Each body part has a function and a purpose
An emotion that goes without being expressed or processed, joins other unexpressed emotions until it reaches a breaking point. It is experienced as an intense call, which is the release of pent up energy seeking an exit. The expression takes the form of a physical symptom or condition.
From Simple Emotion to Symptom
As we saw in the section, “Opening your heart”, all emotions have to complete a cycle. They appear, they intensify, they peak, they diminish and then they disappear. If the cycle is not permitted to complete itself, the energy of that emotion stays trapped and it gets stored somewhere in the body.
Some people are not able to feel and process a specific emotion and they continue to repress and contain that emotion over and over again. This happens when a person consciously holds back that emotion. It often happens through subconscious patterns and habits. In those cases, the energy that is carried by the emotion keeps accumulating in the body. If a person is aware of the fact that they are repressing an emotion, they might use a physical movement or exercise to move that energy through. In Adventure of the Soul, the effective method is to go through the practice of finding the emotion, intensifying that emotion until it climaxes and passes. We will explore this technique further in the last chapter.
Flowing water symbolizes the free and natural movement of emotions. If you imagine a container that is filling with water, no matter the size, once it reaches its maximum it will overflow. If it is an enclosed container then the pressure will increase until it explodes. Water always finds a way out. We have many unconscious patterns for containing emotions, so in time there is an accumulation that needs to be let out.
In the physical body an accumulation of emotion can manifest in several places. One of the most common areas is between the pelvis and the throat, the whole central area of the body. The area of the abdomen tends to be the temple of emotions; especially the organs related to digestion and what we call the gut.
When you perceive the things that are going on in your scenario in a positive light and as a gift, it feeds you and is good for you. On the other hand when you reject what is going on around you and you perceive it as unpleasant, it does not feed you. When you can’t deal with an emotion, as in the expression «you can’t stomach an emotion», it is something that you cannot digest. That is when the emotion and its energy gets stored in some part of the body. Once that part of the body reaches its storage limit, the energy has to come out somehow and it is expressed through a symptom in that area of the body. Ulcers are a good example. Everybody stores their emotions a little differently, but there are some common patterns that can be found in many people.
What we consider hot emotions usually work their way upwards in the body and the cold ones work their way down. Emotions like wrath or anger are hot emotions and they work their way upwards and can be expressed through the voice box through the raising of the voice, gesticulations, waving the arms and hands, or shaking of the head. If there is a belief in the mental body that says, «expressing anger is not a good thing», then a system for blocking anger will be developed. If the idea that «anger is bad» is added to that belief, the blockage becomes even stronger and runs deeper into a person’s belief system, to the point of even believing that they are a bad person. This is very serious because the person is experiencing and feeling that anger inside, and the act of swallowing that anger and holding it down creates great pressure. When it becomes a long-term problem the hot emotion cools and solidifies. We will talk about this later.
There are a few areas where emotions get stored but the abdominal area is where the creative forces of emotion are mainly received. In the act of trying to contain anything down there, there is going to be a pressure upwards that will probably be felt at the entrance to the stomach or esophagus, because that is the only way in, or in this case, a way out. Acid reflux is one of the most common attempts at getting out. If a complete escape is not possible that way it can become a cough in the chest area and it can also manifest as extra mucous or even bronchitis.
A sore throat or voice issues are indicators. The last point of retention can be in the mouth where people clamp their jaw shut and sometimes grit their teeth, which in the long run shows up in dental problems. If it is more related to something that one does not want to see, then the manifestations can move up to the eyes as bumps, cataracts, red eye, pink eye or it can even get to the point of affecting ones eyesight.
On other levels it can show up through the skin. Many emotions reach a heat level that comes out of the skin. Red rashes are a symbol of heat or fire, this is an accumulation of emotion breaking a silent path out of the body. Eczema is a diagnosis with varying degrees of intensity. When itching occurs, people scratch to the point of doing major damage to their skin, all in an effort to let out that metaphorical heat. The intensity of scratching and movement takes a lot of energy and is representative of what needs to get out of the body.
The natural flow for something that moves you inside, is the appearance of the energy of that emotion, and that can be used as a transformational tool. There is an opportunity there to let that energy become part of the creative process that directs your life. In a scenario where one ignores what is going on or ignores the emotion and does nothing; then that hot emotion begins to cools down and might be felt as a feeling of helplessness, emptiness or deficiency.
Cold emotions are guilt, impotence, self-pity or general frustration. Fire, heat and vapor rise, where as water goes downwards. The emotions that lose their heat condense into water and seek escape through the lower parts of the body. Now that water has to be contained so that there is no leakage. We even have the term incontinence for the situation where the leakage becomes a physical reality. Water always finds a way out. Again water is the metaphor used for emotion.
Organs can also become storage mechanisms. When one is not able to handle emotions on a continual basis, the symptoms can move into stomach, then down into the gut, after which, if still unresolved, it continues down into the large intestine and colon. There are all kinds of manifestations that happen down there. In a case where there are strong feelings of sexual guilt, the manifestations can come out in the genital region.
We are touching on the vastness of the subject here and I am certainly not suggesting that this is how things go. We are all individuals and our soul communicates with us in our own individual way. What I can say is that my experience has confirmed time and time again that when a person follows the clues that the symptom is offering, and that person is willing to work on the expression of emotion, and willing to deal with the accumulation of unexpressed emotions their condition improves and the symptoms disappear.