Your symptoms are trying to tell you something
Dialogue with your body to discover the messages within your illness.
The next time you experience a physical symptom, whether it is a headache or an illness you have been struggling with for a long time, stop your automatic response to fight it. Do not stop yourself from seeking medical care if it is warranted, or form taking necessary medications! But when you are medically safe and have responded appropriately, take a moment to “be” with your experience.
You may take time out to sit in a quiet place, perhaps with a journal to write or draw if you are moved to. You may also simply pose the question to your body and let the answers come to you over time as you go about your life.
Bring your awareness to the place in your body where you feel the symptom, or know the illness resides, and simply “sit” with it. In a mood of listening with curiosity, like a compassionate friend, ask this place in your body what message it has for you, for your life, for your healing. Another question that might make sense is: “What is your purpose; how are you trying to help?”
See what you notice about this place, listen for thoughts, watch for mental images, feel for sensations and qualities. The trick to dialoguing with your body/ your illness, is to soften your mind’s active thinking process and trust what comes, even if it seems like you are actually making up the answer in your head.
Some messages may be very direct and make sense when you consider the symbols of each part and function of the body. For example, your recurrent sprained ankle might convey that you are afraid to “step out” in your life. Your sore lower back may communicate symbolically that it feels that you are not supported in life, your chronic hoarse throat may offer that it is dangerous to express yourself, to speak a truth that you or others might not want to hear. Or the answers may be far more indirect and seem at first to have nothing to do with your symptom or that part of your body. Symbols are not always clear at first.
There are many ways to receive unconscious information, and everyone is different in the way they perceive. For some of you, images come clearly and readily. For others, words, phrases or thoughts might come as though someone was speaking to you. Still others may get physical sensations, or vague inklings of thoughts that clarify over time.
In addition to watching for images in your minds eye, you may want to try to draw or use some other form of art. Often images appear in our drawing that we weren’t even aware of. Writing is another way to allow the information to come forth; either journaling or writing with your non-dominant hand. Dreams are an extremely rich source of information as well. And finally, movement for some is a powerful way for the unconscious body to express itself.
It can take some time to open up your particular lines of communication with your body and deeper Self. The first step is the most important; the willingness to stop and listen to the wisdom within your body’s expression, instead of rushing to quiet it.