Symptoms are your friends

Updated: May 31, 2019

The body's language

We are made up of three parts- body, soul, and spirit. Each part functions in a very unique way and they each have their own language. Our body speaks to us in the only language it knows. It can’t send us texts informing us it’s hungry, so instead, the stomach grumbles. It can’t email us to tell us it needs sleep, so instead it yawns and our eyes get heavy.

Our being was made to be whole and and the three parts were created to be in harmony with each other. In our culture, though, we misunderstand our body and we do our best to silence it when it tries to speak to us.

Symptoms are misunderstood

“Symptom” has a negative connotation. We equate it with a nuisance or a problem that we want freed from immediately. What this leads to though is a hate for the body.

The body is trying to talk to us and tell us something and we ignore it and silence it.

We develop an unhealthy relationship with our body and we become at odds with it.

My husband uses this analogy which I find so helpful. Your body is like a puppy. If a puppy is hungry, it can’t communicate in English to you its needs. It tells you it’s hungry by whimpering. You wouldn’t hate the puppy for the only way it knows how to communicate just as we can’t hate our body for communicating through symptoms.

The analogy goes further...

The owner of the puppy would naturally be more in tune with it than a stranger. She knows the puppy’s movements and can anticipate its needs because of the time she’s spent with it and the positive interactions they’ve shared. This is the same for us.

We cannot expect to understand our body if we spend no time trying to get to know it, and even less when any interaction we have with it is judgmental and critical.

My story...

Several years ago, my journey to holistic medicine started because I had some unanswerable health concerns. I had this constant discomfort in the right side of my abdomen, which prevented me from not only exercising but walking normally. No one could tell me why.

During that time, I can’t tell you how often I spoke words of hate to my body. “What’s wrong with you?” “Why can’t you work right?” “You’re ruining everything.” (Can you imagine saying these words to an actual human being? It’s amazing how cruel we can be to ourselves…)

These words of doubt and condemnation soon went in autopilot and even when I wasn’t consciously saying them, I was still feeling them.

Eventually my husband found me an alternative medicine doctor (like he himself became subsequently after) and things started changing drastically. Those physical symptoms actually had emotional roots. Years of reaffirming habits of shame, guilt, and fear had not only caused anxiety in me, but my body had also gotten to a point where it just couldn’t take it anymore. It was crying out for help.

It needed to be heard and healed.

And so began the process of patching up my relationship between my body and my soul.

. . .

Don’t hate your body for talking to you. Speak words of love and gentleness to it. You may not know its language yet, but try to really see your body and soon enough, you’ll begin experiencing restoration in your whole being.

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