Category Archives: about me

Lie #15: I am Protected, Part Two

Louise Hay, in her bestselling book You Can Heal Your Life, asserts that “we create every so-called illness in our bodies. The [physical] body, like everything else in life, is a mirror of our inner thoughts and beliefs. The body is always talking to us, if we will only take the time to listen.” I believe this. As I have listened and responded to my body’s communications to me, I have been able to heal various pains and illnesses, like the milk and tomato “allergies” which used to be a problem but aren’t anymore.

One of the ways our bodies communicate with us is by gaining or losing weight. In this post I want to touch briefly on unwanted weight gain, because that’s something I have personally dealt with. In my experience, excess weight has lots of emotional layers, but Louise Hay’s explanation was one of the layers I personally needed to address. She says that being “overweight represents a need for protection. We seek protection from hurts, slights, criticism, abuse, sexuality and sexual advances; from a fear of life in general and also specifically.” If this idea seems hard to swallow, I know how you feel. It took me a while to wrap my mind around the idea, but the more I learn to understand it, the more I understand it to be the truth. The lie is this: extra weight protects us emotionally. A lot of the time, it’s the reason our bodies pack on extra weight, because we believe it will insulate us from whatever is a threat. The threat is real for us, but the truth is, extra weight doesn’t really protect us from it.

In some ways, I guess it could. If, for instance, I was someone who had experienced sexual abuse when I was younger, (which I did) and subconsciously I decided that if I made myself heavier and less attractive, people would be less likely to hurt or abuse me, that may be true. But it’s not the weight that’s keeping me safe from people who would hurt me, it’s only my belief that’s keeping me safe. Do you see what I mean?

Margarita Tartakovsky, associate editor at Psych Central, wrote something similar: “Some women…wear their excess weight as a shield. Why a shield? For individuals who’ve experienced a traumatic event, usually some kind of abuse, their weight helps them create a barrier to the outside.” (Wearing Your Weight As Armor)

From the same article, Mary Anne Cohen, CSW, the director of The New York Center for Eating Disorders, writes: “Many survivors of sexual abuse often work to become very fat or very thin in an attempt to render themselves unattractive. In this way, they try to de-sexualize themselves. Other survivors obsessively diet, starve, or purge to make their bodies ‘perfect.’ A perfect body is their attempt to feel more powerful, invulnerable, and in control, so as not to re-experience the powerlessness they felt as children. Indeed, some large men and women, who are survivors of sexual abuse, are afraid to lose weight because it will render them feeling smaller and childlike. This, in turn, may bring back painful memories that are difficult to cope with.”

Another example of how weight protects us is from criticism or ridicule. Carol Tuttle did an amazing healing session with her client Michelle in this video:

Michelle had a belief that if she stayed overweight, she wouldn’t offend anyone. I thought this was fascinating. Carol Tuttle has worked with lots of women to help identify weight-related emotional issues. I recommend her YouTube channel and her blog.

It’s important to understand that excess weight does not actually protect us from real or imagined threats, but I think it’s more important to focus on the real issue. The real issue is not the excess weight. The real issue is the underlying emotional trauma causing your body to gain and retain weight that it doesn’t really need. Once those traumas are resolved, the weight will come off on its own.

I haven’t shed all of the extra weight that I would like from my physical body, but I’m okay with that for now because I’m working through the issues that are keeping it there. I’m working on shedding emotional weight. I fully intend to work through all those layers and be able to tell the world that I became my ideal size by simply improving my emotional and spiritual health. I believe it can be done. And if I believe it, it will happen.

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Lie #10: Boys Don’t Cry

One limiting stereotype in our society today is that it’s somehow weak or feminine for a man to cry. When does a boy learn that it’s not all right to show emotion? Somewhere between preschool and the football field, boys get the message that crying or showing sadness makes them less masculine and vulnerable to ridicule. Somewhere along the way they shut off their feelings. (Except anger—it seems to be socially acceptable for a man to be angry.) But most of us understand the truth: suppressing emotion is unhealthy. It’s healthy to cry. It can even be very healing to cry and let things out.

