How Our Thoughts Create Mental Bugs

Our thoughts define who we are. They can make us instantly resourceful or plunge us into the depths of despair. This true story illustrates how thoughts can affect our health and our circumstances.

Many years ago, shortly after Dr. Maxwell Maltz opened his office to start practicing as plastic surgeon, a tall African-American came to see him. Over six feet tall, he towered over the surgeon. He complained about his lip.

After examining his lower lip, he could find nothing wrong with it, and told his patient this.

The patient confessed that it was not his idea, but his girlfriend's. She had told him that she was afraid to be seen with him in public because of his lower lip.

Dr. Maltz thought the man a dignified giant who had become attached to an overly critical woman.

Although there was nothing wrong with his lip, the patient insisted on an operation. Thinking that an outrageous fee would bring the man to his senses, Dr. Maltz said it would cost $1200. The ruse appeared to work. The patient said that he couldn't afford such a fee, thanked the good doctor, and even bowed courteously.

But, the very next day, the man was back, a little black bag in his hand. He dumped its contents on the table, and hundreds and hundreds of bills poured out. Twelve hundred dollars lay on the table; his life's savings.

Dr. Maltz was shocked, and saddened too, because he didn't want to deprive the man such a huge sum of money. He confessed that he had merely quoted that figure to dissuade the money from having the operation. In that case, said the patient, he would find another plastic surgeon who would do it for him. Backed into a corner, Dr. Maltz said that he would do it for a smaller fee on the condition that he tell his lover that he paid $1200 for the operation.

The operation was simple enough. Under local anesthesia, he cut the superfluous tissue from inside the lip, approximated the rims of the wound with extremely fine silk, and bandaged the upper lip for support. The operation only took a half hour.

The patient returned a few times to have the bandages changed. There was no visible scar because all the surgery was done inside the lip.

Although the patient did not look much different, his whole attitude changed. After the stitches were removed, he crushed the doctors hand in a hearty handshake, thanked him profusely, and strode out of the room, a commanding figure.

However, a few weeks later he was back. Dr. Maltz barely recognized him. He had lost a considerable amount of weight, he stooped, his handshake was weak and timorous, and his voice barely audible.

"The bug, sir --the bug!" proclaimed the man.

"What bug?"

"The bug, sir ?the African bug. It's got me, and it's killing me."

Apparently after the last stitches had been removed he had gone and seen his woman. She had asked how much it cost. After he had told her $1200 dollars, as the doctor had recommended, she had flown into a rage and claimed that he had cheated her of the money. She revoked her love and cursed him, promising a swift death.

Deeply troubled, the man had gone to his room. He lay there for four days. A loud rapping on the door forced him to open it. The landlady, concerned about his unusual behavior, had brought a "doctor".

The so-called "doctor" listened to the man's explanation about the curse. He examined the man's lower lip and confirmed that he had indeed been bitten by the African bug. The doctor had tried to drive out the bugs with liquids, pastes, and strong potions, but the bug was too strong.

Dr. Maltz, examined the inside of the lower lip, filled a syringe with Novacain, then, after it had taken effect, removed the scar tissue.

"It's only some scar tissue," he explained to the man, holding it up.

"You mean, there's no bug, no African bug?"

"Never was."

The man suddenly regained his full height. A rich smile spread over his face, his voice boomed out a gravely, courteous thanks, and he bowed. Once again, he strode out of his office.

A few months afterward, Dr. Maltz received a letter from the former patient. Enclosed was a picture of a smiling, handsome giant with a lovely girl beside him. Emboldened by his new appearance and his freedom from the illusion of the African Bug, he had met a new girl, courted her, and married.

Resource Box

Saleem Rana got his Masters degree in psychotherapy from California Lutheran University. His articles on the internet have inspired over ten thousand people from around the world. Discover how to create a remarkable life

Copyright 2004 Saleem Rana. Please feel free to pass this article on to your friends, or use it in your ezine or newsletter. It's a shareware article.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Black Enterprise

Nurse Alice: Study Shows Black Doctors Have More Positive Attitudes Toward Patients
Black Enterprise
In a recent Johns Hopkins School of Medicine study it was found that black doctors generally had more positive attitudes toward the patient. Additionally, the study affirms what some other studies have already shown, specifically that black doctors and ...


Dr. Randy Cale's Terrific Parenting: Why positive parenting is not the answer
Troy Record
In recent years, there is considerable talk about positive parenting. This takes all forms: Positive reinforcement, positive praise, positive attitude, positive discussions, and so on. Before we dig deeper, none of these ideas are bad ideas. In fact ...


AFL.com.au

Positive attitude the key for luckless Bomber
AFL.com.au
SHAUN McKernan is used to being delivered bad news. For most of the marking forward and pinch-hitting ruckman's career, the 27-year-old has been searching, unsuccessfully, for a permanent position at AFL level. In his 10 seasons in the system, McKernan ...


