Friday, December 28, 2012

Emotions and Physical Health

This first paragraph really need not be stated, but I feel I want to tell you my point of view here:  Anything on my blog that is spiritual or opinionated, well, it's quite obviously MY opinion.  But here's the thing, I don't require that you agree with me.  I don't necessarily want to debate it, either.  It doesn't have to make sense to you and you don't need to disprove my opinion to be right in your mind.  We are, each one of us, on our own path.  Sometimes the paths cross, sometimes they don't.  If anything I write resonates for you ... well, YAY!!  I'm thrilled.  But if it doesn't, that's perfectly okay, too.  And I won't judge you for having different beliefs or opinions.  You are allowed to have them.  They can be different from mine.  Follow your path, not mine.  I don't know everything - I'm just trying to figure things out so I can understand them.  I share it to make it real, and in the hope that it triggers a truth for someone else. 

That said, here's a biggie for me.  I'm going in deep here, so forgive me if I sound a little Hippie-Dippie to you.

Life is not intended to be hard.  I really believe this.  I believe we all have a purpose in being here - maybe we're here to learn, maybe we're here to teach.  If it goes as planned, life should be fairly easy.  Not that there won't be deaths and stress and hard times, but in general it is supposed to flow like a river and the water should flow around the boulders, not be stopped by them.  When life isn't flowing, we are fighting our true path.  And we need to find the right path again.  

I know a lot of people - people I am very close to who won't agree with me here.  And that's okay.  You are allowed.  But, again, this is what makes sense to me.

When I was going to University, writing my Master's Thesis, working full time as an archaeologist, I ENJOYED it (it's a super interesting field and I think I was pretty good at it), but it just about killed me.  A couple of nervous breakdowns, and a decade later, I felt like I was choosing the easy path by staying home to raise my son and do contract work from my home office.  Instead of simply accepting that this what made me most comfortable and happy, I felt like I was taking the easy way out.  I was failing, giving up, wimping out.  But I would make it sound good and noble by sacrificing myself and my career for my son.  The truth of the matter was that it felt better (easier) to stay home and not force myself to go to work.  It felt better picking the work I wanted to do and doing it in the comfort of my home.  I developed AMAZING relationships with my clients and do work that I like to do.  But somewhere deep down inside I still feel like I took the easy road, and I will always feel like I am not contributing enough to the finances of my household. 

So here's the question:  where did I get the idea that I had to have a "career" to be happy?  My parents didn't push me in any particular direction and were not in a financial position to help very much to pay for University.  I created the drive and borrowed the money to do it.  And I didn't just go for 4 years and get a Bachelor's Degree.  I went for 9 years.  NINE years of University.  A LOT of money.  And I really, honestly thought that this was what I wanted.  If anyone had told me 20 years ago that I'd be happily at home raising a son and growing a garden I would have laughed in their face and shook my head with a derisive look on my face.  Not a chance.  I was hoping to get married, but I certainly wouldn't have children and would pursue a career.  If I wasn't the BEST at something, I would be a failure.  If I wasn't the smartest, there was something wrong with me.  No mediocrity here.  I was going to BE something.  And if I wasn't, it's because I didn't work hard enough at it.

Plus, I was sick.  I was physically ill a lot of the time, emotionally on edge all of the time.  It was very clearly (to me now) an unhealthy thing for me to be doing.  But I wanted to do it and I worked hard at it.  I'm glad I went through school and had those experiences, but looking back at it I also see that maybe it wasn't exactly what I was supposed to be doing.  No regrets.  Just understanding.

I know someone who took a path different from the one she intended.  Her mother gave her a hard time about how she didn't finish what she started, how she should have finished the 4-year program at college instead of just doing 2.  She has carried that with her through her whole life.  It has defined her in many ways.  How different would her life have been if her mother hadn't pressured her?  Here's the thing - her mother didn't get to go to school after grade 8.  She had to work from a very early age.  Of course she would want her children to get as much education as possible.  But her lack of understanding of what her child wanted and needed and was able to accomplish created an issue that has shaped her daughter's life.  Maybe the daughter just wanted to have children and a family.  And was happy doing that.  But guilt and pressure from her mother (who lived very near by) made her feel constantly like a failure - through her adult life.  The truth of the matter, though, was that doing the university program and following that career was not the daughter's chosen path.  It was the path her mother wanted for her.  (Oh, the daughter might have wanted it initially, but she soon found that it was not for her - and her mother never understood that).

So whether we are following a path we think we want, or following a path someone else wants for us (sometimes that's the same thing), the truth is that we should follow the path that FEELS right.  We have feelings for a reason.  They are our compass in this life, not something to be fought against.  Why would we ever teach our children to follow logic, and not their feelings?  Because we want them to make more money, fulfill a dream that we didn't, we want them to be "successful"?  Before pressuring yourself or your children, try and figure out what the reason behind it is.  If it's your issues creating a need for your children, work through them instead and don't pile them on your kids.  And let your children follow their feelings to their true path.

Here's my simple truth.  If you have an irritable bowel, heart palpitations, overwhelming emotions, or any other symptoms ... well, maybe they are trying to tell you something.  I know a lot of people who would just say they are physical symptoms and are not related to anything but the physical body.  But I truly believe that a lot (maybe not all) of our symptoms and illness are either caused by or really affected by our inner, emotional life. 

You don't have to agree.  And I won't think less of you if you do.

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