In my last blog, I discussed some helpful tips for living a lifestyle to encourage the body to heal its constipation, from a physical body perspective. With this blog, I am offering perspectives from the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of constipation. Being a holistic practitioner I never look at a physical dysfunction from the physical point of view only. I prefer to offer suggestions to balance the whole person.
If you have perused my website, then you know I believe that physical dysfunction is our body’s loving way of bringing us to completion, and healing us through consciousness and awareness. Today, the topic is a continuation of our discussion about constipation. Let’s dive right in…
The metaphysical aspects of constipation can be quite revealing and helpful to the person suffering from this digestive dysfunction. What is our body trying to tell us when our bowels don’t move for days, a week or longer? What wisdom can we gain by looking at all the different parts that make up our human experience? In addition to our physical body, we have a mental, emotional and spiritual body and they all play a part in both the creation and healing of constipation (or any other physical dysfunction).
Because this article is one in a series of the process of elimination, I will discuss what would be helpful for us to eliminate when considering these metaphysical aspects of ourselves.
The verbiage a person uses is quite revealing and can help them understand some possible origins of a physical dysfunction. For example: sometimes clients who are experiencing constipation will talk about how they feel “stuck” in their lives. Perhaps they feel stuck in a relationship, job or some other aspect of their life. This area of non-movement can show up in their colon. Often our bodies will mirror back to us where we need to bring some flow and life into our…life!
Sometimes we can be stuck on an idea or a belief that once served us in the past but is now creating blocks. For instance, we could believe that a protective position would best serve us if we grew up in a household that didn’t feel safe, either because there may have been substance, physical, verbal or emotional abuse or because a caretaker may have had anger/rage issues that created unpredictability and fear. Perhaps we grew up being neglected or overlooked. Growing up in different scenarios could cause us to distrust others and see people as potentially hurtful and scary or disinterested and distant. This type of belief could prevent us from seeking out intimate relationships – out of fear. We might then shut off from interacting with others and not ever experience deep love. If we continue on this course, we could end up feeling sad and lonely, albeit safe and protected. But…at what cost? True, if we never let anyone close, no one could really hurt us. Opening ourselves to love can feel scary – mostly because we might never have been given consistent and sustained love.
As my shaman and teacher, Amaya Victoria once said:
“If we take what happened in our past,
and bring it into our present,
we poison our future”.
I believe that most of us want to love and be loved. When our bodies constipate in response to the fear and protective state we have held inside for a long time, we end up suffering. What would happen if we viewed our constipation as a gift – a potential conversation with our body about where we hold emotionally and where we can begin to let go? We could listen to the constipation to understand what our beliefs are, and how we feel about ourselves as a direct result of our earlier experiences.
There is a direct correlation between constipation and control. Does this mean that every single person suffering from constipation is a control freak? Absolutely not! But many people who have constipation issues tend to have control issues. Why is this? Well, the reasons can vary from person to person. Generally speaking, I notice it has its origin in our ability to trust. We tend to control that which we do not trust. Taking the above example of growing up feeling unsafe – if someone concludes that they are not safe due to external circumstances or people, they will try to control what they can…their body. This is not conscious, of course, but we humans like to feel that we are in control – of something. If we cannot control others to stop behaving in a way that is hurtful to us, we usually tighten up, hold our breath, and depending on the person – go into fight or flight (and also “freeze” but this is another topic for another time). This has a direct impact on our colon because once our body goes into stress management mode, it begins to save energy within our body to prepare us to fight or fly. Our digestion will slow down to aid us in this potentially life-threatening situation. It doesn’t mean our life is actually being threatened in the moment but the body doesn’t know that. It is just responding to our perception of what is going on. If we grew up feeling a lot of fear, over time we learn to respond to situations in our life that we perceive as being similar with a similar emotional response. Again, much of this happens without us being actively conscious and aware of it. If I were to ask you what fear looks like – expansive or contractive – what would you say? Most people I ask say “contractive”, and I agree. Now think about this – do you think that our bowels can move freely when our bodies are in a contractive space within? Not really. The result? Constipation.
So what do we do to heal this?
Oh sure, Stephanie. Ok, yeah – I can just eliminate my fear, huh? It’s that easy?
No, I don’t believe it is easy and I don’t have an expectation that this will happen overnight. I will, however, encourage you to do what you can to let go of whatever fear you have (notice I didn’t say to let go of feeling the fear). As long as we choose to perceive life from a fear-based perspective, it will be quite difficult to heal. I did use the word “choose” for a reason. Even if we experienced emotional, mental, verbal and physical abuse or mass amounts of fear growing up, we are no longer children today, and as such we can choose to see life from a different perspective than when we were younger. It might take some time to shift to this perspective but it is possible, and vital when looking at options to heal constipation. It can be very helpful and healing to recognize that the person we were when we developed various perspectives and opinions, can be very different from the person we choose to be today. The healing perspectives that can heal constipation are: surrender, trust, acceptance and gratitude.
Surrender: Choosing to consciously let go of whatever we cannot control can shift our body from contractive to expansive. Trust: When we trust that we are taken care of (by a higher source or the higher part of ourselves), despite what we see with our eyes, we calm our central nervous system and allow breath and energy to flow through us. This can make having regular bowel movements much more possible. Acceptance: We can accept that our experiences up to this point in our lives are there to help bring us to where we are meant to be, and that holding onto the (mental or emotional) pain from those experiences not only continues to keep the (mental, emotional and physical) pain alive, but could also be what is preventing us from truly healing. Gratitude: We can be grateful to our body for going to dysfunction to help us heal and come to completion within our lives and within our body.
Viewed from the perspective that our body loves us and wants us to heal by showing up with dysfunction, we can get to know ourselves, especially the deeper and intimate parts of ourselves that we don’t reveal to others. By reminding ourselves that have choices today that we may not have had when we were younger, we can begin to feel safer in our lives, our world and within our own bodies.
If you need assistance with shifting perspectives, I am available. Let me know you would like a metaphysical colonic when booking your appointment.
Yours in health and love ~ Stephanie.
“If you’re looking to go deep on many levels, this colonic spot incorporates energy work, essential oils, crystals and aromatherapy.”Goop’s Beauty & Wellness Detox Guide