We all suffer. We suffer more emotionally than physically, but the two are connected. Often, unresolved feelings manifest themselves as physical illnesses.
For me, illness is not a bad thing. Sickness is my body’s way of communicating with me.
“Hey Gary,” says my body, “you have this unresolved emotional issue that we are bringing to your attention by this upset stomach.” or “Hey Gary, we caught a cold to let you know that you have too much going on and need to rest and de-stress.”
I do things to avoid getting sick, but when sickness happens, I embrace it. I am grateful to my body for bringing unresolved emotional issues to my attention. Awareness of them is the first step in trying to resolve them and reduce my suffering.
Resolving emotional issues can be challenging because I am surrounded by people who avoid their feelings. Not only do they avoid their feelings, but they lecture me about I should not be feeling mine; how I am wrong to express mine.
Most of the time, I am free-flowing and spontaneous. Not always, but most of the time. Not always, but most times I am willing to go where my feelings take me—even down the deep, dark paths of my mind. The best way to deal with a feeling is to feel it. However, out of respect for people who avoid their feelings, I hold back expressing myself because even the most innocuous comment can trigger anger.
“Look how crooked that tree’s branch is growing.”
“How dare you use the word ‘crooked’! My father used to beat me with a crooked stick! And now you’ve reminded me of the beatings. How can you be so thoughtless and inconsiderate? Never use that word ‘crooked’ around me again.”
And so for some, their issues remain unresolved and their suffering continues. I do my best to make sure it does not continue for me.
“Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.”
– Karen Horney