    I met a teenage brother and sister who were both deaf. They wanted to become champion figure ice skaters, but David, 19 years old, said, “Deaf people are not supposed to have good balance. But Cheryl (his year-younger sister) and I have good balance, even though we were both born almost totally deaf. We can’t hear anything, not words or music. But we feel a slight sense of vibration in our ears. That helps us to develop our timing, and we just have to practice and practice until we have our routine timed to the music we skate by.”

    They joined deaf ice skaters from all over the world and skated pairs at the Winter Games for the Deaf at Lake Placid, New York, a few years ago. After they skated their exhibition routine perfectly, hundreds of spectators cheered and applauded them.

    David told me, “Our mother has always told us that nothing is impossible if one tries and asks for God’s help. God has helped us not only to skate well, but to keep our faith alive. Now we have very strong faith, in ourselves and Him.”

    Cheryl added, “With help from others and faith in yourself and God, you can do anything. Faith in yourself comes from having your family and friends and coaches telling you, ‘You can do it!’ But most of all, it comes from prayer. It comes from asking God to help you do what you want to do, but are afraid is impossible. With God’s help, nothing is impossible. Sometimes I think God must be an ice skater!”

    I wrote a magazine article about David and Cheryl and it was an example of the inspirational articles I wrote after my newspaper years being depressed writing about crime and violence. I called the article, “God Is the Music They Skate to.”

    Is strengthening one’s faith just for the elderly in preparing for what comes next, or for children who may be dragged to church by their parents on Sunday, or for those who may be otherwise too busy working or climbing the ladder to success or playing basketball to even think about God? On my first day at MichiganStateUniversity I attended a welcoming address from the university president in the football stadium for hundreds of new freshmen.

    He encouraged us to regularly attend the religious service of our choice and also cautioned us not to let anyone take our faith away from us, perhaps so-called intellectuals we would meet over the next four years. My college friends and I went to Mass together in East Lansing every Sunday and attendance was so great, students and faculty overflowed out into the street.

    It’s as true today… some people will try to convince you there is no God. As Lars Wilhelmsson, author books on faith and healing, has written, “Man has tried to remove the name of Jesus Christ from the hope and heart of the world, but has found it impossible. For He has changed the world. It has never been the same since He walked on it. Nor can any person be the same once he confronts Jesus. What has been written about Him is true:

    “All the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever set sail, all the rulers that have ever ruled, and all the kings that have ever reigned on this earth, all put together, have not affected the life of man on earth like this one solitary life.”

    More than 25 years ago, I wrote an article for Kiwanis Magazine called “Never Just on Sunday,” about Chicago police officers who began getting together each Friday morning in an inner-city factory coffee shop for an hour of coffee, sweet rolls, and some serious talk. They didn’t come together to gripe about police cases they had been working on the past week. They met to talk about how God and The Bible relate to their work as law enforcers and how the scriptures and their faith help them to cope as cops and to help them become better persons as well as law enforcers.

    The Chicago police officers were also members of the Fellowship of Christian Police Officers, a nationwide organization with more than 3,000 members in eight cities. The organization is typical of other business and professional groups to help men and women bring their faith into their work. Their basic concept is to practice their faith every day, not just on Sunday. They are inspired to bring their faith to their daily job, whether it is pounding a beat as a police officer, tracking down terrorists, practicing law, selling automobiles, or playing professional football, writing advertising copy or operating a retail business. There are dozens of similar Christian organizations such as The Christian Business Fellowship, Business Men’s Fellowship, and for business men and women of the Jewish persuasion who also gather in prayer-study work sessions.

    One businessman said, “When you bring God into your business, you gain a fantastic partner. Members of our weekly breakfast or luncheon meetings share experiences about how the Lord has worked miracles in our lives and businesses. One will stand hp and give testimony that the Lord helped deliver him from alcohol or drugs, while another will tell how his faith helped him to avoid bankruptcy and his business then began doing great.

    Lawyers and law students around the United States find similar inner strength and purpose through membership in the Christian Legal Society. One member said, “We are lawyers committed to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to and through the legal profession. To practicing lawyers, this means applying our faith, whatever religion we may embrace, on a day-to-day basis. We ask ourselves how the Holy Spirit can be a living force in our work, our lives, and in the lives and problems of our clients.”

    The Fellowship of Companies for Christ International is a community of business leaders united by a vision that Christ can change our world through how we do business. Members find answers to business challenges in these difficult economic times through prayer and a wide variety of powerful resources including business forums, e-learning, global conferences and regional events. The chairman of their board is Jesus.

    W. Clement Stone, author of Think and Grow Rich, the most successful book on business success, included God in his teachings 25 years ago: “You can think and grow rich and free yourself from self-enslavement by learning how to motivate yourself and others at will through a positive mental attitude. For you have the power… mind power through the use of your brain and nervous system and whereby you can direct your thoughts… control your emotions and… achieve anything in life that doesn’t violate the laws of God or the rights of your fellow men. It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and The Bible.

