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When the past comes haunting..

For those who would rather listen, here is the link to the podcast episode of this write-up head to Spotify-

All of us have a past, technically we wouldn’t be in the present otherwise. Some have a sordid past, some a loving , caring one but all of us have a past. And every now and then our minds reminisce in the memories. How would you define memories? Are they just video recordings of events as captured by our brains? To an extent yes, but that is not all they store. They record the sights, smell, temperature, words and most importantly how we felt at that time and much more.This independent side of memories are our emotions, captured in perfect condition. Our brain may record the physical details of what conspired but our bodies store the emotions, intact and very much with the same intensity. Now this is both a boon and a curse depending on the incidents of the past.

The strange part of this is, you need not have had some trauma or anything significantly negative happen to you, it may be for example a simple misunderstanding between friends that later gets resolved, but the body still considers and captures the emotions like disappointment, anger, rejection etc. carefully wrapped in some corner.

The term “Move On” is used quite liberally nowadays, with even the marketing industry playing it to entice young shoppers. Moving on is the cool thing to do, proving that nothing really affects you and your brain happily plays along, because it wants to shield you from all the emotion. But does one really ever move on? What does moving on really mean? I don’t want to box this into relationships alone, it can be moving on from a job loss, a loss of health, loss of anything. The issue is the human body never forgets and though on an intellectual level our brain manages to block pieces of memories or rationalizes the incident and we feel secure that we have dealt with it, only to find the physical manifestation of the residue as illness. Unexplained aches and pains, pain in the joints, lower back, neck, sudden knee pain,ulcers, migraines etc. it can manifest as anything.

This is more common than you would think, when I look around and see the amount of people whom you would consider healthy, suffering from unexplained pains and aches it is alarming. It is frustrating because 90% of the time, we go around from doctor to doctor trying to figure out a solution. Sometimes the aches and pains disappear as mysteriously as they appeared, and then after a few months something else manifests in the body. We never realize that these are not mere physical illnesses, these run deep, into unprocessed emotions, even though the brain had “Taken care of it”, we never really acknowledge the emotions we felt and hence for the body, the issue is still very much alive and it does whatever it takes to draw your attention to it.

There is also a flipside of this, when someone is going through extreme emotional distress, the body creates real physical pain to distract the brain as a coping mechanism, that is called Tension Myositis Syndrome. We are not discussing that right now, beacuse those are more apparent.

The illnesses that manifest when your brain or in your mind you are at peace and trying to move forward in life, when you actually start making conscious changes to improve your life, that is when the emotions buried deep burst out.

Let us see an example, say 10 years ago you got into a heated argument with your close friend. It was a misunderstanding that was later cleared, but at that point you felt hurt, betrayed, manipulated and angry. That is all your body remembers, it is not attached to the later half when things are sorted out. Say you never gave yourself time to acknowledge how you felt, and you rushed to solve things and dismissed your feelings with logic. This can manifest after 10 years as an unknown pain, followed by random memories flashing in your dreams or passing by as you work through the day. The two seem completely unrelated but the memory just keeps popping in and out, that is a clue that the body is demanding attention. I know it sounds a bit creepy and scary like why is my body trying to kill me? Trust me it isn’t, when you step up your game, or like I call it, decide on conscious living, the body wants you to first process the leftovers in order to forge ahead and since the brain has a strong logic and can dismiss these emotions, physical discomfort is the only way to voice them out.

So how do we heal from this? Taking pain killers and medicines to manage the condition can help bring temporary relief and of course getting a doctor’s advice on any physiotherapy or other treatment is also advised, but the key is finding and releasing these emotions. I am not an expert and neither have I mastered this art, but I have experienced way too many minor physical illnesses in life to start realizing the real reason. And at times it can be extremely difficult, depending on the level of pain you are experiencing, but a few things helped me, like taking a short vacation, going on a few days retreat on my own, or deliberate meditation, guided meditation, taking few days off and indulging in activities like painting, music, or even the art of doing nothing. But somewhere while doing all this, giving the due acknowledgement of the feelings and emotions I experienced. It is easier if that memory surfaces from your subconscious mind, but even if it doesn’t, just being aware of the thoughts and memories is also good.

Unfortunately there is no miracle drug for this, it does involve conscious work. The other option is to stop your conscious living and ignore the physical pain, and at times it goes away but you are then slipping back into the comfortable known. So really it is still free will and the voice within that wants to push forward.Many self-help authors have written about this in detail and Louise Hay’s book Heal your body actually outlines the body part, the pain and the unlying emotion it may be trying to express. I read the book, but somehow at that point in life could not relate to the emotion given in it, so as i said there is no one solution fits all. The intention today is to make you aware that this exists and is more common than you think, we are powerful creators and our bodies are amazing mysteries.

Gratitude is an emotion that can definitely help, but one cannot jump from a place of depression, physical pain, sadness directly to feeling gratitude, all you want at that point is for that damm pain to go away, and you might have actually become the mean grinch version of yourself. So here is what you do, don’t try to leap from A to Z, try to change the emotion slightly even for a little while. Esther Hicks in her talks usually mentions that anger is a better emotion than depression, so if you are feeling sad and then feel angry it is one step towards improvement. Then from anger to acceptance or a calmer feeling and eventually you will get to gratitude, if you force positive thoughts when you are feeling low that is counter productive.

Let yourself be, when you have identified that you maybe dealing with a physical illness due to repressed emotions, just let yourself be, try to be conscious and do not distract yourself too much otherwise you will miss the hints or flashes of memories your subconscious reveals, do not use logic because it wont work. Feel and acknowledge each emotion, reassure your emotional body that you are now in a better place, you are safe and strong and it can let go of these emotions now. As I mentioned this memory may now seem silly to you, maybe it is your 5 year old self angry at mom for not getting you ice cream, or it can be a really traumatic experience, remember how your emotional body perceived it at that point is important.

Note that this is a process, it may not miraculously cure you overnight, but you will feel the shift and one day you will wake up pain free. It may take longer for someone so do not compare and yes it sounds a bit despondent but it is liberating if you think about it. Have you watched the movie “A beautiful mind”? It is based on a true story of a brilliant mathematician who won the nobel prize, but he had schizophrenia and would see few characters that did not exist for the world. His friend asks him in the movie, “Do they still haunt you?”, and he replies “ Everyone’s past haunts them” , that struck me as profound. We may have successfully blocked our traumas and built a confident, strong version of ourselves, but somewhere within us these emotions still exist and they surface vehemently when you want to consciously move ahead in life. It may sound unfair, but that serves a purpose, if we do not clear our clutter there will be no space for the new.

No matter how matured our mind gets, we are all still sensitive children when it comes to our emotions and it is not a bad thing, that is part of being human. In the race to be the most ruthless as the competition demands do not dismiss this human side. Your body will never let you dismiss it truely, treat yourself as you would treat a beautiful, sensitive child. Your self dialogue is extremely important and unconsciously most of the time we are reprimanding ourselves on our mistakes, let us try to change that a bit at a time. Give attention to your emotional body and be gentle and patient, the complexity of human existence is intriguing and you do not need a subject for experimenting. You are your biggest laboratory, a goldmine of knowledge and information.

Hope parts of this will make sense, although I do not have all the answers, I am a fellow traveller in this time-space reality (as Abraham puts it), trying to refine the art of manifestation, on an onward yet inward journey of life.


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