The purpose of this article is to help people with disabilities who may be surrounded by loving, quality support identify an emptiness they may experience because they live in a different reality.

There is a significant difference between understanding a person and accepting them. To really understand a person, you have to experience what they experience in similar ways. There is a Native American proverb that says to understand a man, you have to walk a mile in his moccasins. For example, a man can never fully understand the experience of childbirth. To accept someone, you have to accept your concept of that person as a reality you bring close to your heart. Both accepting and understanding become powerful vehicles for sharing love and support, but the heart of a disabled or chronically ill person can feel a significant difference.

Family and friends accept you as you struggle, but their inability to go through what you are going through, can lead you to feel that you live in your own reality. Imagine you lived in a village where hiccups were never experienced. Then , one day a person had a chronic case of hiccups. Without ever having an experience like that, people would never understand what that person was doing. One person interpreted it as a kind of dance, because they liked to dance. When they were around that hiccupping person they started dancing, just to relate to them. Another person studied Morse code and tried to communicate with them through Morse code. Neither person was really wrong, because all communication seems to come from translating one person’s experience into their own experience.

Understanding of disability is not limited only to disabled people, but the intensity of living with a disability is. If people identified struggles in their life that they could not control, they would be able to come closer to understanding the struggle of disability. For instance, once I met with a lady going through an uncomfortable divorce. I was able to share with her the ability to use the Wisdom of the Body to deal with her struggle. Most people think about their struggles and try to come to a conclusion that allows them to accept what is happening. Dealing with a disability that I could not control forced me to go beyond thinking and tap inner resources, such as confidence and self-trust, that empowered me to better deal with my struggle. This is what I call the Wisdom of the Body.

If a disabled person feels they live in their reality and no one really understands them, they can deal with their struggle from the Wisdom of their Body instead of their anxious ego. You should not relate to yourself in the limited way others relate to you. When you go beyond accepting the ideas of your disability, you can perceive your situation from inner wisdom. That does not mean you will not need a wheelchair or your impaired vision will improve; it means you will deal with your struggle with a deeper compassion. I call that a healthy way to be sick.

Author's Bio: 

Author's Bio
Marc Lerner is the President of Life Skills Institute and has been working with people in a health crisis since 1982. Learning to discover oneself in difficult times is the theme of A Healthy Way to be Sick, the e-book Marc Lerner wrote. Go to to read a mini-version. Learn this same technique to deal with any difficult time with the e-book, A Light Shines Brighter in Darkness, at the same website. Marc Lerner is available for public speaking and tele-seminars. When you learn to master inner resources and avoid negative thinking, you automatically tap powerful inner resources to become an active partner with medical professionals. Patient participation can influence the results of the doctor’s treatment. The doctor’s relationship with the patient can also influence how the patient participates in healing. Marc’s work is dedicated to establishing this partnership.