    “When you learn how [to direct your thoughts to a positive outcome], you can and will become master of your own destiny. Anything in life worth having is worth working for and… anything in life worth working for is worth praying for. Prayer is man’s greatest power. Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door.”

    Stone also believed in the power of self-motivators, his phrase meaning “affirmation.” He said “If you keep affirming something positive and useful to yourself every day, eventually that affirmation becomes you. You will live such affirmation every day of your life. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

    His philosophy for happiness: “To be happy, make other people happy.”

    Stone’s essential pieces of advice for success and overcoming any adversity: 1) Do what you are afraid to do, 2), Believe you can, and you can!, 3, Dare to aim high.

    So faith, and seeking an increase of faith, is alive and well in America and elsewhere in this very troubled, often violent world. The faithful and the peacemakers are on the job every hour of every day, to bring some balance to the scale of despair brought upon us by those who hate. It is a question, which is stronger? Love or hate? I have yet to see, watching television showing terrorists or talking to anyone who says there is no God, a look of peace or contentment on their face. I have seen it many times, as Eric has when he sees the people coming to or going from the little white church on the hill.

    Faith is the torch that lives within us to make us happier, healthier, and sustain us in times of pain or tragedy.

    Following are some of my favorite quotes on faith, prayer, and related subjects, from a wide range of famous people:

    “If fear is cultivated, it will become stronger. If faith is cultivated, it will achieve mastery.” -- John Paul Jones (1747-1792), Naval commander hero of American Revolution, “Surrender? I have not yet begun to fight!”

    “Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.” – Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), Lebabese-American poet, writer, artist.

    “God, our Creator, has stored within our minds and personalities great potential strength and ability. Prayer helps us tap and develop these powers.” – Abdul Kalam (1931- ), Indian scientist.

    “As your faith is strengthened, you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” – Emmanuel Teney (1928- ), psychiatrist, Jewish Holocaust survivor.

    “He who has faith has an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well.” -- B.C. Forbes (1880-1954), Scottish financial journalist, founder of Forbes magazine.

    “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” – Helen Keller (1880-1968), blind and deaf author, political activist.

    “Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.” – Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), Congregationalist clergyman.

    “Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.” – Mahalia Jackson (1911-1972), “Queen of Gospel” singers.

    “Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” – Rabindranth Tagore (1861-1941), Indian poet.

    “If you have God on your side, everything becomes clear.” – Ayrton Senna (1960-1994), Brazilian race car driver.

    “I live and love in God’s peculiar light.” – Michelangelo (1475-1564), Italian artist, sculptor, inventor.

    “To me, faith means not worrying.” – John Dewey (1859-1952), psychologist, philosopher.

    “We can no more do without spirituality than we can do without food, shelter, or clothing.” – Ernest Holmes (1887-1960), metaphysical scientist.

    “It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are -- not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within – that you can begin to take control.” -- Oprah Winfrey (1954- ), television talk show host, actress, publisher, philanthropist.

    “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.” – Billy Graham (1918- ), Southern Baptist minister, evangelist.

    How do we pray to God to heal our pain? Louise L. Hay (1926- ) motivational author, suggests taking a positive thought, such as imagining yourself being healed of a pain, and say it, preferably out loud, while you visualize it being true. This is applying a heavy dose of positive thinking to healing your pain.

    Her suggestion is endorsed by many medical professionals and neuroscientists who add scientific credence to the concept that our thoughts can change our bodies and our lives, because our brains and our thoughts are one and the same. Meditation and prayer while visualizing being pain free are also recommended.

    Prayer should best be a talk with your God, and Martin Luther suggests: “The fewer the words, the better the prayer.”

    St. Theresa of Lisieux (1873-1897), the French Carmelite nun who is called “Little Flower of Jesus,” believed in keeping prayer simple, writing in her autobiography, The Story of a Soul: “For me, prayer is an upward leap of the heart, an untroubled glance towards heaven, a cry of gratitude and love which I utter from the depths of sorrow as well as from the heights of joy. It has a supernatural grandeur which expands the soul and unites it with God. I say an Our Father or a Hail Mary when I feel so spiritually barren that I cannot summon up a single worthwhile thought. These two prayers fill me with rapture and feed and satisfy my soul.” Many miracles have been attributed to St. Theresa who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24.

    Those two prayers, the Our Father and the Hail Mary, may be the best mantras for healing both body and soul. Eric says this is how you pray for revelation.

    There is another prayer I would like to share with you. It is an ancient Greek Orthodox Catholic prayer called “The Jesus Prayer.” Though there are both longer and shorter versions, the most frequently used form of the prayer is: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

    God be with you on your walk to Emmaus. And may it be pain- free. Have faith, ask God, and it will be.

