I recently listened to an interview with celebrity trainer Joel Harper from the latest Success magazine. I was struck by what he said about the key contributing factor to losing weight. It wasn’t background, or body shape, or whether you are rich or poor. It came down to your “deserve level.” It’s been a long time since a motivational idea such as this has resonated with me in such a profound way.
In America we would like to believe we have these well developed, accepting viewpoints about the chronically ill—but the truth is that we don’t.
It has taken me some time to admit to myself that my deserve level is incredibly low. I have fallen into this trap over the years since I’ve been sick—without even knowing it, such a sneaky trap it is—that because I am sick, I am somehow part of an inferior class. I am sick, therefore I am weak.
Many cultures deem the sick and unhealthy to be a burden on society. Some cultures link chronic illness to witchcraft or punishment and some hide an ill child out of embarrassment. In America we would like to believe we have these well developed, accepting viewpoints about the chronically ill—but the truth is that we don’t. We are a melting pot of cultural perspectives on illness. It is no surprise that after so many years of living with multiple illnesses, I have heard, seen and witnessed enough to weaken my beliefs about what I deserve to achieve in life.
I don’t for a second believe that I caused my diseases. But is it possible I’ve maxed out on the health I can achieve because I don’t believe I deserve any more? What might happen if I eat more blueberries, go to bed an hour earlier, take more breaks, get more massages, and say no to negative thinking? As Joel Harper says in his interview in reference to a client, “She will break the unseen barrier in her mind and become better than she feels she deserves. Conquering that level will bring her to places she has never been, and the results will be visible.”