Recognizing negative emotional patterns in chronic Lyme (and other conditions)

Working with so many different types of clients, I am always finding common threads in the emotional patterns I see.

Because I had chronic Lyme disease and about 50% of my clients have it, I thought it might be useful to outline some of the common emotional denominators I see with this disease and other chronic illnesses like it (Fibro, EBV, etc.). I also see these with other chronic physical manifestations of pain and anything that involve the immune system. However, they are always part of what I work with when seeing a client with chronic Lyme disease who hasn’t been making any progress in their treatment.

How these affect us

Unresolved emotional issues and negative emotional patterns can put a huge stress on the immune system, which can allow a disease to take over. Our immune systems are our bodies greatest protection.

Stress hormones has been found to inhibit the production of cytokines, the agents of the immune system that responds to danger. This causes these cells to overreact and create an inflammatory response that is over the top, often creating a greater problem than the original danger. Our systems cannot distinguish the difference between a negative emotional pattern, trauma or wound; or a real threat to our physical health. If the emotional issue or trauma does not get released, our bodies can remain in a perpetual state of stress.

Clearing these emotional issues can be highly beneficial in releasing the immune system from suppression.

In my opinion, a disease always serves a purpose – to keep us safe, to allow us justification to not be perfect, to force us to care for ourselves when we’d otherwise feel too guilty, to make us re-assess how we live, our relationships, and the list goes on.

The only way our body has to communicate with us is with symptoms, and it does a very good job using them to get our attention 🙂 Once you take away the body’s reason to try to get your attention, it is amazing how the symptoms can start to fall away because they have no purpose anymore.

What is your body trying to tell you?

Common emotional patterns that cause stress

Suppressing emotions

Many people who experience chronic illness have big feelings but don’t like to “bother” or “upset” anyone else with them. From childhood, they often bottle up their emotions, try to deal with them alone, and force themselves to ignore or move on from uncomfortable feelings. When we do this, we create stress in the body.

Learning how to deal with (aka process) and release emotions is life-changing for many of us! It definitely was for me.

The key is finding a way to acknowledge them so you can let them go from your body. This doesn’t mean you have share them with other people. This simply means letting them go from your body. There are energy techniques to help with this, but you also need to really truly acknowledge your emotions as they are. That takes letting go of judgment and simply feeling what you feel! 

Self-criticism (fear of not being perfect)

This is a huge one. My Lyme disease clients are some of the ones that beat themselves up the most – about everything. I can attest to having been one of the best examples of these people (and still have to work on it to this day). This process is so unconscious that many people don’t realize it until we start to break down what’s really going on. Some ways this shows up are fear and guilt. If these are themes in your life, chances are you’re probably a highly self-critical person.

I often recall something a friend used to tell me when I was struggling with chronic health issues: The mind leads and the body follows. If we are constantly telling ourselves we aren’t good enough, criticizing every little thing – why do we think the body has any reason to feel deserving of health, and ever come into line with that?

What messages are you giving to yourself? Ones that you deserve to be healthy, or ones that allow your mind and body to justify that you’re in exactly the right place with deserving the punishment of an illness. Our bodies listen to us – make sure you’re not sending the wrong messages.

Inability to trust yourself and/or the flow of life (has to be in control)

Another one I always see is inability to trust – which leads to a feeling of being unsafe in the world. This is the person who tries to control EVERYTHING. This one is not only completely exhausting, but never works either (or else you probably wouldn’t be reading this). We always tend to think that our analytic selves know better than anything or anyone how to run our lives. But, it’s not always true. We over-plan, over research, kill ourselves getting every perspective from every doctor everywhere. But the sheer amount of energy this consumes, takes an unbelievable toll on the body (and mind)!

How would things be different if you followed the flow of where life was trying to take you? For those of you who believe in the Universe and/or God, how would things be different if just for awhile, we considered they knew more than us? And also considered, that our inner selves knows what feels right for us? What if we stopped over-researching, over controlling, over analyzing everything and just followed what felt right?

I believe there is an absolute flow to life and by trying to control the path precisely using logic, you may be steering yourself away from the very place you’re meant to go…

I saw a massive shift in my health when I was finally able to just let go….stop holding myself to unrealistic treatment rules I made for myself….trust that if I was feeling something wasn’t the right road for me despite what others’ said, it would be ok.

You can’t imagine the strain on your body that’s released when you get to this point of trusting and letting go.

Taking on too much responsibility

This one is a pattern of taking on everything! I find these clients to be highly energetically sensitive which can be a gift; but the downfall is it’s too easy to take on everyone else’s crap. Once someone has a chronic illness, this can become exacerbated as they suddenly feel like they have to save everyone from going through this themselves. It perpetuates the problem.

This can show up in a few ways: feeling responsible for other people’s feelings, feeling like you have the responsibility to make sure other’s lives are going right, thinking you know better for someone else than they do, and feeling like you have to save people from their own pain or possible mistakes.

This is dangerous as not only are you draining your own energy, but no one has a right to impede on another’s journey. We each walk on our own and you are interfering when you can’t allow someone else to fully be themselves. This attempt at ‘helping’ other people hurts both parties.

Once someone can work through their need to take responsibility, it can release so much healing energy for their own body.

Can you relate?

If any of these resonate with you, it is a good idea to start watching out for this pattern and even watching for how it might correlate with symptoms. Your body is a messenger and it’s trying to tell you something.

How would it change your life if, for a while, you tried to really, really listen?

Video: How and why does working on stuck emotional energy help you heal?

What does it really mean to be healed?

Recognizing negative emotional patterns in chronic Lyme (and other conditions)

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