Rising Sun Overport

'Period positive' attitude for Menstrual Hygiene Day
Rising Sun Overport
South African manufacturer of reusable sanitary pads, Subz Pants and Pads, is encouraging a 'period positive' attitude this Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated globally on Monday, May 28 by asking people everywhere to share their reasons why ...

and more »

Geelong Advertiser

Young stroke victim Emily Holmes' positive attitude has inspired her local Inverleigh community
Geelong Advertiser
The courage, ambition and positive attitude shown by Emily and her family has captured the hearts and attention of her local community in and around Inverleigh which is rallying to help fund Emily's care while Yve completes her study, with a number of ...


The Conversation UK

New poll shows British people have become more positive about immigration
The Conversation UK
Michael Gove, the British environment secretary, sparked a heated debate when he said recently: “Britain has the most liberal attitude towards migration of any European country. And that followed the Brexit vote.” His implication that the Brexit vote ...


The Australian

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi urges more positive attitude from Australia
The Australian
“If Australia sincerely hopes that the relations between the two countries will return to the right track … they must break away from traditional thinking, take off their coloured glasses, and look at China's development from a positive angle,” Mr ...

and more »

KFGO

Tennis: Kvitova hails 'crazy' year following knife attack
KFGO
But rather than dwelling on the episode, which her surgeon feared would end her career after she was left with damaged tendons and nerves in her fingers and thumb, the 28-year-old Czech has adopted a positive attitude and has already won four trophies ...

and more »

NewsX

Jitendra Singh says positive attitude towards politics is one of the biggest achievements of Modi government
NewsX
Union Minister Jitendra Singh says the biggest achievement of Modi government in 4 years is the change in the attitude of public towards politics.”People had lost confidence in politics and credibility of government was under clouds, “said Dr. Jitendra ...

and more »

DC Military

Award-winning officer promotes pursuing passions with a positive attitude
DC Military
Coordinating Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) fund drive information, accepting donations and bustling to support the cause, Lt. Cmdr. Craig Dziewiatkowski, recipient of the 2017 Adm. Merlin O'Neill Officer of the Year Award, continued his ...

Google News

The Power Of Appreciation

As we enter this holiday season, and this time of... Read More

Firewords: A Dangerous Necessity in Your Life?

There are many stories of people injuring themselves, and others,... Read More

Our Beliefs Define Our Limits

The universe is vast, it's dimensions inconceivable, it's potentialities unimaginable,... Read More

Thanks For The Rejection!

It sounds a little masochistic, but I actually appreciate being... Read More

Top Three Secrets To Becoming A Better Thinker

We all know there are ways to become a better... Read More

Banish Shallow Breathing And Boost Self Esteem!

You know, very often, the manner in which a person... Read More

You, Your Self Estem, and Its Importance in Your Growth!

IntroductionDid your boss, took you for a ride? Did your... Read More

Growth From Discontent: Lifes Way Of Giving You A Little Push

That strange, gut-wrenching feeling you have is not the sushi... Read More

Develop Yourself - The Power Within

Living without limits. Living your life to the fullest. Living... Read More

Adding Meaning To Your Life

You got up today to go to work, to come... Read More

Dissolving Stereotypes through Personal Individuality

The other evening, I was meticulously assembling and painting one... Read More

All My Needs, Desires, and Goals are Met -- INSTANTANEOUSLY

I get emails and questions from people all the time... Read More

Your Mental Attitude is The Key!

As a being of thought, your dominant mental attitude will... Read More

What Should You Be Committed To?

There are many dynamics that go into making a great... Read More

Prisoner of Attitude

"Thinking is responsible for man's primacy on earth today. Existence... Read More

Distortions are False Beliefs Programmed Every Day by Self and Those Around Us

Distortions are False Beliefs Programmed every Day by Self and... Read More

Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

If we are the products of our attitudes then it... Read More

The Use of Affirmations

What is an affirmation? One possible definition is a specific... Read More

Impact of Positive and Negative Catalysts on Events in Human Lives

Have you ever noticed what can happen if you just... Read More

Tips on Boosting Your Self-Confidence

How you feel about yourself truly does affect your interaction... Read More

Anger - The Truth Beneath

The other day one of my "challenging clients" and I... Read More

Wahms, Dont Compare Yourself With Others!

Wahms, do you constantly compare yourself with others and come... Read More

Why Should You Forgive?

When I teach private Yoga sessions, sometimes, I become aware... Read More

Improve Your Self Confidence

Knowing yourself is the foundation of self-esteem, self confidence and... Read More

Why You Must Learn to Forgive for the Sake of Your Own Happiness

Your ability to forgive those who have hurt you in... Read More