Updated: Feb 7, 2019
We think about our feelings and get migraines; We swallow our feelings and get ulcers; We carry the weight of our feelings and get back pain; We sit on our feelings and get hemorrhoids. — James Zullo, Clinical Psychologist
I don’t have to reach for the clock to guestimate it’s about 4AM. But I try anyway and UGGGHHH! intense muscle pain radiates from my back! I can’t move. I quickly recalculate the work demands of the coming weekend. I’m sweating just thinking about the gymnastics of what-must-get-done. My living room is a disaster, my library scattered all over the floor. How long do I have to wait for the bookshelf paint to dry? But before the drill sergeant in my mind can shout orders, my BODY yells: “NO!”
“You must ‘feel to heal’” JC told me during a recent meditation. Wow, I say to myself…that’s stellar advice.
Best. Life coach. Ever.
Of course, he was right. What we don’t work through comes right back to us like a karmic boomerang. This isn’t a lesson learned once, it’s a message I need to listen to over and over again, whether it’s a body pain or an emotional trial, something is talking to me.
The idea that physical pain is an invitation from my body to have a conversation is new to me. I tend to feel like I’m being punished by pain, but JC is helping me to see that it’s more of a tool.
When I talk about this with my psychologist, he says, “Let’s start the conversation.” I quickly realize that I look down on my body, like a parent, disappointed with their child. It’s clear this is a new path I need to pursue.
Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by John E. Sarno, MD
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, MD