“We have to dare to be ourselves, however
frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”
- May Sarton
Imagine a friend asking you for some help when you really don’t have the time or inclination to help in the way they are asking. Do you say yes and regret it or resent having to do it because you feel you should? Imagine your child asking you a question about yourself, but the answer is something you don’t want them to know. Do you tell them the truth or do you altar it? While none of these things seem like a big deal in themselves, all of these situations are examples of partial truth telling which keeps us from living truly authentic lives.
The other week a client came to see me. She is married with children and she came in to see me with pain in her low back and great difficulty walking. She told me that she doesn’t know what happened; she just started having trouble. All she knew was that she was in a sitting position for awhile which aggravated her back. As I started scanning her body energetically for where the problem is, I also asked her some questions about what was going on in her life when this began or just before it began. She then started talking with me about the difficulties she was having with her children. Her children are grown, but they give her husband great difficulty and don’t show him respect. When they come in town, she is often in the middle of her husband and her children. She was pissed at them and also sad about the situation. When I did her scan and also tested her muscles for strength and weakness, I found that her kidneys were stressed; her back flank area which represents the kidneys was inflamed. This emotional stress aggravated her low back and kidney area which carry the energy of sadness and loss as well as the feeling of not being in control over events.
As I physically adjusted her low back and sacrum, I did acupressure and deep muscle work around her flank. I spoke with her concurrently about how our emotions affect our body and suggested that she might feel pulled by her family and afraid to tell them how she really feels. Partial truth telling eventually shows up in the body one way or the other. Just talking and being honest about the situation enabled her to begin to relieve the internal pressure. By the time she left the office, she was feeling much better and was able to walk.
Does this scenario sound familiar? How many of us have been between a rock and a hard place when it comes to people in our lives who are important to us? How many of us have not been able to tell ourselves, much less them, how we really feel? Maybe we are afraid we will lose them, or be abandoned, or be alone. This woman had lost her first husband suddenly to a heart attack when her daughter was only two years old. She is scared to death that she will lose someone again. This fear keeps her stuck and keeps her unable to be true to herself, to her children, and to her husband.
I have found that when our conscious minds are in conflict with our unconscious, it causes a weakness and susceptibility to a physical complaint or issue. In this case she consciously wanted her children to stay and be happy; the same with her husband. Meanwhile her unconscious was afraid they would leave if she stated how she really felt and was authentic to herself. As she gave herself permission to admit her real feelings, she started feeling better. Instead of giving herself and her energy away, she became more vitalized and empowered. We all can do this!
Shift Your Story: Guided visualization/Meditation
Take a seat where you are very comfortable and make sure your feet are on the ground in front of you. Begin by breathing three or four times very deeply and consciously. Focus on your expansion and contraction of your diaphragm and rib cage. Begin to see yourself, an image of yourself. Let that image go. See another image of yourself; let that one go. Look at internal snapshots of yourself across the ages. Eventually one image will stick. Look at this image of yourself, feel it, and breathe into it. What do you look like? How are you feeling? Imagine someone asking you to do something you don’t want to do but are afraid to say no. Ask your internal image what it is afraid of and listen to it. Now imagine you do say no and are true to yourself. Look at your internal image and ask it how it feels saying no. What happened to its fear? Is it the same or did it change? How is it to be afraid but to do it anyway? Stay with that feeling and image until you and the image begin to feel more comfortable with saying and being with its true feelings. Look deeply into that image and remember that feeling. Take a couple more deep breaths and come back into being aware of your feet on the ground and the chair you are sitting on. Then open your eyes.
Every time you feel tempted to not honor your true self and feelings, find a time to do this meditation and see what shifts for you. Then, if you feel like it, I would love to hear how this works for you.