"Your biography becomes your biology -- you are one and the same with your life and your history. Events that you have not yet reconciled, haven't forgiven, haven't let go of, are carried in that debt in your cell tissue." Carolyn Myss, a medical intuitive and author, frequently talks and writes about how our experiences and the beliefs about those experiences affect our day to day living. Perhaps those chronic aches and pains, the stiffness in our joints are the result of cell tissue debt, of energy blockages that developed in response to unresolved stress or trauma.
A long standing pattern of energy holding often manifests as chronic pain. Fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain and fatigue, is an example of how disabling and isolating a collection of energy blockages can be. The word "fatigue" is often defined literally as a lack of energy. Fibromyalgia is controversial in that it does not easily fit western medical models; some people view it as a central nervous system problem, other see it as musculoskeletal, others as psychiatric. There is no easy cure because it needs to be treated as a whole person disease, a biopsychosocial approach that does not always conflate with the symptom orientation of western medicine. Most autoimmune disorders have puzzling and complicated components. Perhaps these "diseases" are asking us to look at the bigger picture of our lives rather than to dissect them.
Let's say you are an organic system with a thousand units of life force energy flowing through your body. This flow of electromagnetic energy digests food and carries nutrients, maintains memories and thoughts, heals our cells, generates our activities, powers our heartbeat, moves our lungs... you get the picture. Many of our emotional structures develop at an early age, before we can really assess the truth or validity of their context. So if you came to believe that you were not good enough, not supported, not loved, or that the world was not safe, a significant amount of your thousand units of energy is diverted from the flow and goes into maintaining those belief structures. If you are financing resentments about things that happened in your life, another chunk of life force goes to keeping those programs alive. Indulging in stressful activities like overwork or smoking or drinking takes another chunk of energy units, as does feeling bad about those habits, past or present. Holding in your feelings or maintaining a protective defensive attitude drains still more. Like a computer burdened by out of date software, things slow down, systems crash. Not much energy is left for joyous exploration and celebration.
Illness is not always bad. It is often our best and most appropriate teacher, just as pain is a tremendous motivator for change. Please don't blame yourself for "creating a disease"; you are only sidetracking more of your life force energy into stagnant resentment against yourself. What if you choose instead to see your history as an opportunity to gain freedom, to create a flow of energy that allows you feel more alive, to identify with your life force rather than your wounds? In our culture, we seem overly identified with our injuries, our illnesses, and an astoundingly huge part of our economy is dependent on disease and pain. Despite our claims to desire health there is sometimes an unconscious resistance based on fear that we will be alone and apart from society if we no longer have our wounds to talk about. We want the pain to stop, but we are entering the realm of the unknown if we let go of all these familiar thoughts and patterns and step outside the consensual reality of suffering.
As Carolyn Myss said, "We don't know yet what it's like to have self-esteem in such a way that we celebrate our strengths, celebrate our creativity. We still go at it through our wounds. We still don't know what it's like to feel healthy without feeling embarrassed by our strengths. Until we develop a model of health that says we can have pride in being creative, strong, and intelligent without apologizing, without feeling shame, we will use our wounds as a privilege." One way to step in a more positive direction is simply to do more of what makes you truly feel good, of what gets your juices flowing. Choose to consciously direct energy into joyous exploration and celebration. Do yoga, sing, ride horses, dance, make music, smile, and above all learn to forgive and let go; resentments are perhaps the biggest and most dangerous of energy suckers. If you need help to further this shift towards living well, email me to schedule a free half hour phone consultation. As someone who once suffered from chronic pain and an autoimmune disorder, I understand what it is like to feel stuck and at a loss for direction.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love