I’m not just talking about boys, though. That’s just the obvious stereotype in our culture that I wanted to expose. Some of us girls learn early to suppress negative emotion too, and we pay for it later. There are plenty of statistics to prove what I’m saying, and I’m sure people are very interested, but I also think a lot of us are in denial about how damaging it really is. Scientists have even given it a name: alexithymia. Finnish investigators report in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics that people with an inability to express emotions, also known as alexithymia, have much higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in their bodies. Inflammation is implicated in diseases as diverse as heart disease, arthritis, asthma, dementia, osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and cancer to name but a few. So in short, suppressing emotions can make you sick.

I was one of those girls who told myself it wasn’t okay to cry. I grew up in an environment where I didn’t feel safe expressing my true emotions, so I hid them away. I told myself I wasn’t built that way. I told myself the lie that I didn’t have to deal with it and it would just go away. It didn’t. In my twenties I was already suffering from depression and underactive thyroid. There are many ways to deal with these issues, and for a while medication helped me. I was using antidepressants and thyroid meds, but I continued to gain weight and I continued to feel depressed, anxious and unhappy. It wasn’t until I started reading books and started feeling the desire to do something different that things began to change for me. First I read Karol Truman’s Feelings Buried Alive Never Die. I discovered Carol Tuttle’s energy profiling system and I began to see myself differently. For those who know anything about Tuttle’s energy “types,” I mistakenly typed myself as a four. After all, I had lived as a type four all of my life. “Keeping things structured and staying on track is the primary motive for a Type 4 woman. Creating quality and precision is a priority in how you approach life. The movement of Type 4 Energy is the most rigid of all the Types.” (from It’s Just My Nature! A Guide To Knowing and Living Your True Nature) I was quiet, introverted, deeply reflective, and saw myself as authoritative, critical and serious—all qualities of a type four. But when I really began healing, when I let go of the medications and the protective walls I had built up all around myself, I began to understand that I was really a type two. A type two interacts with the world on an emotional level. I had never reacted to the world and to the people around me on an emotional level. I had stayed far away from attempting it. But when I finally began to allow myself to heal, all of those repressed emotions came up. I cried and cried and cried. I’m still crying. I still find myself crying about things that seem silly. But you know what? I give myself permission to cry. I tell myself it’s okay now. I figure if I feel like crying, something must need to come out, and I invite that. My sister says I’m still making up for all those years I wouldn’t allow myself to cry. And now that I allow myself to feel, to express, to cry, the depression is gone, my thyroid is working without any need of medication, and I feel at peace.

This isn’t just about being a certain energy type. That’s just my story. I think it’s important to expose the lies that men don’t cry, that women are naturally more emotional, that expressing emotion is embarrassing and makes you vulnerable and weak. We all feel emotion—men and women alike. We all need to express it, feel it, validate ourselves and support each other.

One of my favorite things about being a part of LDS culture is watching grown men stand up in church meetings and express emotion—sadness, joy, remorse or an overwhelming feeling from the Spirit of God. Whatever it might be, they feel safe expressing it, sometimes in front of hundreds of people. I wish they could understand how endearing and attractive it makes them. They might feel better about giving themselves permission in the future, and teaching their sons that it’s healthy and right and perfectly acceptable.

emotions

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Lie #9: Labels

I have always been opposed to self-limiting labels. Maybe because I accepted them for myself and then found out later that I didn’t have to. I’m talking about words like diabetic, addicted, allergic, gluten or lactose intolerant, accident-prone, stupid, disadvantaged, and even gay or lesbian. You may feel like you have symptoms of some disease or affliction that has a name, so you choose to accept that label, but in doing so you severely limit your options and your ability to heal. Your words are very powerful, and your body listens to you. You are whatever you think and feel you are. Accepting a label is accepting limits. You may have done something stupid, but that doesn’t make you stupid.

