We need change in order to grow. Change is a constant that helps keep us fresh. Change can come in small packages and bites that help us feel like we control it. Like getting a new computer or cellular phone. We usually welcome this kind of change. Change can be huge and throw us into a tailspin such as the birth of a child. We can also thoughtfully plan out our change, cover all the bases and think we have it made. This kind of change is often fraught with unconscious fear. Fear so sneaky that we are not even aware we are afraid. Let's ponder an example:
Have you ever wanted to just pick up and move? Have you done it? Perhaps you have always wanted to live at the beach, or the mountains, the city or the countryside and would love to just pick up and go. Pretend that you saved up enough money to live for a year or longer, found the ideal home and you made the choice to go for it.
Say you have always loved the ocean. You have moved to a little town with an ocean view. You love going to the beach daily. Watching whales and dolphins from your deck really uplifts you. The sea birds fly overhead daily, grounding you to the earth and nourishing your soul. You know deep inside that you made the right choice and are really loving your life.
A few weeks after you have settled in and are starting to meet the neighbors and get familiar with the community, you come down with a nasty cold. It is severe enough that you stay at home to rest. You figure that you now have time to take care of yourself properly and besides your feet have been hurting anyway. They need a rest. That plantar wart on your foot that showed up last year isn't going away either.
Once you have recovered from your cold, you start on your beach walks again. Unfortunately, your feet hurt every day now and you can barely hobble around. You find out that you have plantar faciitis in both of your feet. (Plantar faciitis is a very painful inflammation of the tissues of the feet. It can be disabling, but usually surfaces in only one foot.) You come down with another virus, complete with severe headaches and fever and congestion. Over the next few months, a pattern develops and you literally are sick every two weeks while your feet hurt whether you walk or not. You spend a lot of money trying to get the right shoes and inserts to help your feet. To top it all off, you are getting indigestion and acid reflux! The euphoria that you felt when you moved is gone. Frustration starts to set in.
These health symptoms all seem to be unrelated. Yet if we list the emotional reasons for the physical distress, we can start to put together the puzzle. Feet represent understanding of ourselves and others and how we can move forward in our lives. Plantar warts represent frustration about the future. Viruses can represent collective negativity, belief in statistics, and mental confusion (especially a cold). Inflammation often represents fear and inflamed thinking. Indigestion can be anxiety, dread, gut level fear and ideas that we don't want to consider. Can you see a theme?
After writing down the emotional reasons, you can see that they all relate to some kind of fear at a deep level. Fear is a sneaky thing. It is so often with us we do not even feel it, sense it or see it. Fear is often what holds us back, disguised as logic, excuses, and bodily discomfort or disease. When it manifests as a physical symptom, we often discount the emotional connections.
Change though, can be just what we need to root out those fears. The body often stores emotions and fears so that mentally we can function and be alert. This works great in the short term, but we also need to make time to listen to our body and the wisdom held there. If we are not able to do this, our body can make us miserable as it tries to get our attention. By taking the time to identify and feel the emotions around the fears, the power of the fear is reduced and our symptoms start to subside. Addressing both the physical and emotional challenges allows us to get back on track. Change then can become the object of our conscious gratitude instead of the hidden promoter of unconscious fears.