I have recently been going through some major shifts in my life. The feelings and emotions are big and plenteous and these changes will affect me forever. I am thankful for everything that comes my way. I want to grow and evolve in all things. But big changes also come with confusion, a lack of clarity, second-guessing, fear, joy, new energy, new possibilities. Right now, I feel like a juggler with about 10 balls in the air and life throwing me more emotional balls daily. The craziest thing is the emotions are polar opposite and happening at once
What inspired me to write about this?
The body and mind are intricately connected. At the beginning of September, I visited my acupuncturist because my neck had been bothering me for about 2 weeks. After the session, I felt relief and then a week later I had a knot in my shoulder that caused my muscles to knot up tightly and quickly. The muscles shortened up, which pulled on the muscles in the back of my head and down the left side of my rib cage. OMG! I couldn’t turn my head and even needed someone to drive me back out for another acupuncture session.
She took my pulses as she always does. She said Nanette, your heart pulse is telling me that you have hidden sadness. This emotion has manifested and hidden itself behind your heart. The body’s way of speaking to us is through the pain so it was not a coincidence that my left shoulder is where the pain began! So, I guess it wasn’t that hidden after all.
The situation I have been going through is a very personal matter and it’s actually been going extremely well, considering the depth and impact it is having on me and my family. The logistics of the situation are being worked out with as much love and compassion as we can, and although it’s been hard, the other people involved have been supportive and handling the situation with grace and positivity. So far, the outcome has been far greater than expected. So maybe my acupuncturist was wrong. What was there to be sad about?
There is always a deeper level.
In all reality, no matter what the topic – job change, relationship change, loss (a person, a pet, financial) – there is always some level of sadness. So, it’s important to deal with the emotions and not ignore them as I did.
Thinking about what she said, I realized that for a long time, I did not allow myself to sit with the reality of what happened. I found things to keep me occupied as much as possible. I cleaned the house, I planned things to do, I did Breakthrough M2 work. If my family wanted to talk about it, I always highlighted the positive effects of the situation, not them or me discuss or pull apart the sadness of the situation. Every once in a while, I would allow a little grief and sadness to come out in small bits. This went on for a few months, but that was it.
As an aside, I realized that I handled my emotions and feelings the same way when my mom passed away. I got through the funeral and her celebration beautifully and then got through Christmas without her. So again, I did not realize I wasn’t actually handing the feelings and emotions, I was, however, handling the logistics of the event and helping other people through it. I thought I was ok just because I was functioning really well. I was still working, creating, writing. I was fine! Not so much. My physical issues of heaviness in my lungs did not show up until February. (FYI: Grief resides in the lungs.)
Anyway, what triggered my shoulder pain? I thought back to when it began. Two to three days before the huge flare-up, one of my kids said something to me about the situation and how it affected them. From that point on is when the physical symptoms showed up and then progressed very quickly. Now that I understood when it started, it sparked my memory of what happened with my mom’s passing. Then I had to think about why I was prone to ignoring and hiding painful or emotional events.
What has been my truth?
In my lifetime and my business right now, I have seen people lament, wallow, sink down into depression, and lose themselves for a while (or completely) after a traumatic or dramatic event! In fact, some have never recovered from the emotion of grief or sadness. I have come to believe that sadness and/or grief is too dangerous of an emotion to mess with. I could lose my whole life as I have seen happen to others.
As far as I’m concerned, that will not happen to me, so if something is sad, I need to see the bright side, convince everyone around me to see the bright side, and GET OVER IT, now.
But, is their “truth” my truth?
It doesn’t have to be. But since that has been what I have seen, I am not willing to take a chance. I have a business to run, employees I’m responsible for, a financial household and a future I’m providing for! So, sadness or grief needs to be swept up and discarded as soon as possible. It’s a cancer that needs to be eradicated quickly.
Finding the root cause
I teach my clients that a lack of self-love or self-value is almost always at the root of every problem a person has. In fact, I teach my clients to ask themselves the question, “What honors me most?” Because if they ask this before making decisions, they will never again have regret. So of course, this was where I began. Was I acting out of a lack of self-love or self-respect? Was this a matter of me not putting myself first? No. It was ignorance, fear, not applying truth, and a black and white belief system that created this physical issue.
- I say ignorance because I did not know I was doing this. It took two major events to open my eyes to a deep-rooted pattern of how I handle feelings and emotions.
- I say fear because I did not trust that I could handle these feelings and emotions due to seeing so many crash-and-burn. In my mind, I said what makes me so special that I even dare think that couldn’t happen. That could be me, too. But what makes me different, not special? I have learned from experience that I cannot take other people’s experiences and think the same thing will happen to me. Maybe their past disabled them in a way where I am not in the same position. And now that I know this about myself, I am able to respond (without fear) – which as many of you know, is my definition of taking responsibility.
- Not applying truth because I was going on everyone else’s experiences not trusting my power and strength.
- I say black and white belief system because after I accepted the sadness, I realized that my belief system about feelings and emotions are “either/or” not “and/both.” My belief until now has been if I am sad, I cannot be happy at the same time. But this is not true. I also felt that if I am sad, I was supposed to have regret, which I do not have. So now, I am embracing all parts of me at the same time and meditating on truth.
“Sadness is NOT a happiness deficiency.” ~Matt Kahn
It has been a month and my body is still recouping. My neck is not completely pain-free yet, and my shoulder is still sore, but every day I do breathwork and picture clean air going into the area that is sore; I meditate on acknowledging sadness and other disheartening emotions, but I also focus on my strengths and capabilities. After my meditation yesterday, I stated my truth on the situation. And yes, although parts of it are sad, other parts of it are good and joyous and opened me and my family up to new beginnings. Was there a loss? Yes, and I need to sit with that for a time. And then, I will also sit with how there are gains, too.
My encouragement to all of you is to take time for yourself. Listen to your body, it is speaking to you. Start opening up to other possibilities as to why you might be experiencing pain, and be open to different modalities of healing. The western way is not the only way. And of course, ask yourself the question of why. Why did I do this, feel this, experience this? It is valuable information, and if we take time to contemplate, we won’t have so many recurring themes and patterns in our lives.
What places in your life could use TLC (tender loving care)? Comment below