This book is for any reader who has ever dealt with, or is currently dealing with, a major illness: either his or her own, that of a family member, or of a beloved friend. Regardless of the exact nature of the disease, those that are life-threatening share some critical commonalities. The Transforming Power Of Illness presents the reader with the powerful stories of transformation that have occurred in the lives of seventeen people with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Their diverse narratives, woven throughout the various topics and presented in their own voices, allow readers to identify more readily with their own trials with illnesses, and those of friends and loved ones. Instead of succumbing to the despair and depression from having a disease, the reader will see that there is a completely different way of dealing with illness, and feel it in the stories of those so transformed. They reveal to us how they came to see a difference between healing and curing, and how they opened up to the great healing potential of their illnesses.
Throughout the nine chapters that compose The Transforming Power Of Illness, we learn how the healing that has happened and transformed the lives of those discussed is what has enabled them to claim that HIV has been a blessing; that it has given them a second chance at life; that it has given their lives meaning and a sense of purpose. Empowered in new and unexpected ways, many changed directions, becoming teachers and leaders and role models. Their efforts have focused on getting others in our society to move beyond their fear of AIDS and of people with AIDS, and to see PWAs not as pariahs, but as people who have something special to contribute. These are people who have truly healed.
The people discussed here are not to be pitied or envied. Healing is open to all of us, and we are all in need of it. We all have fears and insecurities that need to be faced, understood, forgiven, and let go. We all have barriers and walls that need to come down. We all move into adulthood with childhood dramas that create the hidden obsessions and compulsions which mechanically and unconsciously motivate so much of our behavior. Often, when we think our lives are perfect, it is because we have been able to arrange them in a way that doesn’t provoke our unresolved fears and anxieties. These are what need to be healed. These are what prevent us from moving with insight into, and acceptance of, our essence.
Illness is not a punishment. There is no judgment involved. It doesn’t mean we’ve been bad. It is one of many events that happen in our great life’s journey. It is an opportunity to become aware of how we have been living our lives; to learn where we have been blocked from realizing our true potential, and to discover where our lives have become unbalanced and inharmonious. Since illness may not be the most convenient opportunity, we need to learn how all the other numerous events in our lives are also ways in which we can move into healing. They can all become rich pathways that lead to the vast regions of our essence. While AIDS has been the facilitator many have used to transform their lives, for all of us, life itself, and all our other illnessesÑcan be the great journey into healing; the greatest journey we’ll ever take.
Publisher’s Press Release:
William M. Kaufman, Ph.D., illustrates how major illness can have a positive and empowering impact on people’s lives in his new book, The Transforming Power of Illness (now available through AuthorHouse), Kaufman presents 17 powerful stories of transformation through illness, including his own battle with cancer. “My illness impacted all areas of my life and my being – physically, emotionally and spiritually – and the subsequent healing process brought to realization that illness has the power to move us into greater wholeness,” he says. “The diverse narratives, woven throughout the various topics and presented in their own voices, allow readers to identify more readily with their own trials with illnesses and with those of friends and loved ones.”
Instead of succumbing to despair and depression from their afflictions, Kaufman encourages readers to consider a completely different way of looking at the illness through the inspiring stories in this book. “They reveal to us how they came to see a difference between healing and curing and how they opened up to the great healing potential of their illnesses,” he says. “They discover how their illnesses gave them a second chance at life; how they came to give their lives meaning and a sense of purpose.”
The book also moves beyond major illnesses and challenges readers to proactively work on healing themselves by addressing fears and insecurities on their own. “We all have fears and insecurities that need to be faced, understood, forgiven and let go,” writes Kaufman. “We all have barriers that need to come down. We all move into adulthood with childhood dramas that create the hidden obsessions and compulsions which mechanically and unconsciously motivate so much of our behavior… Theses are what need to be healed. These are what prevent us from moving with insight into, and acceptance of, our essence.”