Express Yourself to Health
An amazing concept that I have been exploring recently is the idea of healing though attitude.
I've realized this fact in my own health journey – my mental state actually does play a huge part in the success (or lack thereof) of my health.
How I view myself, or my family-life status, or circumstances really is important. When I am able to sit and “observe” these things through writing I find a peace and security. An actual therapy.
I think all would agree that pain, anger, frustration and sorrow, are all negative emotions. But I have recently ascertained that these emotions in and of themselves are not necessarily what makes me sick; but are signs that can be read, observed and heeded. What in actuality causes illness when these emotions come is how I react to them. For example, I've ignored negative emotions because I felt I didn't have the time to address them and therefore was unable to come to any conclusion or even share them with Christ. So there they sat, like a neglected messy closet, the door shut, yet still there...one more thing to crowd the overflowing “back burner”. Or I fight against them and try to tell myself it isn't real, I imagined it, or I simply won't accept them.
When I calmly accept my negative feelings as His best and try to learn what it means and accept it as my body telling me something – then I begin to heal.
I would even go so far as to believe that people who aren't habitually objective (either in mind or on paper) are most likely prone to illness or have chronic illness.
Recently I was lent a book called “The Fourfold Path to Healing” by Thomas S Cowan MD. He wrote –
“When we are sick, the Ego literally cries out for objectivity because illness provokes such strong emotions. It is when we involve the thinking, objective Mental Body in our lives that we can unfurl our sails, so to speak, and move forward over the sea of emotions to achieve our purpose in life.” (91)
We can use our emotions to our advantage or be enslaved by them. Our conscious effort in how we perceive these emotions determines how we will react to them. And how we react will affect our achievement at healing.
Emotions are unreliable. Any female can attest to this! But our perception, our thinking, can be cultivated in order to use our emotions to attain better health. When I started to accept certain uncomfortablities as “messages” to learn from, instead of meaningless pain, I felt less overwhelmed. When I felt less overwhelmed I was less stressed and able to look more objectively on my circumstances.
Think of the person that you know that is chronically ill. Are they stressed? How do they react to their emotions? Are they bitter? What is their relationship with their parents like? The Bible even says to honor your parents, “that is may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth.” (Eph. 6:3)
How about those who have overcome their emotions? I have read many articles of how a handicapped person went over and beyond what was expected of them, and have achieved greatness. Something often greater than even the common John Doe would consider an amazing accomplishment. Why? They considered their “negative” handicap as a challenge instead of a disablement. They chose to face their hardship with confidence. They didn't ignore it. They didn't tell themselves it wasn't real. They didn't allow a defeatist attitude. These people accepted their circumstances and chose to believe they could move beyond the physical, emotional, mental impossibilities.
How do we escape the trap of allowing our emotions to dictate our behavior? We must realize that feelings are fickle. They are real, but always changing and therefore unreliable. Our will is stronger than our emotions. We can choose to take our unruly emotions and lay them at Jesus' feet. He will take them and guide us. He is a much better Master than our emotions! Express your emotions. Whether that is by writing them down or praying aloud.
(It is interesting to note that when looking for images for this post that anything that had to deal with negative emotions showed people in crouched closed downcast positions. While looking up acceptance and peace showed people with open arms, looking up to the sky. When experiencing something negative it is human nature to become closed, internalize and feel downcast. Yet when we are okay with our circumstances we look up are accepting and embrace the circumstance. As Christians we are given an easy choice to embrace even the negative and trust our heavenly Father that knows how to give good gifts even better than our earthly fathers and accept the victory we know He will give us as His children. Even before we understand the why we can start looking up!)
Once while experiencing awful pain I wrote a poem. I found real physical relief while writing. My emotions once analyzed and expressed made my pain easier to endure and from then on I began the habit of expressing my emotions; and it has benefited me throughout my entire health journey.
This principle could help many people if taken into practice. Especially people that are introverted and given to a tendency to internalize their problems. Even when people internalize a positive emotion (such as excitement) it can create illness. I know of a little girl who became sick every holiday because of this habit of internalizing her emotions.
Some people are passive in their prayer. Or general. Or only pray “in their mind”. I would encourage you to be specific. Tell Jesus exactly how you feel. Don't be shy about going on a walk and praying aloud. Not only does this strengthen you spiritually, but it actually benefits you physically!
“The subjection of the will is accomplished by calmly resigning thyself up in everything that internally or externally vexes thee. It is thus only that the soul is prepared for the reception of divine influences. Prepare the heart like clean paper, and God will imprint on it characters to His own liking.” ~ M. Molinos Daily Strength for Daily Needs p. 307