This article talks about the demons that stop you from healing your chronic pain, regardless of what you believe the source of the pain to be.
It's 5pm on a Wednesday afternoon when my phone blips that a message has arrived. It's a text from my client of several weeks and she is livid.
"This stupid MS is never going to go away! My hands are painful, my feet are burning and I am so tired! I don't want us to work together anymore! This is pointless and stupid!"
I smile to myself because I knew this was coming. The previous day we had a major breakthrough in recognising that her MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is now part of her identity, and as much as she wants it out of her life, she's been battling this for such a long time, she has no idea who she'll be without it!
And this is a massive breakthrough because we've finally managed to wake up the demons, that until now didn't bother to dial up the fears because they didn't believe she was serious about healing!
Let's take a couple of steps backwards.
Chronic pain is any pain that is repetitive and that lasts for longer than 3 months (the average time it takes our bodies to heal after an injury, a fall or 'an event').
Most people will go to the doctor as soon as they feel the pain and the doctors, in turn, will find a structural abnormality to link the pain to. What now follows is a wild goose chase where the person and the doctors are trying to fix something that in most cases, is not stemming from structural damage but a mental-emotional one.
Please note that learning that the pain source is mental-emotional DOESN'T mean the pain is not real. It is! The good news is that we now need to move away from surgeries and pill-filled solutions to one that concentrates on unprocessed traumas, rage, psychological stress and learnt pain, instead!
This brings us to the second point, which is all about 'understanding our demons'.
We have two forces within us. On the one hand, we have the Almighty Unconscious mind. This is the realm of emotions, feelings, and creativity. The Unconscious mind knows everything about us: where we've been and where we're going. It also has the blueprint of our best version: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. As soon as the Unconscious mind recognises we are headed in the wrong direction, it tries to stir us in the right direction: the direction of our alignment, purpose and the life we were meant to live.
On the other hand, we have the Conscious mind, the realm of thinking and everything that is logical, practical and realistic. It is also the house of the infamous negative self-talk, which, for the purpose of this article, will also be referred to as 'the demons within us'.
The negative self-talk is a part of our DNA and its only job is to protect and preserve us. Way back when, while still on the Savannah, we needed this voice to remind us to be cautious so we don't end up becoming lunch.
These days there are fewer sabre-tooth tigers around, but the negative self-talk is as loud and persistent as ever. And so, as soon as we get a message from our Unconscious mind about some exciting stuff we should be doing (like having a salad, asking someone out, starting a new hobby, etc) the negative voice immediately jumps up and has only one question to ask: 'did you do this thing (you're thinking of doing) before?', if yes, then perfect - you obviously survived, meaning you can go ahead and continue - you are safe!
But if the answer is 'no' - that this is a whole new thing or concept you've never tried before, then the negative voice - the DEMONS within - gleefully stretches and starts bombarding you with lies and worst-case scenario thinking:
- what will happen if you fail?
- you're going to get rejected!
- if this was a good idea, someone else would have already done it!
- S/he is going to laugh in your face, you are so pathetic! They'll say 'no' to you and go with your best friend instead! Are you sure you'll be able to handle that?
You see, the demons only have ONE job to do and that is making sure you do today exactly what you did yesterday. Nothing more, nothing less!
This brings us back to the conversation I was having with my client and why her message made me smile.
The demons are also quite clever and they know how much effort they need to put into the lies and fears they fill you with. If they feel you're testing the water and won't really go ahead with the idea, they send low-key lies to tidy things over and make sure you stay put.
When they sense you are actually serious about taking that step and leaving the comfort zone behind, that's when they panic and send in the big guns: the huge, scary, ugly lies that are still based on nothing at all, but as the person on the receiving end, it feels like you should really tread with caution and consider running back to safety at any given moment.
This is exactly what happened to my client that day. In the conversation we had the night before, she was clearly able to see that the disease has already established clear patterns of behaviours: my client has a busy life of family and work and never takes a moment for herself until the disease makes her too tired to continue, and then she rests. What will happen if the disease is not there? How will she learn to put herself at the front of the queue every now and again?
Talking about approaching things differently, taking more time to look after herself, using different, more caring internal conversations, and starting to break some of the patterns are just some of the decisions we've made. She feels good about these new decisions because they are gentle, they are manageable and they feel like they're breaking a pattern.
The next day, though, she gets up with deep fears, bigger doubts, and increased pain and she is totally given in to the lies the demons are feeding her.
From the demons' point of view, they are worried she'll get up and heal and they don't actually know if she'll be able to be well - it's just NOT something they can predict. So they do what they know, which is to try and keep her deep inside her comfort zone where it's familiar and safe, and also boring and where the disease is.
My client, on her part, listens to the demons because they've been the one consistent voice in her head since the beginning of time (this is of course, true for all of us!). So she hears the threats and the lies and she truly believes she is better off NOT trying. That she's better off staying with the disease, the pain, and the patterns.
I smile when I see the message because I know her demons are worried she'll up and go, so I teach her some things she can say to herself when she feels fear:
1. 'Do my demons know 100% that this healing work we do is going to fail? That I'm going to be in more pain than ever before? That this is just a hullabaloo that is going to make me feel worse than when I started?' (hint: a) the demons can't predict the future, so can NEVER be 100% sure of anything. b) how can you be worse off than where you already are? You're just treading into unfamiliar grounds, not ones that are worse...)
2. Trust that by changing the relationships between the pain and the conversation in her head, the pain is going to change its patterns, intensity and hold. Pay attention to the pain, describe its qualities and notice that the qualities change!
3. Give 'things' a different name. If you keep saying 'I'm tired', you've created an association loop and your subconscious mind is not only going to make sure you are tired but will bring the fears and frustration into it too! Instead of saying 'I'm tired', say 'I'm full of energy'. It might feel like a lie, but remember that the subconscious mind is a subjective mind. It needs a conscious command to know what to do. If instead of a command of 'tired' it gets a command of 'energy', with time, that's exactly what it's going to do!
My client is going through a journey of transformation. She is learning to heal herself by disrupting patterns, habits and coping mechanisms she created for herself when she was first diagnosed. She is doing this by addressing fears, rage and trauma that had been bottled up for years.
Slowly, by changing the way she communicates to herself, and together, also with the added Emotion Code and Body Code (energy healing) I use with her, she is turning everything around: she feels relief in her pain, the discomfort is slowly reducing, and her mood is also changing. She knows this is a journey, and as such, there can be setbacks, but as long as she stays with it, she will heal.
The other thing I was smiling about when I saw the message she sent me was that she was finally letting her emotions out of that bottle. She was finally allowing herself to express her fears, doubts and frustrations - something she hasn't done in forever!
Being able to express emotions is an incredibly important step in changing the relationships between how we feel and how we manage. Processing emotions creates flow. Ignoring emotions create a blockage, and blockages, in turn, cause pain. Letting steam out is a winning step! I was feeling so proud!!
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