Often we shy away from responsibility for accidents and sickness because we feel that they happen to us, instead of seeing that we create them.
This week, I got tonsillitis. I haven’t had it in years, but I always suffered from it as a child: every few weeks I’d wake up with a dry and aching throat, and sometimes it would worsen into bronchitis or stick around for weeks at a time.
Years later when I read Louise Hay, I discovered that different body parts correspond to patterns of emotions that can create illness. Sore throat, I read, can mean that we’re not expressing how we truly feel.
Woah. That was like a kick in the guts for me. Since I was a child I had created a belief that I wasn’t allowed to express myself fully, and if I did, I would hurt others. I knew exactly when the belief-creating incident happened. I was about 7 years old and helping at the gas station that my parents ran at the time. My mum called me in to her office, and in a moment of vulnerability, asked me: “why do you behave like you love your father more than me?” I paused, the answer resting at the back of my throat. “Do you really want to know Mum?” She nodded. With childlike honesty I declared, “Well its because Dad doesn’t yell at me all the time like you do”. Tears welled up in my Mum’s eyes. I went up to hug her, sensing I had said something wrong, but she pushed me away. That was the very moment I stopped expressing the complete truth. I created a belief that I must be a horrible person to hurt my mum like that, and telling the truth hurt the people I loved.
Now when I look back, it was a rough time in my Mum’s life. Dad was working in another town, so she needed to look after 3 children and work full time. She was stressed to the max, and didn’t have any way to express her needs either.
But the good little 7 year old girl hurt her Mum by telling the truth, and vowed not to make the same mistake again. I grew up trying hard to please everyone, to be the perfect daughter, student, sister and friend: doing absolutely anything I could to avoid criticism and rejection. I created a mask that was always intact, covering my emotions for fear of being revealed as an inadequate human being.
Of course, all of these decisions weren’t being made consciously: my ego kicked in to protect me and it happened almost automatically. Migraines and tonsillitis became normal for me, and had no traceable cause.
Many years later when I met my husband, he innately sensed that I wasn’t being my real self. He encouraged me to say the truth about how I really feel, no matter the consequences. But after so many years of hiding, I was very used to my mask and trying to be honest brought up lots of fear - I was terrified of losing him when I showed him how terrible I was.
“Faking it” comes with its own challenges though. Apart from regular bouts of migraine and tonsillitis, my husband and I had many communication problems. Every time we needed to have a real conversation, I would almost sprint to the door, so afraid was I of opening up. I probably have the most patient husband in the world, and I know it hasn’t been easy living with someone terrified of saying the wrong thing.
Over time, I got better at communicating openly. I’m certainly not perfect, but much better than before, and my unexplainable migraines & tonsillitis faded.
A few months ago I decided to create the BodyLove Project, a free 21-day journey to increase our body love and self esteem. This was also a chance for me to put myself out there in a way I never had before, reaching a bigger audience and expanding my energy. The week I had scheduled the filming, what happened? I got tonsillitis again. I thought that after 5 years of no throat pain, I had gotten rid of those limiting beliefs.
If you haven’t read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, I really recommend you do. It says that when we inhabit more energy than we’re used to, our inner thermostat says, “Hey! it’s too hot in here. You’re not used to living in this zone of higher awareness", and you do something to sabotage yourself - a fight with your loved one, worry or blame thoughts, or even… yes, you guessed it, sickness. I realised that this was exactly what was happening - I was communicating to a bigger audience and putting my real self out there - and I wasn’t used to it. So my old friend tonsillitis came to remind me that my thermostat was set at a level that told me I couldn’t express myself, or the world would end.
The moment I realised why I had created this sickness in my body, I became grateful for it. I knew I was going to a higher level of awareness, and this was a good sign - I could reprogram my internal thermostat for a higher setting now. After writing this blog, my throat started to heal. Once we realise what our limiting beliefs are, and have the courage to address them, we can finally let go of those beliefs.
Our bodies are amazing and intuitive beings. Often they’re whispering messages to us, and if we don’t pay close attention, those whispers become screams. What is your body trying to tell you?
PS: There’s still time to sign up for the BodyLove Project! Let’s get more confidence, greater self esteem and learn to love our bodies together! http://bit.ly/1EmJWZD
I'd love to hear if you've experienced something similar.