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Endometriosis Awareness Month March 2022 Goodbye Endo, hello life! (22)

The language of our body

What if illnesses are the way our body lets us know that we are doing something that is not good for us? At the 3E centre they believe each illness is a message from the body. They specialise in cancer and claim that the cancer you get is linked to the type of person you are, the experiences you've gone through and the beliefs or worries you carry within you. The in-house cancer specialist tells us, she can often tell after a few minutes, without knowing anything about the patient, what sort of cancer they may have. According to her, there are very typical patterns for the different types of cancer.

I find this fascinating. If illnesses are a specific message from our body, then do we just have to learn to decode the messages? This would mean, that if we learn our body's language, we would be able to communicate much better and give it what it needs in order to be healthy. Cancer and most chronic illnesses like endometriosis are linked to stress and stress is primarily caused by our thoughts. It is not what happens around us that stresses us, it's what we make it mean. And that is based on our own individual experience. If ten people in a room all experienced the same thing, you would get ten different stories of what happened, as each person would interpret the events based on their belief system. Apparently, people who have a tendency to worry and to think negative thoughts are more likely to get chronic illnesses. Well, I can totally see that I fit the bill there.

Because at the centre they specialize in cancer and not endometriosis, they cannot tell me immediately what the endometriosis pattern might be. However, hearing about some cancer patterns, I can totally see the relevance to people I know who suffered from these cancers. Bowel cancer (my dad)is linked to self-esteem issues. Thyroid cancer (my mum) - issues around speaking your mind or suppressing what you want to say. Lung cancer is linked to grief (my paternal grandfather died 6 months after my grandmother, he grieved her death and didn't want to live without her). Cervical cancer (my maternal grandmother) - issues around womanhood, femininity and creating the life you want to live. Breast cancer - issues around nurturing and over nurturing, often over nurturing others and ignoring ones own needs (but it can be the other way round as well).

All these make total sense. The examples they give certainly do seem to fit with the people I know who had cancer. Or am I just making them fit? Am I reading into it what I want to see? In any case, I decide I will have to look into this further. My maternal grandmother died of cervical cancer, my mother had a hysterectomy, I have endometriosis - is there a pattern going on linking us all? All these illnesses seem to affect the female reproductive system. Is that what I need to explore?

What is the message of endometriosis? What is laryngeal papillomatosis trying to tell me? Can the life coach and therapist here help me find out what the limiting belief patterns that may be causing my illnesses or preventing me from healing. What is my body trying to tell me? What do I need to hear?

Secondary gain

There is something else that according to the 3E centre plays a role in chronic illnesses. These illnesses have become chronic because the body for some reason either cannot or does not want to them. Why would I not want to heal? Surely nobody wants to be ill? A benefit that arises from being ill is called a secondary gain. It is some sort of advantage that your illness is giving you. We may subconsciously hold onto the illness, because it provides something we wanted (but didn't get before). This is obviously not a conscious process, nobody would consciously choose to be ill or in pain. All this happens subconsciously.

There are many different reasons, why you might hold onto the state of being ill. Here just a few examples to illustrate the point:

1) When you're ill, suddenly people care for you, you are being looked after, you get a level of attention you might have longed for, but never got. If you get healthy again, all the love and attention you receive while ill may disappear again, leaving you as lonely and abandoned as you felt before becoming ill. This might be a reason to subconsciously not want to return back to being healthy. (Another example would be not wanting to loose financial benefits or a disability status for instance).

2) The illness gives you a reason to exist. Without it, there would not be much to do. This is often a reason for older people or people who have lost their purpose in life. Suddenly there are appointments in their calendar: doctors, specialists etc. Your disease becomes your job, so to speak. As bizarre as this sounds, but recovering from it would mean going back to a life without purpose. So people subconsciously hold onto the illness instead.

3) Being ill is a great way out of doing things you do not want to do. You have an excuse to not see certain people, attend events etc.

Holding onto the illness and not wanting to let it go turns the disease into what we would call a chronic condition.

This is interesting. I am reflecting on this for my two illnesses. What am I gaining? Why would I subconsciously hold on to them, prevent myself from healing? What is my body saying to me? It looks like I need to learn a new language again. This time not to communicate with the outside world (I have studied or learned German, English, French and Russian), but to communicate with my inside world.

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