Written by Georgina Mellas, Reiki Master
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause in memory of the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service. Canadians pay tribute with two minutes of silence to the country’s fallen soldiers from the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict and peacekeeping missions. We honour and remember these heroes, grateful for all they did so that we can enjoy the freedom that we do.
When we think and reflect on these brave men and women, we feel compassion and gratitude for the pain and suffering they must have endured, with good reason! Why then do we often avoid turning inwards and acknowledge our own pain and suffering be it as a result of a past childhood trauma or other painful experiences in our lives?
Many of us, particularly as we approach mid-life, begin to experience some form of life disrupting experience which then forces us to start paying attention to what our body is telling us. Whether it be insomnia, anxiety, infertility, back pain, pelvic pain, etc., these are all “messages” from the body begging for our attention. Our body holds all memory, conscious and subconscious, and when we experience these “disruptions” or blocks, we need to pay attention and assist the body in doing what it is designed to do, heal.
Remembering, acknowledging and honouring our inner child and what he or she experienced is the key to releasing the physical and emotional pain we have been carrying, often for decades.
In his book, When the Body Says “No”, world renowned speaker and bestselling author Dr. Gabor Maté writes:
“When emotions are repressed, specifically as a result of childhood trauma, this inhibition disarms the body’s defenses against illness. Repression—dissociating emotions from awareness and relegating them to the unconscious realm–disorganizes and confuses our physiological defenses so that in some people these defenses go awry, becoming the destroyers of health rather than its protectors”
There has been significant research done on the mind body connection and how it relates to obtaining optimal physical and emotional health. Here are some ways in which we can show compassion towards ourselves and begin to heal and, that I have experienced and benefited from personally:
- Write – Journaling your past experiences and how they made you feel (and continue to make you feel) creates a sense of validation, recognition and compassion for oneself.
- Share your story with someone – Finding your voice and acknowledging your pain and hurt can be extremely healing for both parties.
- Allow yourself to “feel” – Feeling angry, sad or frightened are often very uncomfortable for us. If we just allow ourselves the time and space to truly feel and express our feelings in a healthy way, they will eventually dissipate. If we repress them, they will often magnify and manifest in other ways including physical pain and increased anxiety.
As we remember and honour our veterans for their enormous courage and sacrifice on November 11th, let us also take time to reflect on our own past. If we collectively took a few minutes every day to remember and show compassion to our inner child and find peace within, perhaps we will find it easier to show compassion and understanding to others and eliminate further global conflict.
Georgina is a Reiki Master dedicated to helping clients release and heal emotional and physical challenges including childhood trauma, stress, depression, anxiety and chronic pain.
For more information, please visit www.georginamellas.com