By Jenny Peterson
(For an audio version of this blog, listen to episode #31 of my podcast)
If your symptoms could talk, what would they say?
Better yet, If your blood work told you the stories that are connected to your symptoms, would you then listen?
Modern medicine has resulted in an estrangement from our own bodies. Our own internal wisdom.
We look to the experts to tell us what we should know and expect, but the sense of security we derive from this is short-lived. Instead, we are left feeling suspicious of every ache, pain, rash, or whatever doesn’t feel right in our body. We live in fear of getting a cough, a cancer diagnosis, or the flu.
We have drifted so far away from understanding our own bodies' survival. We look to nature and can see that survival is programmed into it, yet we don’t see it within our own body.
Your body is trying to communicate to you. It has a message for you, a story that is rooted in survival. What if I told you that if you identify this story or stories, most of your problems, including your chronic health conditions would go away?
No, I’m not selling you a line, its true.
Today I explain what it means to identify the story your body, your chronic symptoms, are trying to tell you and share one of the stories that my body gave me through one of my chronic symptoms.
I want to start off with covering a little of the basics because honestly, if we are not reminded of these basics, the rest of what I share doesn’t make sense. And because I know this information is new to a lot of you, hearing it again isn’t going to hurt.
Each organ in the body has a function and is connected to a specific group of neurons in the brain that monitor the cells within that particular organ.
Therefore, the brain controls the behavior of our cells. This is too important to miss, so I’ll say that again, the brain controls the behavior of our cells.
When an experience generating extreme stress within an individual is not resolved, the brain will order a special biological response in the body that will express the emotional struggle.
Basically the brain alleviates stresses that we experience as unmanageable by expressing solutions within our biology. It is as if we have a built in conflict resolution system that functions without our having to think about it. It's part of our survival system.
Our bodies are adapting to the stress within our psyche in order to stay alive. This survival response will show up as chronic conditions if the stress within the psyche is not resolved.
The emotional stress is connected to a person's perception of a particular situation.
If we imagine four women going through the same sudden traumatic shock, that their child has a life threatening illness, we may wonder, why don't they all respond emotionally to the news in the same way? And if their trauma triggers a disease process, why don’t they all manifest the same disease? This is where understanding the felt experience is important.
The felt experience is directly connected to the emotional significance that people, places, circumstances and events hold for us. And although most of us experience the world through the same five senses, we have different ways of giving meaning to our experiences.
In the case of the 4 mothers, the determining factor of their individual perceptions and emotions related to their child's diagnosis is a matrix of influences that resides within their subconscious mind.
The subconscious contains their life stories, including all of the beautiful and painful memories. It is the keeper of the beliefs and values that are aligned with their different religions, traditions, cultural influences, and personal conditioning, as well as generational programs.
Each of us filters the environment in a way that allows us to stay in alignment with our existing subconscious programs.
We are predisposed to our interpretations and our illness in a multitude of ways. Any perceptions we may have about the current circumstances we find ourselves in are often proportional to the limitations we experienced growing up. Just like the generations that preceded us, as children we often lacked the choices and resources that would allow us to see life differently.
To put it simply ….
Before you were born, the stage was set (an environment existed with cultural and family dynamics).
"They" (your care givers) already had their coping skills, beliefs, talents and problems before you arrived.
You were born into a specific environment.
"They" affected, influenced, and taught you to the best of their ability, based on what they knew at the time.
From your experiences, you developed coping skills and learned how to survive. your perspective of how the world works was created.
From your experiences, you formed beliefs about yourself; a self-identity or the "I am" was formed.
From this identity, you began to operate and survive in the world. These are our survival programs.
CONSCIOUS AND SUBCONSCIOUS MINDS
The conscious and subconscious minds rely upon each other in order to function. The conscious mind uses the resources of the subconscious, so we don’t have to continuously relearn behaviors and can instead operate automatically. The autonomic brain gets information from the conscious mind and triggers responses to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
As we process information from the outside world, we give meaning to our experiences and engage our thoughts, feelings and emotions. In order to be able to respond quickly to dangers in the environment, the brain processes gathered information into metaphors and symbols. This permits the subconscious to immediately interpret the type of situation we are facing in order to activate the appropriate survival program.
After gathering and analyzing the meaning of your thoughts, the subconscious mind acts independently from the conscious awareness, following its own trajectory in correlation with its programs. In other words, no matter how positive our conscious thoughts are, the power of the subconscious will prevail and often override the conscious desires.
