When a client brought up the subject of not being able to say what she wanted to, it led us down this path. It has resulted in her understanding her physical issues, and altered her ongoing experience of them.
How often have you swallowed down, pulled back the words or repressed what you wanted to say?
You may have been angry but felt that it wasn’t right to say anything. You may have just kept quiet. Not wanting to rock the boat. Wanting to be liked. Put up and shut up, as my mother used to say.
I have a friend who speaks of ‘The Curse of Being Lovely’ – the curse of repressing your thoughts so that you remain likeable and ‘lovely’. The problem is, that many authors have written that the emotion is the first to take on the ‘pain’ and be represented later on, as time goes by, as a physical pain.
P.A.I.N. Please Acknowledge Information Now.
Problem is, we focus on the pain with the focus being to get rid of it, rather than looking at what is ‘underneath’ that pain.
What do you think? Is there a little voice in there giving you a nudge?
Continually repressing emotions creates an inner tension. The eventual manifestation of the build up of this tension, is into physical symptoms – a stomach ulcer, a frozen shoulder, migraine, pains and illness or as many know, a flare up of an issue like endometriosis or IBD.
Usually we are distracted with the manifestation of illness or pain. Personally, when I experienced a painful frozen shoulder, all I wanted to do was get rid of the pain and get my shoulder back moving again. It was only a few months after that I realised that the manifestation of this shoulder issue was nothing even close to a physical problem (I had no physical reason for it), but it was actually an ’emotional’ shoulder.
In this video, I invite you to write an Angry Letter. Get the pent up tension out of you and onto a page.
I have done this a couple of times and can honestly say that at the end of it I felt so much better.
3. What Lies Beneath the Anger.
Anger is always supported by something else. It is not the final emotion, but an expression of many others. My mother always used the term of ‘the straw that broke the camels back‘ and it explains how something seemingly small and unimportant is enough to create a geyser of emotion and anger.
Anger is a ‘sympathetic’ emotion and when the body is in this state, it’s energy is not going into immunity, digestion or repair. (Which is the ‘parasympathetic’ state and needs to be resting in, in order to access that healing).
So what happens is that over time the immune and health system of the body is going to go into that state of lack and so the physiological health is going to break down as a result. In the sympathetic state, the blood flow and therefore the oxygen supply (and nutrients) are going to the bigger muscles – those involved in fight or flight. But other areas get a bit left out from this oxygen and nutrient supply and over a bit of time even the teeny tiny nerves and muscles that are limited in their supply start to hurt. That is a pain.
Aches and pains, syndromes, disease, flare ups.
Sure, emotion is not the only cause of illness (environmental, nutritional, physical damage etc) however why wouldn’t we want to eliminate a contributing factor!
Understanding our own anger and that of others may just make a more understanding world.
4. Forgiveness – Do I Really Have To?
‘Like grasping a hot coal and waiting to throw it at someone’ is how Buddha describes living in bitterness and blame.
In this video I mention the missing piece in forgiveness that most people don’t do when they are consciously trying to forgive.
Forgiveness and moving on, is actually good for your health but effective forgiveness involves the mind AND the body .
Many times a client has realised that residual feelings of unforgiveness is holding their healing and health back. In doing so, that slow burn of energy is directed to the state of fight or flight, rather than healing.
I’ve been there where I have forgiven somebody, but found myself with ‘boiling blood’ when I thought of an action that person did. I realised that the forgiveness was processed at the level of ‘that’s a good idea’ which was a purely ‘head based’ effort. That part is important but there is the whole rest of your body that hasn’t had the chance to participate and experience the process.
Forgiveness means moving on as well yet when we forgive in our head and heart, often we are still a bit stuck. The missing piece is the gut.
This is a concept that is missing in most forgiveness exercises and it is not until the heart forgives, the head forgives and the gut forgives, that you get to actually move on with your life.
I can say from experience that I wanted to forgive somebody and went through an exercise to do that and, looking back it was the heart that wanted it, the head thought it worth while, but I was still stuck. Actually I was getting angrier about that person instead, much, much angrier.
Until I found the missing piece to the process. This piece was involved in ‘let go and move on’.
6. You Will Feel Different.
Having that emotion relating to that person or event taking up a neurological space in your body has created an automatic behaviour – be it the racing heart, churning stomach, blood pressure rise etc.
Having forgiven means that the forgiven person is no longer having an effect on you, and your neurology is changed. The person that used to make my blood boil is now simply ‘meh’, and I am no longer feeling wronged, hurt or angry.
But the first few days of that change feels quite different and takes a bit of getting used to. Don’t worry. If you feel flat or nothing or even ‘meh’ that is a good thing and your body is getting used to this new way of behaving – the neurology is rewiring and upgrading to this new way of being.
Don’t fall into the trap of creating a drama to fill that ‘space’. Just let yourself recognise, observe and experience that new feeling. Your neurology is rewiring and your body will thank you for being able to rest now.
If you want to do the forgiveness piece, be it for your personal growth, making a difference to your health or just piece of mind then go for it. However sometimes we can get a bit stuck, and like I mentioned, can feel more and more angry.
This is where it is a useful idea to reach out to a coach who gets that forgiveness is a process that needs the whole body to be on board and heard.
I use a combination of processes to bring about this transformation and, believe me, it is a definite transformation resulting in freedom, peace and happiness. And of course, better or transformed health.