You may have been born into situations where these words hold some power. Maybe diabetes runs in your family, so you’re diabetic. Maybe your family has never had money, so you’re stuck in a disadvantaged situation and feel like you can’t move beyond it. Maybe you experienced some abuse as a child, so you’re justified in taking on a label that supports that fact that abuse occurred. I’ll say them again: you are not stuck, and you are in charge. There is a way to move beyond what you don’t think you can move beyond. There are plenty of stories about people who have done this—a boy born into an impoverished family who becomes wealthy and powerful, people who have managed and healed their bodies from various diseases and illness, and those who have overcome tendencies they believed were inborn. “…there are those who may outwardly appear impoverished, without talent, and doomed to mediocrity. A classic label appeared beneath a picture of the boy Abraham Lincoln as he stood in front of his humble birthplace—a simple log cabin. The words read: ‘Ill-housed, ill-clothed, ill-fed.’ Unanticipated, unspoken, and unprinted was the real label of the boy: ‘Destined for immortal glory.’” (Thomas Monson, “Labels”) So we know it’s possible. Why is it not possible for you?

I believe it’s all about vision and belief. If you want something to be different, believe that it can be and visualize it the way you want it. You may not see immediate change, but you won’t feel stuck anymore. As one blogger suggests, “Create your own labels. The labels you place on yourself matter, so choose them wisely. Make sure you embrace labels that help you become the most awesome version of yourself.” (Nia Shanks, “Stop Labeling Yourself by Their Standards”) Holding onto labels offers no hope for change. Another blogger said this: “Negative self-labels offer us excuses not to change behaviors and traits. We act in harmony with our label. If we believe we are ‘no good’, we might be more tempted to not change our behavior.” (Steve Mensing, “Self-Acceptance”)

I’ve accepted lots of labels for myself. We all have. There was one in particular that I wondered if I could shake, but I did it. I hesitate telling this story because many of you don’t know this about me, but I think it’s important to tell to help people understand it can be done. It wasn’t easy and it has been an ongoing aspect of my healing process, but I feel like I won. I feel like I conquered. Maybe this blog is the best way to share this story.

I experienced some sexual abuse as a child. I wasn’t aware of it; I had blocked the traumatic memories. They were still there, of course, playing limiting and false beliefs in my subconscious mind and dictating a lot of my behavior. Some of that behavior was that I didn’t feel comfortable and safe around men, I didn’t like to be touched, and I had difficulty expressing emotion. I also was raised by a mother who had difficulty nurturing and comforting me because she couldn’t nurture or comfort herself, so I was always seeking mother-figures in my life, hoping to get those needs met through another person. These two childhood situations were a perfect formula for a label: lesbian. I needed a nurturing female in my life and I didn’t like men, so the world said: I must be gay! I tried to embrace this label for a while, but my religious beliefs were not in harmony with it. I was conflicted for many years, living on the fence, unable to live fully on either side because both sides said I was wrong. If I lived as a good Christian, what about my unresolved feelings and unmet needs? If I lived as a lesbian, what about the truth that I knew in my heart: that God didn’t make me this way, that he wanted me to follow his plan, “that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” I wanted to follow that plan, but there was a lot in the way. I even tried to live both lives by creating a false persona, but that created even more problems about my true identity. Once I began the journey of healing, I made the choice to throw away some labels: abused, broken, unmet needs, victim, controlled, and finally, homosexual. I chose some new labels that would help me to change: empowered, whole, in control, heterosexual, and free. And after some rigorous Christ-centered energy work in which a lot of generational and personal negative patterns have been cleared, allowing into my life the love and acceptance I was lacking before, I am free. And I choose to be different than I was. I choose to be the real me.

I’m still not married to a man, but that’s my goal, and more importantly, it’s the desire of my heart. There may still be some things to work through in order to reach it, but I feel confident that anything is possible. Even issues as difficult and stunting as these seemed to be for me. I am whatever I think and feel I am. I am a child of God.

