Your sickness is not your fault
Symptoms don’t mean anything about you
“What did I do wrong” is the question we frequently ask ourselves when we are experiencing some kind of sickness, pain or illness in our body. There is the tendency to blame ourselves for those things that manifest in our physical body, and we go to great lengths to attempt to figure out exactly what is was that we have done wrong. Often this means losing sleep, feeling tense and confused, and spinning our minds in an attempt to figure it out. We think if only we could figure out what we’ve done wrong we could fix it.
The first thing to address here is that your sickness is not your fault. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain things that would be helpful for you to change in your life, but fundamentally your sickness doesn’t mean anything about you. You are not bad, wrong or imperfect because your body has a particular sensation or is expressing something that’s been labelled illness. One of the ideas that the alternative health community has made more prevalent in the last 10 years is this idea that your “symptoms mean something.” Many people have taken this to mean that something is fundamentally wrong with them and they must figure out it is so that they can stop their body from expressing in a particular way. If they could just fix themselves then they could fix their body. This erroneous thought pattern sends people into a spiral of self blame and shame about having symptoms and doesn’t bring people closer to healing but instead further from it.
Instead the idea that your symptoms mean something should only be viewed through the lens of seeing symptoms as a red light that says hey stop for a moment, pay attention and see what needs to be done differently in your life. It is not about saying that something is wrong with you or even that you’ve done anything wrong in the past. Its simply a call for a different way of interacting with life now without any judgment on the previous way you’ve been interacting. Rather than choosing the endless search for meaning instead ask yourself questions such as “how could I interact differently, how could I show up differently, what is life asking of me now in this moment or rhythm in my life, what is this expression currently perfect for.” The answers to these questions should flow in naturally, and not be forced or figured out.
Disempowered to Empowered Health
Feeling bad to feeling good
Making this switch from “what did I do or what am I doing wrong to make this current scenario in my body happen” to “what is life asking of my now” moves you from a state of disempowered helplessness into present moment empowerment. From a disempowered state of being you don’t get clarity and you endlessly seek answers to the problems you are perceiving with very little change or result. In empowered health you realize that nothing was ever wrong and still is not wrong, but instead life is guiding you through these “symptom expressions” to help bring forth another part or version of you that is ready to emerge.
Only when we view symptoms, pain, illness, or anything in our life for that matter as wrong, do we feel bad. Feeling bad does not make us feel good or make us healthy. Obvious point yes, yet many people insist of feeling bad about what is happening to their body, circumstances or situations. Feeling bad about what is does not promote healing, does not provide the energy we need for our lives and for physical healing, and does not promote us participating in our life in the ways that we desire. Again I am not saying that symptoms don’t indicate some kind of change is wanting to happen in your life, they almost always indicate that some kind of change is eminent, but its not about self-blame and shame and thinking that something is inherently wrong with you.
Sometimes symptoms do require extreme measures to resolve in the immediate, particularly if they are life threatening. I am not suggesting to ignore symptoms when they arise, in fact I’m suggesting the exact opposite. We all must work with the symptoms that arise in our body in whatever ways feel best to us and our in resonance with our being. We must all evaluate this for ourselves. To choose that which feels empowering to us rather than reacting out of fear.
When you move into an empowered state of being things flow in. You know what you need to do. Things seem feasible and possible. Healing will happen. Change will occur. Rather than searching around in the dark for answers you know and that knowing comes from inside of you. You know what must change, you know who you need to seek out for help and support, it isn’t a guessing game anymore. The outcome is still uncertain, as that is always a mystery, but the certainty in yourself is there. You are listening to yourself, your own guidance and your own knowing. This brings inner peace and calm no matter what outcome ensues.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado