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Judgments are my mind's way of setting up boundaries against uncomfortable things, for now. My mind uses judgments to organize and place in the appropriate spot in my subconscious, my comfortable and uncomfortable responses to any thought, feeling or action that enters my personal domain from the moment my mind starts collecting data in the womb.
Self-judgment, the judgment I make about myself, is not compatible with the flow of soul. Judgment or self-judgment, accumulates, compartmentalizes, saves for a later date, and creates boundaries in my mind. While memory is good, judgment and self-judgment hold things inside that may no longer be appropriate to the flow of soul. I need to be my own mind's guardian.
Once a friend of ours was visiting for the weekend. The joint pain in my feet was particularly painful, enough so that I wished my husband could carry me. I found myself apologizing to my husband and our friend on a number of occasions: apologizing for my lackluster presence, since I was feeling depressed about the pain, and my need for so much help. (Unbeknownst to me, I was in the beginnings of another arthritis flare-up.)
I don't usually do that, do I? Apologize for my physical shortcomings? Each time I heard myself apologize I did not feel good about what I'd just said. It didn't feel congruent with my Self as Soul.
After two days of this apologetic attitude, I finally announced to my husband and friend that I was going to stop beating myself up about somehow failing (again) and I would take the Western medicine until I didn't need it any more. The intensity of my joint pain began to subside.
Where's The Judgment Here, You Ask?
The next morning, after my declaration to stop fighting the pain, my friend and I were sharing thoughts. She brought up something that I recognized as self-judgment in her. She recognized in me that I was self-judging every time I apologized about my physical symptoms making me a burden to others. She said she didn't think less of me for my physical state. She noticed my husband didn't think less of me. It was me: Me who was making up this judgment that I was doing something bad, that I was putting a dampener on their weekend.
As I followed my process of pain and self-judgment a little deeper, I realized the cause of my pain this time. I had had a deeply emotional couple of weeks around a childhood issue I was sure had been completed long ago. My husband and friend both felt sure my joint pain was probably related to the emotional distress I had been experiencing. They were right.
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I had been judging myself about something regarding my family of origin. I didn't see it clearly until it came out of me as me apologizing to my loved ones because I was causing them discomfort by being concerned about me. The little girl in me knew I should not make waves or cause trouble. Everyone is busy. This was a very old childhood pattern for me. Memories popped in of Dad getting mad at me for who knows what and he'd say, "I'm going to hold this against you till the day I die."
Self-Judgment, Self-Loathing, and Pain
When I decided to look at the self-judgment that I was doing something wrong by being sick, that I was a bad girl (remember this was or had already been categorized somewhere in my subconscious mind), I set my intention to give myself the leeway of being angry at the pain and my body for experiencing it, instead of beating myself up about it. I also am grateful Soul showed me that in my subconscious mind I still held a judgment that I am a bad girl if I'm sick or any trouble. Here is another layer of self-loathing breaking free. The intensity of my pain began to subside. I was on the right track to something.
Did my self-judgment hold the pain in place? Maybe it did. Maybe it didn't. If I had simply observed the pain in the beginning, took the necessary medicine and moved on "down the road" with my life, would the pain have dissolved? Maybe it would have. Maybe not. Certainly I would have missed the opportunity to express self-judgment and have it be witnessed for me to be called on it. The main factor of that particular pain experience was my self-judgment: judging myself as having done something wrong and not being good enough if I am sick or need help.
This idea is very new to me: that judgment holds emotions, pain, even medicines in the body. Certainly judgment has its place in my world, just not when it comes to harming myself. Whereas if the body-mind is in fluid motion -- meaning allowing what is happening in any moment to be as just that: it is what it is, no judgment that I am doing something wrong -- no harm "accumulates."
I know medicines, herbs, food, environment, hereditary and a multitude of other factors can be a cause of physical pain for me. I am vigilant now about my increases in pain and symptoms and any emotional attachments to my pain from old ways of thinking and feeling about myself. I am actually quite grateful for the realization that I am not a bad girl if I need help. This is a very big deal for me since I do need a lot more help these days. Here was another opportunity for a layer of my "body memories" to come into alignment with the flow of soul.
So, I've noticed emotions are connected to physical discomforts. It isn't good or bad. It just is. Often my most excruciating pains have deeply seated judgments attached. Things aren't always just emotional or just physical. Something that affects the physical such as medication or surgery, injury, or genetics may certainly cause emotional imbalance. It is complicated to unravel the unwanted energy connections, the harmful judgments others or I have made towards me that may hold me in pain. Thank goodness Spirit is in charge. It is my task to listen and trust in my process.
Emotions and Immune Power
Emotional health or balance is crucial to my whole being. Emotional health is as valuable to me as pure air and water.
I have heard it said that emotions are only a small percentage of the cause of an illness. There are other factors like environment, diet, pollutants, heredity, genes and other circumstances that make up the total cause of "dis-ease." My sense is emotions are a powerful force of healing in a person.