For instance, a child who has been programmed to think he is worthless and does not deserve to be loved will carry a limited mental and emotional imprint into adulthood. Even though as an adult he consciously realizes his significance and repeats affirmations to reinforce this belief, the fact remains that the deep imprint from childhood might persist, resulting in low self-esteem and eventually depression.
When we are working on resolving an emotional struggle linked to a physical illness, it is important to investigate what has transpired within our subconscious mind.
It is essential to understand how we operate internally as we process the world around us. How we process life and the world is going to be directly related to our survival programs that were established at a very young age.
If symptoms are a biological response to a stressful event, and how we respond to life is back to old survival programs, then the answer to resolving symptoms, lies within those old survival programs.
There are generally 2 ways that those survival programs can trigger a disease.
The first possibility is when the programming of an illness and its trigger are at a distance in time.
The human brain acts in many ways like a camcorder, vividly recording events. While a specific event may not be retrieved by the individual's conscious mind, It continues to exist in the subconscious.
Both the event and the feelings associated with it are stored in the memory of the brain, creating imprints at a subconscious and cellular level simultaneously.
Here's an example: At the age of 26, Sandy loses her two year old daughter in a car accident and is experiencing a profound loss conflict which affects one of her ovaries. She becomes pregnant three weeks after the loss of her child. Sandy believes in reincarnation and attributes her new pregnancy to the return of her daughter. Her soothing perception permits her to find a satisfying solution to her stress and resolve her profound loss conflict.
However, an imprint of the emotional impact of profound loss and all it entails remains, establishing a first program or first emotional imprint in her subconscious mind. When Sandy's second daughter is diagnosed with leukemia at age 5, Sandy re-experiences a profound loss. A second shock as she anticipates the death of this beloved child. Since her doctor does not give her the certainty that her daughter is going to live, Sandy stays in a state of unmanageable stress for too long. Her subconscious mind automatically ensures survival on its own terms.
By awakening the program, she imprinted five years earlier when she lost her first child. Both conflicts are of the same nature and this time led to ovarian cancer. Sometimes several stresses of the same nature can accumulate during ones lifetime, before a disease is triggered and manifested.
The second possibility that survival programs could trigger illness is when a big stress awakens past stresses that are not correlated in terms of meaning or conflict content.
For an example: At the age of 51, Jeffrey, who lives alone, loses his house to a fire shortly afterward. His vision is severely impaired by an acute eye inflammation. Since he saw his house burn, there is an inclination to think that his eye problems occurred because subconsciously he didn't want to experience seeing his house being destroyed in front of his eyes. But this is not the case.
When his stress level was at a peak as he watched the dramatic event unfold, Jeffreys brain was actively searching for a stored solution that will lower his high level of stress. Since there were no stored memories that immediately resonated with this unexpected distressing experience, Jeffries brain awakened a response that corresponded to another stress of similar intensity and feelings but different in its content.
It turned out that when he was seven years old, instead of giving him his usual cleaning eye drops, his mother mistakenly gave him a different medication that belonged to his dad. Although this medication did not burn Jeffries eyes, it created temporary blindness, resulting in a state of fear and a peak level of stress.This event was followed by a terrible eye inflammation, restoring the damage caused by the medication.
Decades later, when his house burned down, Jeffrey's subconscious mind awakened the biological response associated with a stressful experience 44 years prior. Namely, the eye inflammation. The brain operating just like a computer search engine connected the two events that were completely different in terms of meaning, but equivalent in terms of stress, intensity, and feeling.
A big stress can awaken any past stress and its corresponding biological response.
As you can see from these 2 examples, old survival programs are connected to the manifestation of the symptoms/disease.
Now there is one remaining possibility that doesn’t happen often but I do need to mention it. It is when a traumatic event happens in someone’s life that is not connected to a previous subconscious program and triggers disease. This is often seen with sudden deaths or accidents. In this case, the symptoms that manifest are specific to how that person responded to that shocking situation. It is still a survival response but it is not connected to previous programs.
SURVIVAL PROGRAM TYPE
In order to define the type of survival program you are dealing with, the first step is to understand the role that the affected organ plays in your body.
For example, the role of the breast is to nurture and protect, the role of the throat is to swallow, the role of the stomach is to digest, the role of the intestines is to assimilate and so forth.
Understanding the function of the organ will inform you of the nature of the stressful event it is expressing.
An event has happened and as you filtered the experience through your five senses, you assigned a particular meaning to it, which is expressed through the organ.
