Are your physical symptoms something to get rid of, or something to connect with and listen to?

Are your physical symptoms something to get rid of, or something to connect with and listen to?
October 25, 2017 Ann Weiser Cornell
Connecting with physical symptoms

Focusing Tip #582 – Are your physical symptoms something to get rid of, or something to connect with and listen to?


 

Kim writes:

I am currently working with a nutritional coach to help me with some digestive issues. In addition to nutritional approaches, she is teaching me a technique whereby I draw my symptoms out of my body and throw them into an imaginary bonfire.

I do not want to do this! I have explained to her that through Focusing, I have come to see that all my parts want the best for me and that if I welcome my symptoms and get to know them, they will find a way to resolve. She calls these parts “sabotaging or negative” and says that getting rid of them is the most effective way to heal.

Perhaps my coach and I have fundamentally different views on this, but I really appreciate that she is curious and trying to understand my viewpoint. Do you see any intersection in our approaches at all

Dear Kim:

The idea that any part of us is “sabotaging” or “negative” is just not in my universe. Of course parts of us may do things that have negative results, and can even cause much pain and devastation. But fighting them – including throwing them on a bonfire – sets them up as enemies, and once we see someone as an enemy, we’ve lost our chance to discover and receive their messages and gifts.

So I’m glad your coach is curious but… I don’t see a path to reconciliation between these two views.

Maybe you could let her know that, in your view, physical symptoms could be a way that something in us is trying to communicate with us. They are pointing to something deeper that needs attention. And that you prefer to have a relationship of good will with your body. You like what happens when you assume that something painful in your body is trying to get your attention for some good reason.

I’ll say one more thing: If throwing your symptoms on a bonfire would really work, I can see how tempting that might be! Frankly though, I doubt if that’s a real alternative. If the symptoms have a deeper source, then they will be back, in that form or another. Best to start with a sense of acceptance and partnership with your body. That will be healing on so many levels.

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