My naturopath scratched above his eyebrows. He was studying the detailed pages of my food diary, which showed ultra-healthy, clean eating. He’d ordered some tests because I’d had some terrible symptoms, but the results were all clear. It was twelve years ago but I remember the conversation as if it were yesterday.
‘This doesn’t make sense. What else is going on in your life?’ He said.
‘Well…um, I haven’t been happy in my relationship for a while.’
I jumped as he slammed my food diary shut. His voice was calm. Matter-of-fact. ‘If you’re not happy, you’d better get out… and fast. Your body is rebelling.’
It wasn’t the diagnosis I was expecting. It wasn’t a physical problem. I was averse to not being true to myself. I was acting happy and unaffected, when I was far from it. We can’t hide secrets from our soul. Our heart knows what we are covering up, even when we falsely project that we are ‘all okay’ and in control.
‘Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.’ — Sigmund Freud.
I’ve talked many times about being a pleaser, and because gaining acceptance from others has been an underlying motivation for me, I’ve carried the burden of pain to save others from feeling it. No, it’s not something to be proud of, it’s martyrdom at its best, and can only end badly.
Our bodies are the ultimate litmus paper, indicating what is happening under the surface. I admire the work of best selling author, Louise Hay, and the books she’s written about curing physical illnesses using the power of our thoughts. She concluded that her cervical cancer was brought on by holding onto resentments from her childhood abuse.
I am fascinated with metaphysics and how our thoughts and emotions can affect our physical bodies. Over the years, I’ve had skin allergies, reactions, and food sensitivities. Stress has been a factor in almost every diagnosis I’ve received. My symptoms have mostly been brought on by my own overthinking as well as keeping my thoughts and suffering hidden, instead of honestly expressing how I’m feeling.
It’s not like when we save the ‘good’ dinner sets for a special occasion. They remain in immaculate condition and are unharmed by the passing of time. But when we save our emotions for later, every day that goes by, is potentially damaging to us. In response to the anguish we harbour, our bodies produce cortisol which leads to inflammation, creating an unfavourable toxic environment deep inside us.
By not expressing myself, negative energy was swirling through my cells. I thought I could keep the unwanted feelings buried, but those neglected feelings always find a way to get our attention. They can manifest into physical symptoms like the chronic upset stomach I had for years. If ignored, over time, unexpressed emotions can develop into autoimmune issues, dis-ease, anxiety and a plethora of other conditions. Deep hurts can also erupt as concentrated emotions, if they remain dormant for too long.
I acknowledge that some people are genetically pre-dispositioned to certain diseases that could never have been avoided. I am referring to those illnesses we have the capacity to prevent, if we were to create a better environment for abundant health. Epigenetics explains how our toxic thoughts have an effect on our cells and create the perfect environment for them to manifest into illness, regardless of our DNA.
In my experience, holding onto thoughts, feelings, and shames, has prolonged and intensified my problems. Often we convince ourselves we’ve dealt with our issues, but if we don’t heal the deep source of our pain, it will remain buried. Waiting for the right time to reappear.
To rid ourselves of toxic energy, we must learn how to process and express our feelings. Healing is a life-long practise and we need to expect setbacks along the way. There is no simple fix, but awareness is often the starting point. Each person requires unique assistance, and I believe the right people, practitioners, mentors, books, podcasts etc. appear in our life when the universe knows we are ready to seek answers.
We all have challenging times and we can decide to be supportive of each other. When others trust us, we are offering a safe space for feelings to be discussed. If we stop pretending everything is ‘fine,’ we have the power to bring healing to each other and reduce the emotional and physical pain caused by bottling everything up.
Have you locked away any emotions? If so, take a moment to be curious. Consider whether your body has found a way to manifest the feelings you have suppressed?
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. If you want to hear more from me, please like my ‘Lisa Benson Author’ page on Facebook or follow me (lisabensonauthor) on Instagram.