February 15, 2015

Looking at Illness Symbolically.


I am finally healing.

I’ve been sick—like in-bed-and-can’t-do-anything-sick—for six days now. Even the thought of writing seemed like a tremendous amount of work, until today.

If I look at this sickness practically, I’m certain that my husband, who’s a school teacher, brought home a nasty cold because we were both sick for a few days. My illness likely got worse and transformed into bronchitis since my immunity is low from being pregnant.

Though, if I look at my illness symbolically, I see a lot more meaning behind it.

1. I have a throat chakra imbalance.

I’ve always been fearful of disappointing others. I can be easily influenced, which is exhausting when I’m sincerely trying to determine where I stand on an issue. I experience the constant push and pull of being a people pleaser and the stress taxes my body in ways I never expect.

If I don’t speak my truth, if I worry and obsess and leave things pent up inside, it often manifests as sickness around my sinuses or neck pain upon waking. I had frequent strep throat as a child, so my tonsils and adenoids were removed at age 14. Since then, I’ve had chronic ear infections. I have a deviated septum and wicked seasonal allergies. I go to the chiropractor often for neck pain. I’ve been aware of this for about seven years now and have taken steps in the right direction, but still haven’t figured out how to completely resolve it.

2. I need to do more listening and reflecting.

When I’m moving too quickly through life, it becomes challenging for me to stay  quiet. I interject my opinion more often when others are talking because I’m feeling impatient. The amount of things I say and do in a day, that are a completely unnecessary filler, have seriously come to light this week as I’m forced to preserve my voice and my energy. In being quiet and listening more, I have had some sincerely beautiful and genuine moments of connection with my husband, my dog and my unborn baby.

3. Sickness can serve as a reminder of what’s really important in my life.

I am a yoga teacher, and not being able to talk means I don’t get paid. Bronchitis threatens my livelihood. And with a baby on the way, all week I’ve obsessed about not being able to work and of not having enough money when the next paycheck arrives.

I’ve also worried about disappointing my mentors and inconveniencing my peers. But I spent very little time thinking about how important it is to take care of myself and the little being inside of me who depends on my good health for his physical development.

When I finally stopped to consider this real and important fact, my anxiety dissipated.

My health is a priority that I often take for granted. The money will come, somehow. I know in my heart that my husband and I are actually experiencing incredible abundance in many areas of our lives. Taking a week off is not the end of the world.

I share these insights because I think many people can relate to the symbolic reasons for why we experience sickness or injury, though they’re not often discussed.

“Be crumbled, so wild flowers come up where you are.

You’ve been stony for too many years.

Try something different. Surrender.”

~ Rumi

Once we are on the other side of illness and are aware enough to put the pieces together, healing can provide plenty of time for personal reflection, so that we might see our typical patterns and choose to re-enter the world with a new perspective and with meaningful focus.

I remember now that trusting my intuition is healthy for me. I’m going to practice listening often, talking less and taking my time in all things. I’m going to make it a priority to seek out time each day for reflection and quiet because this type of self-care is not a luxury but a health necessity.

Relephant read:

Even Superman/ woman gets Burnt Out.


Author: Megan Ridge Morris

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: media library

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