Tuesday, February 24, 2015
'The Fear Cure' by Dr Lissa Rankin
Not many people in the medical world are talking about how being afraid can make us sick—but the truth is that fear, left untreated, becomes a serious risk factor for conditions from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Now Lissa Rankin, M.D., explains why we need to heal ourselves from the fear that puts our health at risk and robs our lives of joy—and shows us how fear can ultimately cure us by opening our eyes to all that needs healing in our lives.
Drawing on peer-reviewed studies and powerful true stories, The Fear Cure presents a breakthrough understanding of fear’s effects and charts a path back to wellness and wholeness on every level.
I appreciate the chance to read how somebody trained as a traditional medical doctor probes into the spiritual, unseen roots of disease. Dr Rankin made it her project to stir around where science and spirituality intersect.
Part 1 emphasises the enormous toll fear takes on our physical bodies. False fear which makes it feel as if we're at the mercy of a dangerous world so often doesn't pan out in reality, but is still taken on by every cell in our bodies. Natural healing mechanisms are inhibited when fear is left to rage unchecked. She even looks into the modern subject of over-diagnosis - when routine screenings can cause more harm than good.
Part 2 deals with four courage cultivating truths we need to take on to begin the change.
1) Uncertainty is the gateway to possibility (as opposed to wanting to control everything).
2) Loss is natural and can lead to growth (and even drifting friendships may simply be running their natural course, rather than being anyone's 'fault').
3) It's a purposeful, friendly world (rather than a random and hostile one. She quotes Albert Einstein, who said the most important decision we make is whether we believe in a friendly or hostile universe).
4) We are all connected (as opposed to being lonely entities at the mercy of upsets).
Part 3 offers Dr Rankin's prescription for courage, based on the 4 truths of Part 2. She urges readers to be willing to entertain the idea that there's something we can trust under-girding our lives. As long as we trust nothing but our cognitive minds, we're bound to feel fear as our normal state.
The food for thought in this book is interesting and varied. It includes the theory that we give our cognitive minds, based on limited, 5-sensual 'certainty', far more clout than we should, because the underlying orderliness and protection operates far beyond what we can see. I like her discussion of how true, intuitive hunches tend to differ from the sort of paranoid panic thoughts I've had millions of over the years. I couldn't help smiling at her revelations that many of us need to behave more 'eggy' and less 'spermy.' This simply means to adopt a receptive, 'que sera sera' attitude rather than an active and busy one, but I love the analogy.
I belong to the Christian faith and like to read accordingly, but it's great to delve more widely into books based on science and philosophy, like this one, which I find end up strengthening my faith rather than shaking it.
Thanks to Net Galley and Hay House for my review copy.