    One of my favorite American folk songs is “Hard Times,” written in 1854 by Stephen Foster (1826-1864) who was no stranger to them. Now known as “The father of American music,” he made little money from his songs and died in poverty at the age of 37, his wife and young daughter having left him because he was unable to provide for them. Ironically, one of his most beloved songs, “Beautiful Dreamer,” was published shortly after his death. His worn leather wallet contained a scrap of paper with words that might have become his next song, “Dear friends and gentle hearts.” His departing fortune was three pennies.

    “Hard Times” became very popular during the American Civil War (1861-1865) when, besides many Americans losing their lives, sight, or limbs, as they are now in foreign wars, many were left poor and homeless, as they are now during natural disasters and these hard economic times.

    To me, there is a significant parallel between poverty and pain, as one can very well lead to the other. Here are the words to the repeated refrain in the song:

    Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,

    Hard Times, hard times, come again no more.

    Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;

    Oh hard times come again no more.

    I believe that the words can apply today to those who are in physical or emotional pain, if sung as “Good-bye pain, come again no more.”

    Now I would like to share some exchanges of postings on TMSWiki.org about faith and spirituality in TMS healing.

    I asked Kareem (his TMSWiki name is “psychosomatic”), who posted that his severe and long-standing back pain went away just by reading Dr. Sarno’s Healing Back Pain, if he used prayer or faith in his healing, and he replied:

    “I did not seek God or religion during my healing process. I wouldn’t call myself a religious person, so it was not something I explored.

    “I will say, though, that the healing process has made me a much more spiritual person. Mostly because there is so much more to life than what we can see and measure. Our unconscious mind and our repressed emotions cannot be measured. They are invisible, and if you strictly follow scientific protocol you would never know they exist. For all of us, suffering with TMS, this invisible force drags us down, and despite our best efforts we search for answers in the wrong place.

    “Dr. Sarno in many ways is similar to a Prophet. He discovered the invisible force and how powerful it was. He convinced us in the power of this force, and those who follow him and practice his teachings eventually find the light and heal.

    “We are incredible physical beings, adaptive in so many ways. We are not fragile. Our brains are magical, and we have barely scratched the surface of what they are capable of. We must never forget that not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

    Eric posted the following to me, when I e-mailed him Kareen’s thoughts on faith and spirituality:

    “The section on faith with psychosomatics answer is awesome because a person doesn’t have to say they believe in God in order to practice and use God’s laws in their life. God gave every person the ‘Gift’ to heal their body with their mind, I am certain. All we have to do is believe we can heal.

    “And yes, Dr. Sarno is the man. God helped us how to learn to heal ourselves by the power of our own minds. But God is the answer that you get in the end, for sure. I know I got more of God in my TMS healing than I ever got before.

    “Whether they want to admit in God or not, after their TMS journey to healing they will at least admit in the invisible power they can’t see, like psychosomatic said.

    “But God only wants to help, and for hundreds of years we’ve been kept from this secret, whether by medicine or unbelief. Somehow, we just didn’t believe any of us could heal.

    “Even most of the Christian healing books don’t get it. They may, but it’s what’s left unsaid in all those healing books that Dr. Sarno teaches us.

    “And I’ve read many, many healing books. They are not based on our goodness or salvation. They’re not based on anything other than asking, Do you believe that you can heal through controlling your mind and practicing happiness and meditation with reaction control which is mind control? But it always has been, like I’ve said, If you can think it, you can have it when you know the rules. TMS knowledge heals, but it can heal faster and more lasting with faith in God helping you to become pain-free.”

    Some people have cautioned Eric and me to leave God out of our TMS healing book. They said it will turn some people off. Perhaps a lot people.

    Our decision was a no-brainer. God helped heal us, and we want to share that Good News with everyone, believers and nonbelievers. Hospitals, nursing homes, churches, and homes are full of people with testimonies that their faith in God cured their pain or illness. God bless them and also the nonbelievers. He loves us all, but wants us to believe in Him. If we do, He promises the gifts of salvation and being healed.

    If you want an increase in faith, we suggest you do a Google search of Christian television and radio stations, many accessible with cable or satellite services, such as EWTV (Eternal Word Catholic Television Network), TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), GOD TV, and Daystar, just to name a few. Their speakers and programs offer a wide range of knowledge on religious topics that help to increase our faith.

    In closing this chapter, Eric and I would like to share a parting greeting from Thomas Merton (1915-1968), Catholic writer, Trappist monk, and mystic who said: “Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace, and your soul in the joy of Christ.”

  8. Bunneh

    Bunneh Peer Supporter

    Dear Semia,
    I am so sorry to hear you're suffering. It might sound silly, but trying to remain calm is the best thing you can do for youself right now. When my mom was in big trouble (cancer) she kept repeating the following phrase: I am getting better each day.
    That's a positive affirmation and you should try to use it. Also, imagine that your body is radiates with white light or that you bathe in light. This is called "meditation of light" and it boosts healing (emotional and physical). Sending love to you. Stay strong and be healthy! :*
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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