For years I have known that our emotional wellbeing affects our physical wellbeing. There has been so much evidence throughout my life and in my family, yet still what I experienced first hand in the last few weeks has blown me away!
I’m not saying that there is an emotional component in each and every physical symptom but often there is. For example, my uncle married someone whose opinion of his family overrode his own to the point where he stopped seeing his own parents and siblings. He tried to speak up to his wife but eventually he gave up. Soon after, he developed mouth cancer and a section of his tongue had to be removed. His ability to speak has been physically impaired. Sometimes our bodies can be manifestations of our emotional self.
Recently I won the opportunity to work alongside one of the leaders in the field of coaching. I was honoured to be picked from hundreds of applicants. My husband and I spoke at great length. We agreed that we could make the weekly commitment and the 10 working weekends a year fit with our family. We would still be able to support the kids in the way we wanted to. So I accepted the job.
I fell incredibly sick two days before I started my job and for one of those days I was bed ridden. Fortunately I utilised my resources of GPs, homeopaths, naturopaths and ancient Indian remedies and made a quick recovery by the second day of my new job.
Then just two weeks into the job, I fell sick again, this time with the flu. Again I was bed ridden. Fortunately my gorgeous boss was very understanding. It had been a busy two weeks at work and I began to realize the job was going to take up more time than I had anticipated.
One day later I began to feel better so I started cleaning the house. Five minutes into it and my back went, “click, click, click” and I froze to the spot. I called an emergency physiotherapist and found out I had a disc bulge. At this point I began to question what my body was telling me; two illnesses and now my back!
The next day my new boss rang and asked me if I was ok and if there was an emotional component to my physical symptoms. Here I was asking myself what was the emotional side of my condition and my boss has asked me about the same thing! We had one of the best conversations I have had with another human being and uncovered some of what had been going on
One week later and I have worked through with my coach what has been going on for me and learnt that my physical body was stopping me from going to a job that was not right for me and my family. At an unconscious level, my body was resisting this work. It was telling me that the work required to make a success of the job was not congruent with the extra time it was taking away from my kids. My boss also realised that she would have ongoing stress if she had to worry about me, worrying about my family time when she needed me to stay back. Neither of us would benefit from the situation in the long term. We both decided it was not a good fit.
My boss explained, “Self-love is when you do what’s best for yourself and still care about others as oppose to Selfish, which is when you do what’s best for yourself, with little or no care of others.”
When we made our decision, a relief coursed through my body and tears of relief poured out of me.
By no means was this an easy decision and yet it was the right one by both of us. We both had enough self love to talk about what was right for ourselves. Somehow when you do what is best for yourself, you automatically do what is best for others, in the long term.
My children and my career are both important to me but it is important to know where that boundary is. In my case, my body was letting me know I’d gone past the point I was comfortable with in being away from my children.
I don’t feel like I am giving anything up because I’m doing what is right by me. It’s a choice. I’ll find another way that works for me to get the outcomes I want. I’m so glad I listened to my body and chose what is right for me and my family.
Does your body ever try to tell you something? What could it be saying to you, if anything?