When we feel unwell, a symptom often expresses an issue that we have been ignoring, denying or repressing. Sometimes it seems easier to just let life carry on the way it has been and put up with the discomfort. Recognising the meaning behind the symptoms is often the beginning of the journey to better health but in order to get on that bus we really have to want to get well first. The natural state of the body is good and balanced health. It has an innate functioning without our interference to maintain a healthy state of being. The chronic pain develops when we choose not to listen to what it is telling us and decided to ignore it’s pleading, carry on doing what we are doing or holding onto the illness for more subtle motives.
One of the most intimate relationships we will ever have in our lives is with our own bodies. It is our first connection to life. A relationship is simply a connection to another. Naturally this relationship should be our No.1 friend, our ‘Bestie’ but it is often the most judged, mistreated, ignored and neglected part of ourselves.
What makes our relationships with others great? What are the values of being a great friend. What is a parent’s love like towards their children? What do we do in our favourite relationships with others. We love to talk, have fun, mess around, learn, expand our knowledge, do things that make us feel good. We connect and can’t survive without that connection. How often do we connect with our bodies, who are our best friends in the entire world? How often do we check in and say, ‘Hey buddy how you doing’ today? How you feelin’? What’s your day been like? Is there anything I can do to make your day better? Yep! It may sound crazy and a bit of a laugh but is that a bad thing?
It takes courage to take responsibility and commit to our own healing. This means change by releasing old behaviour and thought patterns and embracing new ones. Changes often has wider consequences outside of ourselves in our external environment, impacting on our spouse, children, parents, friends, work, social life etc, which places a level of pressure on how we manage our ability to commit to our healing. First and foremost, we need to have the courage to shake off expectations and judgements created by generations of others, that have moulded the way we have created a separation between our minds and our bodies.
There are some questions below you can ask yourself to understand what your relationship is to your illness, condition and pain. I say ‘your’ as unless we start taking ownership and have a dialogue with ourselves about how we create our own discomfort, we will continue to ignore, deny and blame it on external sources.
I think probably the same principles apply to most relationships that go a bit awry.
Before you read these questions below, try to find a quiet place without distractions where you won’t be disturbed, so you have time to chill out, take a few deep breathes. Talk to your body gently and with compassion as if you were talking to a child or friend in need of help and support. Ask your body to relax and unwind, then write down your answers to these questions. It will start your journey to wellness.
1.What is the function of the part of the body causing discomfort? What does it do? What does it enable me to do and how does it relate to other parts of my body?
2.What side of the body is affected? The right side holds and directs our masculine energic system. This energy is what drives us it’s goal orientated, pushing forward, making progress, logic, facts and self-interest. If our life is too rigidly structured our masculine energy may be overactive and out of balance.
The right side holds and directs our feminine energetic system relating to intuition, feelings, openness and unselfishness. When this is out of balance we are unable to stand up for ourselves or ensure our needs are met. Other people’s opinions determine our sense of self-worth.
3.Describe your condition? Is it hot, cold, stiff, aching, stabbing pain, throbbing, etc?
4. How is this condition affecting your life? Does it stop you from going to work? What can you no longer do? Do you need to be looked after? Does it feel like a loss or are you glad this has happened?
5. What major events or changes have happened in the last few weeks or months or even years? Have you dealt with the feelings associated with the event? Has a previous trauma resurfaced? Rejection, abuse, betrayal, crisis at work?
6. Have you experienced this illness before? What are the emotions you are feeling with this condition? Are they like any past emotions? What was happening at that time?
7. How does this condition make you feel? Do you feel guilty, a failure? Are you getting enough space for yourself? Does this condition distract you from deeper issues, such as fear or insecurity? What effect is it having on your relationships?
8. Can you see yourself getting well again? If someone offered you a cure right now, how would you feel? BE honest! What are the benefits to you having this illness? Why would you be scared to be well? How would your life change if you were well?
Pull these answers together and don’t be afraid to look at what your body is telling you as a lot of people will be experiencing something similar to differing degrees.
Becoming whole means bringing all parts of ourselves into the light no matter how painful or disturbing that may be. Never an easy process. While we continue to deny, ignore or try to push away parts of ourselves, we prevent ourselves from healing and moving forward in our lives in a healthy way. Our bodies, minds and souls always want us to be proud of who we are, care about ourselves and embrace our unique and miraculous being, which is why it will push us in all ways to listen up.