The other day I had a conversation with a client. She told me about the physical pain she was experiencing and the fear connected to it. ”I don’t know how to heal this pain, because I am afraid that it will hurt or bring up bad memories or feelings” she said, ”but I am willing to try anything to get rid of this pain”.
It is very common to have fear connected to physical pain. Many times, we keep on storing pain because we feel that it is unsafe to let it go. We are in fear, and fear is connected to stress. We need to feel safe, in order to heal. We may have to let our guard down, and visit the areas in ourselves that feels a bit more trusting, surrendering and vulnerable. However, this is not something you successfully can – or should – force upon yourself.
I’ve had clients over the years that have been convinced that they can bypass the journey of healing, trusting and surrendering, with ignoring the inner voice and the signals of their bodies. They try to heal by forcing themselves into different bodywork, exercise methods, diets, or blindly following various instructions by experts, with the mantra of ”I am willing to try ANYTHING, if there is the slightest opening to it taking away my pain or adding more joy or pleasure”.
This my friend, is not the way to heal, but the way to bulldoze yourself and silence your inner voice of integrity. This is the way of adding more distance to yourself and letting your body either go physically numb, or start to scream louder with pains and discomforts to call for your attention. This is the way most of us do it.
The clearest example I have of this is when a person goes to have a massage. They are tense in, let’s say, their legs, and ask for a leg massage. The massage therapist goes about with their regular routine and pattern, using their learned massage techniques. The person receiving the massage is experiencing the massage too hard and painful to be able to relax while receiving it. They tense up because of the pain, and still choose to not say anything, since they have an idea that ”the massage therapist probably knows best, and they know what they’re doing, I will just endure the pain and everything will be better afterwards”. What’s going on with the relationship to themselves in this scenario, is that they are not respecting their own integrity and level of comfort, which creates a dissonance between your body and mind.
Are you respecting your integrity and level of comfort?
I am not saying that the journey of healing is all pain free and dreamy. It can for sure be offering you uncomfortable feelings, both physically, mentally and emotionally. The thing that makes it a ”healing” process and not a ”threshing” or ”adding more trauma” process, is that we feel safe, while experiencing the maybe long hidden feelings or long stored physical tensions.
You wont feel safe by demanding yourself to feel safe, or having someone tell you that you are safe. If you allow yourself to be gentle and compassionate with yourself, you can of course guide yourself to the feeling of safety, sometimes just by holding a hand somewhere on your body and saying to yourself ”It’s safe here, there is no danger here, you can relax, there is nothing to defend yourself from here, the danger is over, you are safe”. It has to do about reminding yourself that what once was a threat or danger, is no longer there. Doing so on a daily basis, or every once in a while, can do wonders to your ability to feel safe and be able to let go of tension and pain.
You do have a built in, well intending and protecting, mechanism of being a bit skeptical and not fall handless into trusting a stranger, or someone who’ve proven to hurt you before. Unfortunately, some of us have slowly programmed ourselves to shut that mechanism off, maybe because we are invested in sticking with a certain person, or not get into a disagreement with a person, group of people or authority, or solely by our self image of being a ”developed, trusting and accepting person”. That can unfortunately make us put our hopes and happiness into the good will of either people who have hurt us or others before, or of total strangers.
If you already feel trust in, or you learn to trust another person (a friend or a professional) who is showing you that they honestly do care about you, they can of course assist you very well on your journey of feeling safe and healing as well. What we need to learn to be able to receive that kind of help, is to tune in to, and respect, our integrity and level of comfort. In that way, when we get invitations, input or instructions from another person, we know if it resonates with us or not. If the guidance provided, if acted upon, will lead us closer to ourselves or farther away, depends on if it is aligned with our integrity.
Would love to hear your thoughts about integrity, respecting your own boundaries and if you think this could help you in your healing process.