Your feelings. Your physical ailments. I can type them into separate sentences, but in your being, they can’t be separated.
Feelings affect your physical health. Your physical health impacts your feelings.
There are two emotions that are particularly detrimental to the body:
Anger and Resentment
We know what it feels like. We’ve all felt angry. Unfortunately though, when young, our caregivers and society impart to us that expressing anger isn’t appropriate. This may later be reinforced by our chosen partners and community. So, while we feel the anger, we learn it’s not ok to vocalize it, and we hold it in. Yikes!
I say yikes because deep anger turned inward will eventually turn into sadness that can develop into depression. Spiritually, I see depression as a deep disconnect from the self. Don’t get me wrong, there is most certainly a form of chemical depression that needs western medical attention and support, but it’s important to recognize that not expressing or processing anger can create problems in both the physical and emotional bodies.
So what are we to do? Bunk society and family value systems! That’s right! I encourage you to be the rebel (you’ll be far healthier for it!) and feel all that anger that’s churning around. NOW notice what I’m not advising is to direct that anger sloppily at whoever is around. Nope. I’m saying simply to FEEL it. Just let it boil in your body. Search into the anger to see what it’s trying to tell you. Because anger has a loud message. It can inform of us of some important things such as needing a boundary. It can also let us know that someone has crossed a boundary we have established. Anger is also powerful because it motivates us to take action and lets us know where in our lives we may feel disempowered.
When we feel the anger, we can then identify the steps we need to take in order to position us back in a place of self-empowerment. We take the action needed to create a safer or more supportive environment be it for ourselves or loved ones. Honoring anger helps us identify how to better care for our own needs. And learning to honor the anger within us while having compassion and love-centered speech directed toward the person we may feel angry with is indeed healing.
Resentment often develops out of a combination of anger and self-abandonment. When we don’t speak up for ourselves or our needs we risk stepping away from our own empowerment and our sense of self and values. If this happens, we grow increasingly resentful and risk taking on a victim or martyr mindset as well. A victim mindset is one that feels put-upon and incapable of effecting change or establishing boundaries. A victim is continually disempowered. A martyr is a mindset in which one feels righteous anger and feels he or she is doing everything for everyone else, subconsciously refusing to give him or herself a way out and avoiding self-care. At the base, a martyr is in continual self-abandonment due to lack of self-empowerment and the refusal to express him or herself.
In order to honor and shift resentment, we must become more sensitive to our feelings of anger and be willing to establish the boundaries needed. By communicating our feelings and needs to those we might normally feel used by or resentful of, we actually strengthen not only our sense of self but the relationship as well. If you are struggling with resentment, I recommend taking time for yourself to get clear on what anger is underneath. You can journal about this or talk to a loved one, trusted friend, or therapist. If you’re having a hard time identifying the anger, look at what’s leaving you feeling irritable or frustrated or having you think or say, “I can’t do anything right,” or a phrase along those lines.
Once you’ve identified the resentment, identify what needs you have that you aren’t sharing. Start working on loving ways to communicate and stand up for your needs. Also, it’s imperative that past resentments are worked through in all ongoing relationships, be they familial, friendly, or romantic. Get help from a counselor, therapist, or healer to help you identify the resentments and come up with healthy ways to address the issues. Not only will this improve your self-esteem, but it will also strengthen your relationships as well.
And the best part of all of this is that the healing from the emotions of anger and resentment can heal physical ailments as well!