No Enemy Within

The most common reaction to the suggestion that an illness may be created to heal wounds to the deep emotional self, to the soul, is aggressive: ‘do you mean to tell me that I brought this illness upon myself? – that’s mad, off the wall!’ A medical colleague responded similarly exclaiming: ‘you are blaming people for their illnesses.’ On the contrary, my intention is to draw attention to the awesome power of the Self to heal the deepest dis-ease of all – alienation from one’s unique and sacred presence.

When we consider the many other ways that a person reveals  his or her dark inner terrain – depression, chronic anxiety, obsessiveness, perfectionism, aggression, addictions to substances, addictions to work, what others think and say, to the ‘body beautiful’, anorexia nervosa, hallucinations – are we equally going to say that ‘these creations are off the wall?’ It may be easier to accept that the foregoing distressing symptoms are creations in times of emotional danger, but, in fact, illness has exactly the same compassionate intention. After all, each of the conditions mentioned are cleverly devised to draw attention to a troubled and troubling interiority. It is not that a person wakes up one morning and consciously decides ‘I’m going to create a depression or, indeed, an illness today’; no, this process occurs unconsciously, and necessarily so, because without emotional safety, consciousness of the creative and defensive nature of the depression or an illness would weaken its power.

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Stressing the Not So Obvious

The word stress is typically described as pressure and the idea is that you look at the external or internal (or both) circumstances of your life and detect what aspects are leading to your being all stressed out.  Frequently individuals may point the finger at work, financial pressures, marriage, children, family of origin or living next door to the neighbour from hell.  There are some people who don’t even look that far and what they attempt to do is find orthodox medical or alternative means of reducing the stress symptoms.  The more common symptoms people focus on are tension headaches, migraine, back pain, chest pain, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, dizziness, excessive perspiration, dryness of the mouth, insomnia, trembling, depression, fatigue and nervousness.  Possible remedies pursued are drug taking, meditation, relaxation exercises, time-management.

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