And how to acknowledge, release and begin to heal.
Yesterday I was heart broken. My sister emigrated – potentially for good – to the far side of the world.
Ironically, I was talking to her the day before about the theory of emotions affecting our physical health and I demonstrated this by explaining how heartache or loss can cause chest issues like coughs, infections, etc, when not dealt with. Yesterday, I began to develop a chest infection…
I thought I was fine with them leaving. I would do it myself if it felt right, so I was happy for them, but I had failed to identify how it would affect me. I teach this to my clients and am very aware of it myself, but this time it had sneaked up on me and it hit me hard. When I realised yesterday afternoon what was really going on with me inside (ie: I wasn’t just annoyed at that crappy thing my husband said) I knew I needed some time to myself to work through it. This is the bit we glaze over when we’re helping to inspire another or just talking with friends – ie: “it was really hard but I dealt with it and I’m fine now…”
When I began my journey to better emotional health, I always wanted to know ‘HOW?!’. It’s all well and good when well-meaning people tell us to deal with our emotions, or to release them or to express them, but what does this really mean? So I thought I’d share that with you here, in the hopes that what I did this time round could help you too?
The first stage was acknowledging what was really going on. This began with sitting alone to ask myself why I was reacting to said husband’s crappy remark. If I hadn’t taken myself out at that stage, chances are I would have taken this out on him or my child in an unconscious and mindless way by saying (or shouting) something I would later regret. When I felt inside my body, I felt anger and heat, followed by pain in my chest and deep sadness that had already started me crying. But it was nothing to do with my husband and as soon as I realised that it was due to the loss I felt with part of my family leaving, I almost felt relief. I wondered why I hadn’t felt too bad before now. Upon acknowledging this, I knew I had to express it and be ok with that. I had always felt that being ‘emotional’ was some sort of weakness and so I’d never let myself experience it. When I began my emotional journey some years ago, I realised that this was exactly what needed to happen and every single one of my clients is now testament to this as they are always encouraged to release their emotions and when they do, they feel exhausted but lighter in themselves as a result. I am no exception. When I cried, I really cried. As long as I needed to and as frequently as necessary until I felt a little better. Also, at this point, being quite spiritual, I asked for help with carrying this burden so that I didn’t feel so heavy and alone with it, and I immediately received help and support. I then pulled an oracle card which further validated the support I was in receipt of. And of course, I have plenty of physical support too – ie friends and family – but most of them are also affected, so it was important to do this for myself.
When I felt ready, I went out to the garden to work in the vegetable plot and feel close to nature. I just allowed myself to show up however I wanted. At one point, I put on my Aunt’s warm coat (she’s no longer physically here) and I felt a huge hug from that side of my family. It also helped to cover my chest and heart which was now feeling cold. My lovely husband let me have space and entertained our son (as did our neighbours) and I received hugs whenever I felt I needed them.
After gardening, I knew I needed a bath as I could feel coldness and tiredness in my body so my husband took over dinner and ran me an Epsom salt bath which further helps to not only release toxins from the body, but to release emotions too. I lit candles, used soothing essential oils and played healing sound therapy music and just lay there, crying again and then giving myself some reiki therapy. I made sure I was away from others yesterday evening and had no plans so that I could just show up however I wanted. This allowed me to cry any time I felt the need without worrying about making others feel uncomfortable.
I could still feel the cold/chest infection, so I treated my body medicinally too: oregano oil, milk kefir, master tonic (fermented vegetable drink), Jun (fermented green tea and honey drink), ‘Get Well syrup’ (Amberline preserves tonic including turmeric, ginger and honey), and a large pot of tea with ginger, turmeric, lemon and fresh thyme which is antibacterial and really helps the chest. I also put eucalyptus oil on my chest before bed and did some more reiki before falling asleep.
This morning I awoke with a congested chest and puffy eyes. I did more reiki, then took all of the above once more, before using my neti-pot (a yogic shatkarma – body cleansing technique) to clear my nasal passage. As soon as I realised that I was in no fit state to partake in the day’s activities, I cancelled and chose to stay home. As soon as I allowed my self this indulgence (that’s what it feels like, to say no and potentially let others down, but I knew it was more important to put myself first today) then my body immediately began to relax. The delightful congestion (phlegm) began to dissipate and release and I felt instinctually that I was meant to be at home, caring for myself in a very maternal way (my mother had offered too, but again, it was something I needed to do alone) and now I am feeling considerably better.
I recognise that it’s not an overnight fix and that I will be continuing to release emotion over this for some time, but that’s the thing with grief and loss – we need to realise that it can hit at any time, and be ok with that. We need to stop making excuses about how we feel and stop bottling our emotions which will ultimately cause us physical pain. We do not need to justify why we’re upset to others, but we do need to acknowledge to ourselves, the true reason why we feel as we do. And perhaps that passive aggressive remark we just made was nothing to do with that person, and everything to do with us.
I know that it’s a really long and hard journey to get in touch with our true self and to really feel what’s happening within, but it’s essential for our evolution (and I mean this wholeheartedly). I haven’t got it all figured out yet but I know I’m working on it and each time something like this happens, I learn and grow and can help others to do the same – the ripple effect…