This weekend, I watched these incredible videos (still one more in the series to go) about medical intuition. A medical intuitive, is an alternative medicine practitioner that intuits the cause of physical or emotional illness. It sounds a little crazy, but if you let go of your preconceptions about it - it’s pretty incredible. Anyway, in part 2, she talks about why people don’t heal, and ironically, this is a concept I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. (She, is Caroline Myss, here’s the link, you’re welcome: https://www.soundstrue.com/store/science-medical-intuition-course/free-video-series?hatid=102910b9f9017db47f23342cf522cf&partner=2140.)
The concept is this: we get power from our wounds. We get a payoff from holding on to our negative thought patterns, our illnesses, our weaknesses. If someone says, "come out tonight!" You can’t say “I can’t tonight, I’m feeling really good.” It only works if you are feeling bad, and without having any reason to feel bad, you have no excuse. And while in theory, that sounds amazing, it’s harder than we realize. It takes a real commitment to RESPONSIBILITY over your life and your decisions. Like, every single one. Not just once in a while. Because if you have nothing else to blame, you have to step up.
So we get something from our smallness. And by something I don’t mean joy, happiness, peace, fulfillment. No. I mean, we GET to blame something for our unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and lack of growth. We GET to be right about not being good enough. We GET to avoid being wrong or messing up, because it’s always the fault of something or someone else (or even a part of ourself that we can write off, like an injury). Now, is this actually beneficial to us in the long run? Of course not. But does it feel good? Oh yea it does. At least in the moment. It relieves us from the pain of actually looking at what we are doing to show up for the life we want. The pain of looking at if we are there for our friends, or being a good significant other. The pain of assessing if we are truly putting the work required to get the career or financial status we desire. Because if we look at it, and we realize we aren’t showing up in the way we want to, we have to address it. Once you see it, you have to address it. Your gut won’t let you not. But if we can avoid that by blaming something else, we don’t have to.
Now, you might be thinking “I don’t do that. I never blame other people or things!” But let’s take a look at some examples.
1. When I was a kid, I was a competitive gymnast. Like training 30 hours a week, not allowed to go out of town during competition season status. As I started getting into the more advanced (and therefore dangerous) skills, and started getting older, I started getting consumed by fear. I went through various phases of this, but it started manifesting in a funny way towards the end of my competitive career (and I only realize this looking back at it). Towards the end of my school day, I would start to feel really sick. And I mean, actually sick - sore throat, headache, feverish, stuff-y nose - the works. I would be just sick enough that I felt like crap, but not too sick to miss gym (because, you don’t miss gym unless you are dying). So I would go, and throughout practice I would constantly be thinking, “I could do better if I weren’t sick.” I would sometimes even say it to my coaches (although they didn’t stand for excuses, so it was mostly in my head). I used my “sickness” to make myself feel better about not being good enough, because at least I had that to blame. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized, I made myself sick! I mean, I didn’t consciously do it, I didn’t mean to - but I definitely did that to myself. Why was I never sick enough to stay home?….Yea. I did that because I GOT something out of it. I got to be free of responsibility for getting yelled at by my coaches. Phew!
(PS - this was a huge realization for myself now a days when I get colds, or even injuries. Often it’s a manifestation of a similar thing! And often, I can literally heal myself once I see it.)
2. Today I was talking to a friend about something she was upset about. She essentially agreed to do a creative project that she was not totally comfortable with. (People pleasers know what I mean - she kind of felt like she should do it, even though she really didn’t want to). So she did the project, and was uncomfortable and unhappy the entire time. After the fact, she was really upset with herself for doing it, and felt like there were some consequences for her in being a part of it, which I won’t go into. After being on the phone with her briefly, I realized that she was stuck in blaming the person that asked her to participate. She felt like they were not considerate of her and they kept their project moving without waiting for her to be ready. Now, I don’t know the full story, perhaps they pressured her, or were rude about it, that’s definitely possible. And if so! That is certainly on them to apologize, or be more considerate when asking someone to do something that they are not comfortable with. AND, getting stuck in blaming them is not productive. Now, I don’t think she realized she was blaming them, or that this was holding her back. So let’s understand why this is important - getting to blame someone for something we do not like, helps us prove the story in our heads that bad things happen to us, or that we never get what we want, or that people don’t understand us, or that we aren’t strong enough/good enough in some way. It allows us to continue to be right about a story that keeps us small, because that feels good. It feels easier to accept. But this is us living in our wound - the wound of being just a victim to the circumstance (or sometimes, literally a victim to abuse).
I believe I’ve clarified this in other posts before, but just to be clear again - BLAME is a way to discharge pain, RESPONSIBILITY is accountability to your actions. Very different things. So how do we get out of this cycle of our wounds giving us power? We own up to what we are doing. Everywhere. All the things. This is tough. You may think you are doing it now, but you probably aren’t yet, and maybe never will fully. But you can begin. And just beginning, and letting go of some of what you “get” from being wounded, can free you up immensely. It can allow you to forgive people more easily, to move on from uncomfortable situations simply learning and knowing what to do next time, and to literally stop getting sick or injured and have nothing in your way!
You guys have heard the break down of disease is dis-ease, right? Let go of the uneasiness that comes with blaming someone for something crappy they did, or feeling bad for not being able to do something because you are sick, and literally heal your body. Your wounds are not you. And you are strong enough to stand without them.