The event that happened in the environment is not the cause of your distress as it is only external. The meaning you attributed to the event is the source of the problem, and it is personal.
It is emerging from your subconscious programming and conditioning, the perception belongs to you. Your felt experience originated from within yourself in relation to the environment.
The good news is that you can modify your perception of the event so you can let go of the conflict, which then gives your body permission to complete the healing process.
Once you're able to identify the triggering event, within that event there are a lot of subconscious connections that can be made. That event is going to have emotions and limited beliefs within it. Those are your survival programs. From there you can make connections to where those survival programs were established at a younger age.
Yes, this all takes detective work. But, the piecing together of this is where so many aha moments are made. You start to see why your chronic symptoms have not gone away and how your perceptions of your life experiences have all brought you to this point.
Remember that every cell of the body possesses intelligence and is responding to your emotional needs. A cellular modification has been triggered as a solution to emotional distress, and now illness has occurred.
The illness is signaling that an opportunity is presenting itself. Now you can choose to view your disorder as a chance to heal the part of yourself that has been emotionally challenged.
When we are finally able to gain awareness, we may find that illness has much to teach us.
It speaks of the fears we faced when alone and isolated from others. It acknowledges the loss, sadness and despair of losing a loved one. It tells of the betrayal we could not accept, the injustice we could not express, and the anger we could not express and kept locked inside.
It exposes the anguish about the child who could not have or the relationship we could not keep. It tells of the attacks from which we could not protect ourselves. It confesses the secrets that belong to our childhood or to others in the family, even secrets that transpired before we were born.
This is the story that our body is trying to tell us.
Illness is nothing less than the opportunity to evolve by behaving differently from your parents and ancestors, at least in certain areas. It is an opportunity to heal your younger self.
The child inside you is still waiting for resources he or she could not access during stressful times. The people around you acted in certain ways because they did not have access to anything else other than the imprinted programs within their own subconscious mind.
As human beings, our behaviors are driven by our instinctive reactions based on survival, not intellectual calculation. It is a lot easier to forgive others once this principle is understood. Our health challenges are often rooted in a misinterpretation about others and what the circumstances around you meant.
I want to share with you the story that one of my symptoms, palpitations, was telling me.
Palpitations are about overwhelm. When my palpitations started it was in October of 2016. Just prior to that I had a lot of stressful situations happen in my life. The one that was most connected to feeling overwhelmed was a demanding business coach that I was working with. I remember saying to her “please don’t tell me one more thing that I need to do.”
I was in the middle of moving at that time and was doing a lot of the moving, packing and showing of the house by myself due to my husband being gone. My list felt like a mile long and her saying that I needed to do these certain things for my business at the time was enough to put me over the edge.
So this situation was my triggering event.
Within this situation, there were many beliefs about myself and others that caused me to have this perception and feeling of being overwhelmed. I believed that I had to do it all, I couldn’t ask for help, and I couldn’t say no.
Now my perception of this situation had connections that stemmed back to my childhood. I had a traumatic situation back then that had these same beliefs and felt experience. This early memory was the programming event.
And when I looked at it even deeper, I saw that this way of responding to life in overwhelm was something that I saw in my mother and grandmother. This was a deep pattern.
Once I made all these connections, I was able to identify what I really needed in those events that those around me just weren’t able to provide for me as a child. It wasn’t their fault, they were just operating off of their own programs.
It was then up to me to change that old programming. That included going back to my “little jenny” and giving her the resources that she didn’t get back then. Giving her permission to say no, set boundaries and not put all the responsibility on her.
Then applying all of that to my current adult self.
Now, I handle life differently. I rarely get overwhelmed with anything. I have a new way of thinking about things. I don’t put those kind of expectations on myself, I am confident in saying no and setting boundaries, I no longer think it all needs to get done and am able to break big things down into little chunks, so I don’t get overwhelmed. I have broken this generational pattern and it feels damn good! And of course as a plus I haven’t had palpitations in 3 years.
Honestly the symptoms going away is nice, but the personal growth that comes from making the changes connected to the pattern is much more rewarding!
This was the story that my palpitations was telling me.
I know you want to know what your story is, but I really can’t do that without knowing more about you. But what I can do is give you examples like what I have mentioned in this blog as well as what I have seen with my students.
Remember it starts with the body system, so that is often a clue to the stories that are connected.
Bladder issues are going to have something to do with boundaries,
Skin issues are connected to separation.
Muscle is back to self devaluation.
