Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Heal Your Life

Young Louise was born into a poor family in Los Angeles. Before she was two years old, her parents divorced, and after trying unsuccessfully to have young Louise taken in by others, her mother took her back and was forced to manage as a single parent. Soon, Louise's mother married again, to a rough and violent German immigrant. Her young life was difficult, and it didn’t help that the country was in the midst of backbreaking economic times.

At the age of five years old, Louise was sexually attacked by a neighbor. Even worse, her parents said it was her own fault. The man was tried in court and convicted, but even so, Louise grew up believing she was responsible. On top of this, her stepfather was both physically aggressive and sexually abusive. Unable to stop him or protect herself, she finally ran away from home at age fifteen.

Louise worked a series of menial jobs in Chicago, during which time she helped get her mother away from her violent stepfather. Finally, in need of new perspective, she left for New York.  Arriving there, she was fortunate in being able to get work as a fashion model.  Being accustomed to mistreatment and abuse, she had little belief in her own beauty or worth, but she preferred the modeling work to waiting tables.  She also met and married a wealthy, educated Englishman, with whom she traveled the world, met royalty, and even dined at the White House.  However, after fourteen years, he left her for another woman.

At this time, the principles behind what we now think of as self-help and self-improvement were very new, and still unknown to most people. Louise had spent nearly her whole life living with feelings of worthlessness and reinforcing them with negative expectations, so it was a huge leap when she was introduced to the transformative power of thoughts.  She had never heard of such notions as, “If you’re willing to change your thinking, you can change your life,” and when she did, her jaw dropped. She had never been much of a reader, but she now became a dedicated student of these ideas.

Louise learned how positive thinking could change people’s material circumstances, and even heal the body.  She also studied meditation, and soon became a popular workshop leader, guiding people in the use of spoken “affirmations” meant to cure their illnesses and transform their lives.  Within a few years, she had assembled her own guide to self-healing using the power of thought, which included a chart of different ailments and their probable causes.

The following year, Louise was diagnosed with cervical cancer. At first, she panicked. But because she truly believed that mental healing worked, she recognized that she was being given a chance to prove it to herself. She was also certain that her own refusal to face and let go of all the anger and resentment from her childhood was a major factor in causing her illness.

Refusing surgery or medical treatment of any kind, Louise got to work. She read everything she could on cancer.  She found a nutritionist to help her cleanse and detoxify her body from all the junk foods she’d eaten over the years. She also met with a therapist to express and release all of her bottled-up anger.  At first, she found it difficult to do something as simple as stand in front of a mirror and say, “Louise, I love you.” But as she persisted, she was able to stop blaming her parents and others for the horrific experiences of her early life.  And of course, she practiced the “affirmations” she taught others, expressing nothing but positivity and hope toward her recovery.

Six months after her diagnosis, the doctors confirmed what Louise was already certain of:  she no longer had even a trace of cancer.

Louise Hay is the New York Times bestselling author of How To Heal Your Life, the book developed from her original pamphlet on self-healing through positive thinking, which has sold over thirty four million copies and been translated into thirty languages. Louise is a world-renowned teacher, motivational speaker, and the founder of the Hay Foundation, a non-profit organization that encourages and financially supports diverse organizations. Louise is in her eighties, but says she feels more vibrant and energetic than she did forty years earlier – just one of the many benefits of a life filled with positive thinking.

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