Everything Is A Symptom Of Healing
Ever had one of those weeks where literally everything goes to pieces? I had one of those this past spring, and it was a doozey. I had just recovered from a respiratory infection when I got slammed with a UTI. A few days later, I woke up with an intense eczema flare-up on my eyelids, swelling them shut. I was supposed to be working with a videographer the next day to film an online class. To say I was stressed when I woke up looking, and feeling, like I had walked into a wasp’s nest, was an understatement. I was panicked. Inevitably, I started to fall into a familiar pattern— blaming myself for not taking better care of my body. Criticizing myself for not being spiritually in-tune enough to recognize that I had been draining the well, and wondering, painfully, if this was some kind of punishment.
My body tends to be a very loud communicator. Whenever I am spiritually, physically or emotionally depleted, I manifest a whole, very colorful variety, of health issues. Every time a new body ailment crops up, a part of me panics. As someone whose journey has been marked by chronic pain and illness, there is always that lingering subterranean fear that I could backslide at any moment. But then, I take a deep breath and remember the one crystal clear awareness that came out of all those years of hardship— everything, truly, is a symptom of healing.
Remembering this is like applying a cool chickweed compress to the hot fear of the moment. It has the power to dissolve all my self-judgment and help me see that, what I had assumed to be punishment, was actually an opportunity for self-gentleness. And in this particular moment, it was just the reminder I needed. I let the tears come to my swollen eyes and I softened completely into the message my body was trying to bring me— it’s time to rest. So I did, and it was exactly the healing my spirit needed.
It’s common, when we have a health problem, to feel like we failed. Especially for those of us who dedicate our lives to learning how to take good care of our bodies. Having a health crisis sets up a direct trigger for a spiritual crisis where we begin to question everything, including the meaning of it all. But the basic truth of the world is that we are always moving back towards balance, and even the most challenging conditions are symptoms of our attempts to heal. A fever is the way our body tries to burn out a bug. Coughing is how we expel bacteria from our lungs. Even autoimmune conditions, like my unfortunate eczema-swollen eyelids, are indicative of our body trying to use inflammation to heal— and usually a sign of a deeper issue that needs our loving attention, like an undiagnosed food allergy or a treacherously high stress level.
Sometimes I think the most healing thing of all is to have your health go down the toilet and be able to say— I still believe healing is possible. In truth, the most toxic part of getting sick is often the story we tell ourselves about ourselves when we are going through a hard time. What causes the most enduring pain of all isn’t necessarily the physical symptoms, but the emotional anguish of feeling like we are somehow doing it (aka. life) wrong.
But, as is so often the case in our beautiful, complex, contradictory world, the truth is often the exact opposite. The hardest things that happen in your life are symptomatic, not of your deficiency or doom, but of the powerful healing that is trying to take place. In my new video Everything is a Symptom of healing I reframe the culture of guilt we have around illness, pain and dis-ability so we can reclaim our spirits, and our hope, to see that everything we are experiencing, in our bodies and in the earth at large, is truly a symptom of healing.
It’s easy to look around the world at times and feel like we are watching a slow implosion. But, like a witty illusionist drawing, if you take the time to walk around to the other side of something that seems like it’s falling apart, you can often see that it is also coming together.
What would change if we were able to shift our perspective to truly believe that everything was a symptom of healing? How would we speak to ourselves differently? How would we feel about our own journeys? What kind of hope could we resurrect for the fate of the earth? And how would that hope, that gentleness, help us to step even more strongly into our gifts?
If you need this mantra today, or perhaps might need it in the future, tuck this into your back pocket for those moments when your belief seems to extinguish like a candle on a windy night and repeat it to yourself like the mantra of a kind brook.
is a symptom of healing.
Let yourself feel that truth.