Please carefully consider the labels you accept for yourself. If there’s one or more that you have accepted and attached to yourself and you don’t like it, you can change it. There is a way out. You are a child of God. You are of infinite worth. You are more magnificent than you know.

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Lie #5: Allergies

Everyone seems to suffer from some kind of “allergy.” It may be hayfever, a physical response to weeds or plants, intolerance to specific foods or groups of foods, or reactions to the ingredients of personal care products or medications. Allergens seem to try to invade our bodies any way they can—through what we ingest, what we breathe or what is absorbed through our skin. I have identified “allergies” as the lie in this instance because I think they mask what is really happening when our bodies react to some kind of enemy outside of us.

Consider for a moment that the allergen is not the invading enemy, but simply a catalyst that is meant to help us understand something that is already happening inside of our bodies. Our physical bodies are reacting to this substance—whether it is peanut butter, penicillin or poplar trees—not because something is inherently wrong with the substance, but because our bodies need to get our attention about something else.

Those who are familiar with energy work understand that any physical ailment represents a deeper problem—one that is usually either emotional or spiritual. Dr Bradley Nelson, author and chiropractic doctor, explained it this way: “When you feel emotion, it is not just a feeling inside you. You actually emanate the energy of that emotion. You may not be able to see it, but it has a direct impact on your health. It can not only cause emotional pain, but physical pain. Hanging onto emotions blocks your energy, holding it back like a dam, cutting off your organs from the healthy flow of vital energy they need. Emotions that stay trapped in your body can make you sick and cause you tremendous physical pain.” Even medical doctors who are not energy healers understand that emotions and pain are connected. Dr David Hanscom, orthopedic surgeon and a contributor to The Doctor Blog, writes about the close connection between emotional and physical pain: “…knowing what our patients are experiencing emotionally can be essential: Researchers have published hundreds of papers documenting the connection between pain and anxiety or depression. ‘Neurons that fire together, wire together,’ the saying goes. The areas of the brain that interpret physical and emotional distress are located in close proximity to each other, and I have indeed noticed that as long as the anxiety and anger pathways are hyperactive, there is a high probability that the associated pain pathways will remain so as well.”

If physical pain is a manifestation of emotional pain, isn’t it safe to say that any kind of physical reaction to an “allergen” can be emotionally related as well? Author Louise Hay, in many of her books, including You Can Heal Your Life, asserts that common food or environmental allergies are only a mask for what one is really allergic to. So you have an allergy. What are you really allergic to? What’s really going on under that physical reaction?

I used to have difficulty eating tomatoes. I loved them but they would cause canker sores in my mouth. I couldn’t drink milk because it would cause my stomach to hurt. Many would label these food allergies. The world would suggest that I just stop eating these foods, but once I learned about energy healing, I took some time to investigate what I was really allergic to. As a young child, when this negative reaction to tomatoes began, there were some emotional issues I had with my family situation. This “allergy” to the chaotic situation in my home caused my body to react to tomatoes. They were something I loved, just like my family was something I loved. Subconsciously I chose to avoid tomatoes because I really wanted to run away from the situation at home.

The milk allergy turned out to be something different. When I was young my family didn’t have a lot of money. At dinnertime, we children were limited to a half glass of milk with dinner. That was the only milk we were allowed because it was expensive. My childlike reaction to this situation was to tell myself I was undeserving of milk, that it was a precious commodity and I didn’t really deserve any. When I drank it later in life, my body would reject it. I have since cleared both of these childhood issues, and I can eat tomatoes and drink milk without a problem.

Seasonal allergies, or hayfever, have the same emotional root. If you have seasonal allergies, consider what else you might be “allergic” to: do you like where you live, are there environments in your life you wish would be different, are there people or situations you wish you could run away from? Look deeper into your past. The answer is there.

