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By Morella Devost, EdM, MA
We have a communication problem when it comes to our health. It’s a communication problem that arises from our mechanistic view of the world and of the body.
In a mechanistic view of health, the body is an apparatus much like a car or a clock. Health issues are seen as a broken part to be fixed; the body breaks down, just like an old car. The “cure” is to make the symptoms go away.
But a symptom is not a problem. A symptom is a messenger. It brings clear communication that we can receive if we are open to listening…and if we learn how to listen. Viewing symptoms as problems leads to actions that shoot the messenger.
If the symptom is pain, we take a pain-killer. If the symptom is acid reflux, we’re prescribed an acid blocker. If the symptom is a growth, we cut it, burn it, or poison it off.
But what happens when instead of shooting the messenger, we ask it to tell us more? What if we get curious about the source of the message and why it exists?
Why exactly is there pain? What’s causing the sensations of burning in the stomach? What environment gave rise to the unwanted growth in this body-ecosystem?
Asking these questions brings you into an automatic paradigm shift. Rather than operating from the point of view that the body inevitably breaks down like a machine, it assumes that there is perfect, inherent wisdom in the body. That there’s an astounding intelligence driving the body. Stop to ponder this for a minute so you can tap into the truth of the mind-boggling intelligence that keeps you alive.
Think of how your body was constructed without your mother’s conscious thought, or yours. Feel into the intelligent symphony that digests your food, utilizes nutrients for thousands of cellular functions, and discards chemical toxins. Sit with the absolute magic that happens after you slice your finger in the kitchen. All you really have to do is clean the cut and hold the tissue together with either a Band Aid (or stitches if you were really heavy-handed). There’s a miraculousness in how the microscopic sentries of the body build new cells and repair severed tissues, so that in a couple of days your finger looks and feels like new.
There’s an astounding intelligence driving your body. Why would you want to silence the messages it gives you on a daily basis?
When we shoot down our symptom-messengers, we are essentially refusing to tap into the deep wisdom that lays within. We are no different than a child with her fingers in her ears, humming loudly, refusing to listen to a wiser, kinder voice, mistaking it for a pesky one.
The answer to healing is to be willing to listen. Seriously. It may sometimes even require a pen and paper so you can ask questions of your body and, by the act of writing, force your noisy mind to slow down and pay attention.
“Tell me more.”
You can be logical and literal in this exploration, asking questions such as: “Why are you hurting? What’s happened here? How long has this been in place? Is there something I need to explore about my nutrition? Did I do something to bring this about?”
But the richer, more revealing conversation is not the literal one. It’s the conversation that emerges when a listener wants to deeply understand the total humanity of the experience being lived.
This listener asks questions such as: “Hello knee, I can feel you hurting, can you tell me what’s going on for you? What are the feelings you have about this pain? Where else do we feel these emotions? What are the implications in our life from this situation? What events in our life relate to these feelings present in this symptom?”
There are many other questions you can ask, and the key is to treat it as the deeply caring conversation you’d want to have with your best friend when he or she is hurting. You ask because you care. You ask to help them gain clarity and help them sort out their feelings.
As a good friend, you don’t join them in a pity party or let them off the hook. You don’t let them remain as victims of the situation, because you know that healing and moving forward requires us all to be our own savior.
This depth of caring and listening can lead to profound transformation, arriving at an understanding so complete that you can turn the point of origin around and transcend the issue. Sometimes it takes time, and sometimes it can be instantaneous, as seen in the hundreds of documented cases of “spontaneous remissions” of seemingly intractable illnesses.
We are lucky to live in an age where we are shedding the limited thinking that only the visible is real. We live in the age of quantum physics and psychoneuroimmunology, which give us evidence that our “invisible” thoughts, beliefs, and emotions do in fact control our “visible” biology. We live in the age of Louise Hay and Anita Moorjani.
To be masters in the paradigm that our body is orchestrated by a vast intelligence, and harness the power over our biology that we already have, we need to start by listening to the many messages our bodies give us on a daily basis.
We need to entreat, “tell me more,” and listen with openness and curiosity.
Morella Devost facilitates profound transformation for people who want to thrive in health and life. She has masters degrees in counseling from Columbia University, and is also a Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP facilitator, and Holistic Health Coach. She is also the host of the Thrive With Morella show.