In witnessing myself in my healing life process, I can make a realization about something, feel something about my childhood or myself with new awareness, and everything in me can shift in a flash. I feel totally integrated with the new realization and I am never the same again.
For the first few years of dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, I tried almost everything to cure it. I did gold salts, at least 20 different non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines and combinations of medicines, acupuncture three days a week, Traeger work, Jin Shin Do, Jin Shin Jyutsu, homeopathy, guided imagery, rage therapy, raw juices, fasting, chiropractic, color therapy, herbs and supplements. Some things helped sometimes. There were times I still had severe pain.
The times when I felt some of the greatest permanent relief were when I felt my feelings completely, as in those times when I cried or screamed in anger, I'd had enough pain, god damn it, or when I would have a break-through session with my psychotherapist. Anger is a dynamic emotional force for healing.
Enough Is Enough!
One day I finally said I'd had enough of trying to find a cure for rheumatoid arthritis. To keep trying so hard to find a cure I likened to chasing a dragon's tail: never would I catch it. I just said, "I give up." Actually I used the "f" word with a lot of anger behind it. Within seconds, the severe pain which was attached to my frustration and which triggered my outburst had subsided. The pressure was off and I felt better from that moment forward.
Even as I began writing the first part of this book, I noticed I was having more severe pain than I had had in years. It took me a couple of weeks of enduring pain and being depressed about it and judging myself, then finally taking medicine, before I realized a relationship between the pain I was experiencing and the memories I was writing in this book.
Again, the pain began to subside when I made the realization of the correlation of my childhood and my pain. I find myself releasing layer after layer of emotional stuff that has a direct relationship to my physical pain. I continue to do my best to pay attention to what my body is saying through my symptoms, which can be a rigorous soul workout.
Soul's passion in me cannot understate the power of emotions in my healing. From my personal experience, emotions are a key part of the healing and health of the whole person. Healing doesn't mean I am cured. Illness can still exist in someone who is whole. Strongly do I feel that my loving and non-loving thoughts and feelings about myself CAN offset diseases, poisons, you name it. Thousands of pages have been written about the human psyche and its ability to fight off disease. Believe me, I do not consciously have everything figured out about my emotions and my immune system -- yet.
In the book The Immune Power Personality, by Henry Dreher, the author talks about a study of sisters with a rheumatoid factor. There is a factor detectable in the blood, which says one is predisposed to rheumatoid arthritis. In case after case of two sisters, both having the rheumatoid factor in their blood, one would get full blown rheumatoid arthritis and the other never got it.
What was the difference between the two sisters with the exact same blood factors that said they both should have rheumatoid arthritis? The book said that by delving into their personality traits, one sister was a fighter, felt safe and confident in the world, while the other sister had no personal boundaries, was always being drained and used by others, gave away everything to everyone else. You can guess which one got the disease in each case of two sisters with the same potential for rheumatoid arthritis. This makes sense to me.
Feeling My Feelings
After years of "experimenting" with feeling my feelings, I came to realize that there is great power in emotion. A force from anger or hatred is easily recognized. The force of unconditional love was not in the beginning as well known to me, and feeling its vibration seemed more subtle an experience. Having felt many a wave of emotion (emotions, by the way, are called energy in motion) in this body of mine,
I have noticed that anger has a motion of pushing through or blasting. Hatred feels like a burning sensation, like a laser. Fear is a draining action. Self-loathing feels like a heavy weight holding in and pushing down at the same time. The motion or force of unconditional love feels like a gentle rocking back and forth motion that fills, nurtures, supports and expands.
"Energy in motion" can be used for good or bad, the same as a pencil can be used to draw a beautiful picture or to poke someone in the eye. I have noticed this especially about anger. I have seen the 86-year-old Sensei of Aikido break out of the center of a circle of strong men with swords without even touching them. He used the same force of anger to "push through" or "break out," except without any anger or harm attached. I know how I consciously direct my emotional energy is important and I reach some confidence in doing so by feeling my feelings.
I will continue my "study" of emotions here in Earth-school until I leave. There is more I wish to know about that power of emotions and how I can use that power for the good of others and myself.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Blue Topaz Publishing.
Soul Aerobics - Conscious Movement of a Soul into Wholeness
by Barbara J. Semple.
Soul Aerobics takes readers straight to the heart of their own authentic power. Barbara's writing is deeply personal, at times lyrical, always uplifting and filled with compassion.
Info/Order this book. Also available as a Kindle edition.
About the Author
Barbara Semple has been a practitioner of Jin Shin Jyutsu, a gentle Oriental healing art, for over ten years. She enjoys Zen painting, and is also the author of Personal Power Cards, flashcards for emotional wellness. Barbara spent 20 years working in corporate and marketing communications until switching her focus to the holistic healing arts. Visit her website at https://www.instanthealingzone.com/