Seasonal and food allergies can be miserable. Springtime and chocolate ice cream were meant to be enjoyed, not dreaded and avoided. Your body should be able to handle gluten and red die #5. You have a choice in the matter. It’s your body. You can continue buying medication to suppress symptoms (thus masking the real problem) or avoid healthy foods like wheat, fruit and vegetables, or you can do some investigating and eliminate the “allergy” completely.

In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete.
I recognize my body as a good friend. Each cell in my body has a divine intelligence.
I listen to what it tells me, and I know its advice is valid. I am always safe, divinely protected and guided.
I choose to be healthy and free. All is well in my world.
(From Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life)

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Lie #2: You are a victim

Lie #2 goes hand in hand with Lie #1. If you feel like you can’t change, it’s probably because you believe whatever is tormenting you or whatever you don’t like is someone else’s fault. We blame lots of people and situations—our parents, our upbringing, our ancestors for giving us these genes, our children or our spouse or our families for causing us to feel this way, our employer for not paying us what we’re worth, or people we don’t even know because they’re destroying our neighborhoods and communities or corrupting the government. Mostly we blame forces we cannot control, like God or the devil, because that’s really easy to do.

The truth is that it’s no one else’s fault. You and I are responsible for everything that happens in our lives. We are responsible for situations, our feelings, our behavior—everything. This may be hard to accept, but once you accept it, your life will change. Instead of living as a victim, you become free. You become empowered. You become in charge of your life and what happens to you, and if there’s anything you don’t like, you can change it. Carol Tuttle wrote what she called a universal truth: “Your beliefs create your experience.” In these posts I will quote a lot from her book Remembering Wholeness, because it changed my life and helped me to understand and implement that universal truth.

Author Jack Canfield wrote this: “You have to take the position that you have always had the power to make it different, to get it right, to produce the desired result. For whatever reason—ignorance, lack of awareness, fear, needing to be right, the need to feel safe—you chose not to exercise that power. Who knows why? It doesn’t matter. The past is the past. All that matters now is that from this point forward you choose—that’s right, it’s a choice—you chose to act as if (that’s all that’s required—to act as if) you are 100% responsible for everything that does or doesn’t happen to you.” (For the rest of this really great article, click here.)

My LDS friends and others know that “A central part of our Father’s plan was that we would be free to choose. This gift is called agency, the power to choose. The companion of agency is always accountability. We are individually responsible for the choices we make.” Robert Hales, an apostle in the LDS church said: “We teach that agency is the ability and privilege God gives us to choose and “to act for [ourselves] and not to be acted upon.” Agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions. Our agency is essential to the plan of salvation. With it we are “free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil.”

For many years I collected and stored a lot of pain which I believed was inflicted upon me by others. Specifically, I blamed a lot on my mother. I chose to be hurt and angered by her behavior towards me. I chose to be a victim so that I had someone to blame for my own behavior. I realize now how ineffective that pattern was, because all of that which I had collected and stored wasn’t helping me at all. The truth was that I could choose to be hurt, I could choose to be the target of my mother’s unreasonable and confusing behavior, or I could choose to seek understanding. I asked myself a question: what was it that I was doing to cause her to treat me in a way that I didn’t like? I choose now to be accountable for what I was doing to attract unkindness from her (not having healthy emotional boundaries, in case you were interested), and I also accept that I wasn’t always kind to her either. By taking responsibility for my own behavior, I am now allowing healing in my relationship with her. Things are getting better between us.

I don’t share this example with you to make you think I have it all figured out. I just know the truth, and that is that we are responsible for our thoughts and our behavior, and when something isn’t going the way we want it to go, what are we doing to attract that situation? Looking inward and accepting personal responsibility can make something different happen.

Take a look at your life. Is there a troubled relationship? Is there a dead-end job? Do you want something you’re not getting? Ask yourself what you are doing to attract what you don’t want. Be willing to accept that. Then choose to do something differently.

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