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Spotlight on Emotions and Your Health – Part I

Emotions are simply energy in motion.  They are waves of energy that are meant to pass through us freely, yet for most of us, that is hard to allow when they are unpleasant.

In actuality, even positive emotions can leave us trying to grasp on, hoping they will stay. Be it a pleasant or unpleasant emotion, good health comes from allowing them to naturally rise and fall, without interruption. If we try to control our emotions – through grasping, denial, repression, or intellectualization – they will simply keep coming back…waiting for us to finally honor them.

Some Old Emotions Need More Attention

Even when a person thinks they have dealt with their emotions, they may find later in life that some of those older emotions need more attention. It is not uncommon for someone to intellectually process their emotions, but find later on that their body has not fully let go of the energy associated with it.

What this means is that we can understand our feelings, but sometimes we need more work than we realize or understand. We need to let go in all senses of the word – including the body and central nervous system – finally realizing that we can release that which is no longer serving us.

Personally, I learned about how the body responds to energy and emotion the hard way. After many years of therapy, 12-step groups, and every spiritual healing you could think of, I felt that I had done more work on myself in 35 years than many people do in a lifetime. Although I knew there is no such thing as “arriving,” I believed that there really wasn’t much more for me to process until life inevitably handed me the next challenge. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I later discovered that my body was still holding onto something that was stored at such a deep level, even my years of working with my unconscious mind did not reveal it.

Recognizing Revelation

My revelation came after much prayer…and after being sick for three years. Rather than going into the details, I will simply say that my body was shutting down on many levels and there were days I couldn’t get out of bed.

I tried everything from modern medicine to ancient, from healers to Indian Gurus. Nothing I did was working. And so I prayed from the depths of my being in total surrender. And then, the answer came to me intuitively.  I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that my body was trying to tell me something – that no matter how many thousands of dollars I spent on talk therapy and doctors, the way out was going to come from my own body’s wisdom. I had no idea what that meant or what it would look like, but I knew the message was accurate.

So I did my best to listen to my body and ask it how it was doing, rather than trying to control it, fix it, and push it to be somewhere it wasn’t. It wasn’t easy because I wanted to be healed immediately, and in truth, I am still dealing with one last symptom, but it was the beginning of feeling lighter and more vibrant than I had felt in years. Simply by working with my body, and not my mind, things started to lift.

Listening to Our Own Bodies

This was my beginning in understanding that the body never lies. It shows us everything we need to know. Although I had been working with the top naturopathic doctors in my area, it wasn’t until all of that repressed emotion came up and out that I felt like me again. It was as if my central nervous system came back on line.  No amount of clean eating was going to make that happen.  I had to allow my body its own process, and that meant that, even though my head thought it had made peace with many things, my body needed to release, as well.

My invitation to you is to consider your body as a unique vessel that can store years of accumulated experiences, beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. The body can pick up on things that sometimes our minds do not even register, so it is not all that surprising to consider the fact that it may store some of these things.  This is especially true if we use our minds to fight against our body’s perceptions.

Think about all the times you may have had a feeling that you rationalized yourself out of having.  A common one is to bypass your feelings under the pretense that you should be over it by now. What happens to those emotions in those moments? They don’t just disappear! They get stored in the body because they are not properly processed.  In time, if this continually happens, dis-ease in the body can actually begin to manifest as disease. Things simply stop running properly because they are blocked, clogged up, and/or shutting down. Welcome to the world of the mind-body connection!

Light at the End of the Tunnel

My hope in sharing this is that, through my example, you may see it is possible for the body to become quite ill from unresolved emotional trauma. And just as the body may become ill, it can come back into health and vibrancy through releasing traumatic emotions. Science has discovered that both emotions and trauma reach down to the cellular level. They impact how our cells act and can be passed down from generation to generation.

What is so brilliant about this is that every ounce of resilience, strength, and health is also available in these cells.  The power to heal and transcend is also passed on to us!

Image Courtesy of iStock

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