Thyroid is about feeling behind or too fast.
If you wanted help with skin issues, for example, we would first want to know when they started. Then we are going to help you identify what was going on in your life prior the symptoms that made you feel separated.
From there its about taking it a step further and seeing where that separation pattern started in your childhood. We address both of those perceptions and survival patterns and then create a plan of how to move forward responding to life differently.
This process doesn’t involve talk therapy or digging up the details. The main focus is on shifting perceptions. Thats the work that matters most.
All of my symptoms had stories, and so do all of the students in the MBR program.
The story your body is telling you is deeper than your label. Its more than, you have anxiety, you have IBS, you have eczema, etc. You are not your diagnosis label. You can’t heal from this way of thinking.
Long lasting healing requires deep level work, finding the stories, your old survival patterns.
Doing this work as a coach in the MBR program, we must look to understand the individual, their unique set of symptoms, unique experiences and perception of those events in order to help them facilitate their unique resolution and healing process.
The pathway to resolution and healing requires detective work by and for the individual, a type of reverse engineering.
Once we understand more about the individual experiences and unique perceptions of that event, then we can assist them in changing the way the psyche perceived the events, which completes the biological program and completes healing (end of symptoms).
But every part of this process is unique to the individual, it is not a one size fits all.
You might be saying….. There wasn’t anything stressful going on before your symptoms started, or you can’t remember when your symptoms started or that you have gotten over all the “bad” things that have happened to you, or you feel like you didn’t have any trauma in your life, so this work can’t apply to you.
That isn’t true.
This work is literally for everyone. The world would be a better place if everyone did this work. But in relation to chronic illness and symptoms, there isn’t a symptom or diagnosis that this work can’t be applied (in exception to poisoning and deficiencies) because remember there are locations in the brain for every one of your body systems. Every diagnosis/symptom is connected to a body system. That system has a location in the brain that has a specific biological program.
Even if you think that certain events are in the past and that you got over it long ago, or did therapy for years with it; if you still have symptoms, it isn’t resolved.
Another question I get is, Do you need to find all the stories to every single symptom/diagnosis you have? No. Often resolving one survival program resolves several conflicts that are connected in some way. I typically see that a person is operating off 3-4 survival programs. Who you are is an accumulation of those 3-4 programs over many years.
So, let's recap what it means to have a story connected to your symptoms.
There is going to be a triggering event that happened just before your symptom started. That event will be connected to what is called the programming event, something that happened early in childhood.
These events are going to have common connections. Whether it be similar experiences, similar feelings or beliefs. These are the survival programs.
Your work from there is going to be shifting the perception around these events, giving yourself what you needed in those events and moving forward with new ways of thinking and responding. Thats how you rewire the subconscious and give your body the message that it is safe to heal.
The story your body is trying to tell you is an accumulation of survival programs connected to specific events. This is how we were designed to survive. You are not any different.
Your symptoms have a story.
What if you saw your symptoms as a teacher? An internal personal growth compass built within your body.
When we shift the meaning of our symptoms from being scary, something wrong with us and that we need to kill all the bad within us in order to heal, we miss out on the deeper meaning. The innate wisdom of our own bodies.
Now that I know about this wisdom within, I hate to waste or ignore such a precious thing just so I can feel better in the short term.
I love the stories that my body has told me and I will continue listening to the opportunities it gives me to evolve. I love this work and the impact myself and my team sees that it makes on not just the students health that we work with but their entire families!
Your survival programs are being passed on to your kids, they show up in your relationships and in almost everything you do. It is part of your survival. And if you don’t change those programs, they will continue showing up in all areas of your life.
We get it, you're desperate to have your illness be a thing of the past, not something that defines your days. But trying to heal WITHOUT a custom plan is costing you precious time, money and energy!
You are unique, your symptoms are connected to very specific patterns within your subconscious.
Without a plan unique to you, you will continue struggling and miss out on the life you deserve to be living! To help you get started on your long-lasting healing journey, we would love to provide you with a healing plan that is unique to you. Get your custom healing plan today!
You can also Download my free healing guide, “Why Can’t I Heal” where you will learn the 5 reasons that you haven't healed despite everything you've tried. These are the missing pieces to your healing and the key to resolving your symptoms for good.
Jenny Peterson is the founder and CEO of Mind Body Rewire (MBR). She teaches those that are overwhelmed with trying to heal chronic symptoms how to simplify their healing by focusing on just one place, the subconscious mind. Learn more about MBR here.