Perhaps you’ve wondered about cancer patients who say that getting ill was the best thing that ever happened to them. They feel thankful for the cancer.
Dr. Alex Lickerman, a physician at the University of Chicago and also a practicing Buddhist, reports on a patient who overcame new medical obstacles by maintaining a mental file of past ordeals and remembering how she’d handled them.
Lickerman calls this process turning poison into medicine.
The victories we’ve achieved in life, he says, represent more than simply our accomplishments. They provide evidence of our ability to win, which, when we call on it, can steel us against the despair that tempts us when we face obstacles.
The more we believe in our ability to win, he says, the more capable we become of feeling grateful for the obstacles themselves.
— Adapted from The Undefeated Mind, Alex Lickerman, MD, Health Communications, Inc.