After reading this post from my teacher, I decided to try out asking the spirit of my disease what it was here to teach me. For those who don’t know, I have Graves Disease, which is an autoimmune malfunction where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland (roughly speaking). Symptoms for me, fluctuate. Lately it’s been getting a bit worse.
I feel in my bones that this malaise is energetic, or had an energetic beginning. I have felt like if I could just ask my body what was wrong, I could get an answer. It hadn’t occurred to me before to just, ask.
So two mornings ago I woke up at 6am to get started. I did a bit of yoga – just a little, my body doesn’t like too much vigorous exercise right now so just a few rounds of sun salutations to build up some energy and get grounded – then some pranayama and cleaning out my chakras – then I felt moved to chant a bit, and experimented with some mas (instead of oms). Then I settled in to meditate cross-legged.
I brought myself deeper into trance by visualizing myself walking down a windey staircase. Whenever I do this I end up at the same staircase – it’s in a turret I think, in an old castle or brick building – there are tiny slitted windows through out the turret on the way down, the passage is narrow and the stairs are wooden and steep. I spent time visualizing looking down at my sneakers, looking out the windows, looking at my hands. I did this until I could see details. I find this makes the trance deeper and I get more information. Also, I spent a bit of time stepping out of the reality where I was actually sitting on my yoga mat. To do this I focused in on distracting noises in the room and then mentally pushed them away from me, while focusing in on the stairway.
When I felt myself in a sufficiently altered state, kind of floating in space inside my head, I sent my questions out on waves – what have you come to teach me? Why are you here? What is my lesson?
The spirit of my disease immediately showed up and took me on a little tour through my life, Scrooge style. I found myself back at a time in my life, a period of ten years, when I was very angry, very betrayed and stubbornly hanging on to it. I was told this is where my disease started. Then I was shown what my life could have been like at that time – if I had been happy – how I would have effected people around me, how happy I could have been, the abundance that actually surrounded me then but I was too angry to see it.
Then I was taken back through my past to all of the places that hurt. Most of it was between the ages of 13 and 21. It felt strange to rub against these places – I was surprised that stuff so far in the past still packed a punch.
I did some recapitulation work then, just because it felt natural. Mostly this involves revisiting the past in your mind and rewriting it. It may not be what happened in reality, but your psyche doesn’t know the difference – the healing happens.
I was left at a young age, then all kinds of bad things happened – like death and drugs and guns and just all around badness. Ultimately, I was shown, the problem for me was not necessarily all the stuff that happened, but that I was alone. I was just a kid and I was alone and terrified – and this was wrong. So in my trance I went back to all those places as me now, 41-year-old Sky, and I stepped in and acted like a mom should act. When young Sky was 16 and grieving, I hugged her close, when she was 13 and in danger, I stepped in front of it and told it to fuck off, when she was 19 and terrified, on a basement floor praying to god for help, I sat beside her and told her everything would be OK in the end – that she would survive it. On and on it went until I was exhausted. I came out of trance sitting in a yoga hug position. I stayed there for a while, rocking back and forth.
When I got up and got some water and wandered around my house digesting the whole experience, I broke out in hives all down my throat. This is notable because: a) part of the physical manifestation of my disease has been food allergies, hives and eczema and b) if you’ve been following my blog at all you’ll remember I’ve been led to do work before on my throat chakra, which governs the thyroid and the throat area, and also using Voice to stand up for oneself.
It was very powerful. I was raw and sad that whole day, even still today writing about it, but it’s not a heavy sadness. It feels good. Like rubbing a bruise or an old achy shoulder. There’s a sense of relief and catharsis and revealing. It’s like, that little girl, that pain, was embodied somehow, and then revealed.
Come out little one, I see you now. It’s safe.
What to do with the info? I’m not sure. I think it involves addressing the shadow square in the face. Bringing it all to light. Acknowledging it, looking with completely open eyes. Then taking my part in it all. And ultimately forgiving everything, everyone and myself. I’ve been pulling shadow cards all year, which confirms this for me.
I find it interesting that it’s family of origin stuff after all (I had suspected), when I have a good relationship with both of my parents now. And discovering once and for all that the pattern of betrayal I see looking back in my life, actually isn’t legit. It was me living that original betrayal, being left by my parents, over and over again – maybe even asking the universe to manifest it and energetically dragging people to me that would betray me, just to prove that it ‘always happens to me’.
I will continue to do this work, continue to ask and see if I can be directed towards how I can heal it. I’m marvelling at how disease can manifest in the body in this way.
I highly recommend doing this if you are struggling with health problems, or even if you just want to get to know your shadow. Just be sure to have someone to debrief with afterwards, a friend or therapist – or at least journal journal journal it all out of you.
When something within us is disowned, that which is disowned wreaks havoc. ~The Viking Runes
Doing shadow work? Want to debrief? Please do in the comments below. I love talking about this stuff.