The hurt that is unspoken, the anger that goes unexpressed and the self-criticism that hardens our thoughts into self-destructive immobilising pain.
“What the…. are you talking about, it’s arthritis, that thing you get when you get older, everybody gets it”? It’s what we expect. That’s the way it is. Interesting comments and ones that are not uncommon when arthritis is discussed. It’s something that is expected to happen to us as if we have no control over what happens to our bodies. We accept something ultimately damaging to eat away and crumble our very structure of life. Sounds crazy right!
What is Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Reactive Arthritis but inflammation, a build-up of toxins, an auto-immune disease that attacks the membrane of the
Movement and change become limiting as joints become rigid and painful. An interesting symbolism for what happens psychologically and how then is reflected in our attitudes towards our lives.
What you find is that people who have been very active are often hiding a tendency to be overly-disciplined and self-critical.
Arthritis is a bit like allowing someone to take up residence inside of you who is constantly berating, criticising, disempowering and rejecting all aspects of you. Oh yes! We take drugs to try to manage the pain but it’s still there, which is a bit like sticking
So, what’s the answer
Yeah yeah! Ok! So, what do we do about it? Remember earlier on I spoke about ageing as a concept of habits and perceptions?
Think of the habit and perceptions as the person you are allowing to take up residence in your body. We will call him or her “Paininthehabit” for now. Remember your body should be your best friend because it works harder than anything or anybody else in your life. It looks after you better than anybody else in your life and what do we do but ignore, reject and feed it toxic stuff. If your best friend was in pain and suffering from a debilitating illness, think about what you would do and say to help that person. You would go to lengths to make sure they were not harmed, kept safe and well. Take care of them and show them they are loved.
Ask yourself these things:
· Have there been times when you needed to be heard and acknowledged only to be ignored and dismissed?
· Do you fear
· Do you feel more validated, recognised and noticed if you take on more responsibility?
· Do you feel you are destroying yourself due to perceptions of guilt and shame that seem to haunt you?
· Being loved and comforted may not have been a pleasant experience for you in your earlier life or as an adult. It may have been conditional on ensuring another person’s needs are met. Do you feel inadequate when you have to show love and overload yourself with responsibilities to avoid that situation?
· What does it feel like to do things for yourself that make you feel good about you
· Do you do things that provoke either being verbally or physically attacked just to get that feeling of adrenaline?
· Do you need to approval of the opposite sex or gender that rejected you as a child. You may have a low intolerance due to feeling manipulated into doing things that did not bring you joy. Do you attract partners who reflect the way that influential mother or father made you feel?
· Often Arthritics have clenched and distorted fists, so
These are just a few things that can build up over time and make you feel resentful or not in control, so you feel the need to be overly controlling in order to feel safe and this is where these hard-rigid behaviours turn into the invading, limiting and eroding effects of arthritis.
Awareness of this is the first step to evicting Arthritis from your life, physically, mentally and emotionally. Acknowledging that we all are affected by perceptions which do not belong to us and it’s ok to say a polite F*** off when things are not good for you is another. When we are children this response would probably we frowned upon, so being more aware of ourselves as adults really
Take good care of your beautiful, forgiving selves folks.
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.
I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the analogy between a human life or lives and the life cycles of trees.
We know that the rings in the trunk of a tree are a record of its age. It is not only a record of age but also how that tree has experienced life throughout its many cycles. We also know that the formations of every living thing on this planet including rocks and other inanimate objects omit a field of energy which is continually vibrating at different frequencies. Associated to this, our human bodies have an electromagnetic field that surrounds it, which is affected every second by what we do, think and feel but did you realise that the frequencies that are emitted from us never disappear and look like the rings of a tree! This is our biofield, which is a record of everything we have experienced in our lives since birth and beyond ( possibly even prebirth and beyond, although that is another topic). These frequencies or vibrations are stored in our physical, mental, emotional and etheric bodies and manifest as different conditions depending on the outcome of life experiences, positive and negative.
Our bodies are like file drawers containing records of every emotion and state of mind. An example of this may be someone who experiences the trauma of a loss, whether this be a job, a break-up or some other significant change in that person’s life. Sometimes this can manifest as problems and conditions in the feet, ankles and lower legs. If it is the right foot, this usually holds the energy of how a person feels about taking their next step. How severe or recurrent the condition is, reflects the state of mind and how he or she will be able to progress, move forward or remain stuck. This is the theory Eileen Day Mc Kusik who has written about the human biofield has discovered.
The rings in the human biofield work in the same way as the tree. The most recent experiences are closest to the body, so depending on your current age will determine how wide your biofield is. Our biofields bounce off and connect with each other.
Just like the tree the older it is the more character it has. Whether it has a sturdy solid base, or bits have been split and broken off it due to stormy weather or unthinking people deliberately creating the damage. We begin to realise that nothing in this world can stand alone independent of another.
I suppose one of the reasons I wanted to share this with you, was as a way of nurturing an awareness of the responsibility we all have not just for ourselves but for every other living organism on this planet. What we do, think and feel has more of an impact than we often care to imagine.