“Sometimes the Soul has the Need to Become Visible”
Physical symptoms are an invitation to look deeper into our Soul. Like a friend who has an important message for us, a message that we did not hear before, when it was just a whisper. The symptom draws our attention to the root of our discomfort: conflicts on our own emotional, relational or spiritual level, identifications with someone excluded in our family system, loyalties to our parents’ suffering. As Robin Alfred says: “Sometimes the Soul has the need to become visible”.
Our soul, mind, emotions and body are one, although with different degrees of density. A conflict on an emotional or relational field, if unresolved, may become more dense, crystallize and manifest itself in our body. It may turn into a migraine, a back pain, an eating disorder or anxiety.
So spiritual and physical wellbeing are deeply connected as two sides of the same coin. When life hurts, we need time to process, heal our wounds and find solace for our distress. Yet we often skip these steps, because of a lack of time or resources, or we dismiss them as too scary, too overwhelming. So we try to “get on with our life”, but life is not fully “coming with us”. Our soul has been left behind and life will send us a message. Symptoms are like a secret language between life and us, they alert us that something important demands our attention.
If we look at our symptoms with curiosity, our attitude changes and so too, our relationship to them. We transition from “I want to get rid of you” to a more compassionate “I wonder what you want to tell me”. Listening carefully, we start unveiling the difficult aspects of our life, the things that are still unresolved in our heart. The symptom is like a beam of light pointing towards what needs to be looked at in our present, in our past and in our family’s history .
A constellation can help us to see the link between our emotional bonds and our illnesses. It’s a conversation with life where the threads of love of our family tapestry become visible: our longing for Mum’s attention, our tendency to follow a deceased young sibling, our identification with our father’s first wife’s rage, our hopeless attempt to save our mother’s life by taking over her disease. These are all common dynamics that show up through the representatives in the field. And suddenly our depression makes sense, we understand the meaning of our eating disorder, we discover the purpose of our child’s learning difficulty.
We marvel at the revelation of how deeply bonded we are to others. Only to realize the futility of our suffering… that our pain does not help anyone, our disease does not erase our loved one’s misfortunes. Sabotaging our life does not serve the ones we love so blindly. They don’t want us to suffer just because they did. At this point of the constellation something beautiful is often set in motion: tears start to run, we bow, we see the greatness of someone’s destiny, we honor, we thank, we leave our dead ones rest in peace, we take responsibility. Some tensions in the soul of the family are released, and we feel more connected to our own strength.
Life wants to heal and repair what has been damaged. All the generations before us have developed the ability for self-healing. This is why we are here today. Why our family survived. We can draw on this ability from our ancestors, connecting to their strengths instead of carrying their load. If we are willing to attend the matters of the heart and untangle our family ties, we might receive a sweet reward: being part of our lineage without repeating its difficult destinies. Then our symptoms may have fulfilled their mission: to set us into motion, into relation. To find our unique place in the fabric of life.
Photo: Pep Gasol