- Mental Health
Learning from illness
When the body speaks...
I keep meeting people who know listening is more important than talking.Yet when it comes to listening to their bodies, it's like they're wearing earmuffs.
I come across women who continually blame their bodies for whatever illness or symptoms they suffer from? They look at themselves with contempt and distrust, as though there's an evil twin inside them, hell bent on a self-sabotage mission. Perhaps we've all felt this way? Denial can be easier than acceptance sometimes.
About 10 years ago I was so ill I could barely get up off the floor. The doctors couldn't find any obvious reasons why, so I assumed I must be dying, and proceeded to fill up on self- hatred and loathing. It took me 5 years of learning and recovery to finally open my eyes to the fact that everything I had suffered was self-induced. Sure I probably had a bit of hereditary genetics thrown in there, but it was me that flipped the switch to activate them. It was my behaviour, thoughts and beliefs that created my condition.
10 years on and I'm happy to say I no longer treat my physical body as a separate entity from my mind. I am actually grateful for the ill-health I endured and what it taught me. That's not something you hear a lot of people say, but it's great to be in a positive place about my health and brimming with energy I thought I'd lost forever! I am fortunate enough to have studied and worked with some amazing alternative health practitioners, and now, from the work I have done on others and myself, I have some questions for consideration for anyone interested in learning from their illness. Or perhaps I mean listening?
Listening to your body
- Without judgement or blame, ask yourself how you got to this point.
- Did your symptoms start after a particular incident or life event?
- Are they related to a part of your body you dislike?
- What is your body trying to tell you?
- How does your emotional state affect your symptoms?
- What's the biggest emotional contributor to your condition?
- When you feel happy and loved, how do things change?
- How is this illness serving you? (What are you getting from it?)
- Do you still need to hang on to this or are you ready to move forward?
- Is there something to must face in order to let your symptoms go?
- What positive things have come out of this illness for you or your loved ones?
- What do you need to stop and think about?
If any of these make you feel silly, or uneasy, sit with them for a while. These are probably the most important for you. In these areas, dig more deeply, listen more carefully and be willing to forgive yourself. This is not a witch hunt, this is about taking responsibility for your health. No doctor can heal you until you are prepared to commit to your health. If you are unwell, don't punish yourself. Choose to begin your journey, cherish whatever it brings to your life and above all, listen.