Healing Yourself: Easing Dis-ease and Illness by Listening to How You Feel
Photo taken by camera phone at a beautiful lake near my house at sunset, April 2010, before the smell of oil tainted the air. Photo copyright by Lorna Tedder; all rights reserved.
One of the most valuable things I’ve learned in the past year is that I can cure myself, that I do have that power. I’ve also learned that it’s not always easy for me to use that power.
I’m not new to the mind-body-spirit connection or to the idea that there is a metaphysical reason for various illnesses. I first heard insights on this back in the mid-90’s and later while listening to Louise Hay’s audiobook, You Can Heal your Life. I could easily make the connection with sickness and injury I’d endured over the years: the lack of support that manifested as a mid-back injury; the rejection that manifested as nausea; the feeling that I couldn’t move forward that manifested as a foot injury.
While listening to a Abraham-Hicks workshop from the late Spring of 2010, I heard something that resonated with me. It came at just the right time, too, because I’d been dealing with allergy-induced asthma exacerbated by the controlled burning of oil from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I smell the wind-driven fumes and immediately my throat closes up. Initially, it had started as an allergy to star jasmine (which all my neighbors tend to favor) and then to mold in a home where I was an overnight guest, and just got worse until I lost my voice for several weeks.
I’d read years ago that allergies were a sign of irritation and how if I could only let go of my irritations, I’d let go of the allergies. Uh-huh.
But what I heard in the Teachings of Abraham made me think about it in a different way. The advice given was
to think about the symptoms of the illness or injury and find the emotion that matched it. Then ask if that emotion is one I was already feeling before the illness or injury occurred. Then, to find healing, shift that feeling to something better.
Something clicked. It’s not uncommon for me to realize I need to stay home from work for some reason and suddenly become sick long enough to miss the work day and then feel great. I can go to bed thinking that I really need more rest after a grueling week but I have to go to work. Then I’ll have insomnia—“I need more rest”—all night and wake up realizing that I absolutely can’t go to work because I must stay home and get more rest. But that’s a simple analogy. Let’s go for something more difficult.
I became ill during a breakup. I was, eventually, able to shift my emotions and heal myself, completely. My doctors thought it was somewhat miraculous but I’d been working on healing myself and figuring out what to do to heal myself for a long time. When I did, everything clicked into place and my test results were suddenly…well, miraculous. I couldn’t quite explain what had happened to change it but my feelings definitely shifted after I made a few key decisions. Now, when I look back and try to identify the emotion that went with my symptoms, it was one of feeling like a victim or as if I’d sacrificed too much. I’d felt that way before the illness took hold. Once I no longer felt like a victim, the illness disappeared.
Back to my allergies…. They progressed to the point of becoming a trachea infection. That was a shock. The last time I’d had a trachea infection, I’d been on bed rest for a month, voiceless for three months, and didn’t fully recover for a total of six months. That was five years ago. Then I made another connection: the person in my life at that time had reappeared and our interactions in 2010 closely resembled our interactions in 2005. That had to mean something.
Once I heard the suggestion to make the connection between the symptoms and the emotion, I understood. The allergens were irritants, yes, but the dominant emotion related to the allergy-induced asthma was annoyance. Had I felt that way before the asthma began? Yes, in relation to this particular person and his actions. I had felt annoyed. There were a few other related emotions I won’t get into but once I made the connection and began to shift my mindset away from thinking about his annoying actions, that particular allergy problem went away—overnight.
Sometimes it seems that I must simply acknowledge the symptom’s underlying emotion and shift my attitude and feelings so that the symptoms are quickly gone. But it’s not always easy. I am still having (different) allergy/asthma problems, and they’re tied to the BP Oil Spill. I am greatly annoyed and feel powerless. And I cannot yet shift my feelings or soften them toward the spill or toward BP’s recklessness. I continue to smell the petroleum in the air and I’m immediately annoyed and impotent to stop it. And I’m angry. My throat closes and I’m driven back indoors to avoid the fumes.
So from a metaphysical viewpoint, I know how to heal myself. I just can’t do it yet.