Do I worry about my health, holding fear thoughts in mind about what might happen to me?
Do I get a secret feeling of fear, excitement, and danger when I hear about a new disease that is currently being reported and in vogue?
Do I spend time on constant checkups, reading about diseases, getting frightened by TV stories about them?
Am I interested in hearing about the diseases of famous people? Do I believe that the environment and foods are full of hidden dangers, or that foods contain additives which are poisonous and will cause disease?
Do I believe that certain diseases “run in our family”?
Do I stop or want to stop (but don’t dare) to witness auto accident victims? Do I like hospital TV programs?
Do I like TV programs that include hitting, shouting, fist fights, killing, torture, crime, and other forms of violence?
Am I a guilt-ridden person? Am I holding a lot of anger?
Do I condemn other peoples’ behavior? Am I prone to be judgmental? Do I hold resentments and grudges?
Do I feel trapped and hopeless?
Do I say of myself, “Whatever is going around, I’ll probably catch it”?
Am I concerned with acquisitions and status symbols instead of the quality of relationships?
Do I carry a lot of insurance and still worry that it’s not enough?
– Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
It is not just people with good or near-perfect bodies who are likely to equate it with who they are. You can just as easily identify with a “problematic body” and the body’s imperfection, illness or disability into your identity. You may then think and speak of yourself as a “sufferer” of this or that chronic illness or disability. You receive a great deal of attention from doctors and others who constantly confirm to you your conceptual identity as a sufferer or a patient. You then unconsciously cling to the illness because is has become the most important part of who you perceive yourself to be. It has become another thought form with which the ego can identify. Once the ego has found an identity, it does not want to let go. Amazingly but not infrequently, the ego in search of a stronger identity can and does create illness in order to strengthen itself through them.
– Eckhart Tolle, ‘A New Earth’