How would you know if you had an autoimmune disease?
An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake. It can attack different organs in your body. It is an immune response caused by systemic inflammation that leads your body to attack itself.
Nothing sounds more frightening than that, right? Your own being attacking your whole being.
Would you stop for a second and think about how destructive your body can be towards itself?
What if YOU had an autoimmune disease? Just not one involving your immune system. It’s an autoimmune disease that your mind created due to past interactions and experiences and activated. And what it does is it attacks healthy cells in your mind. In turn, this affects your entire brain and body system, your whole being and everything that makes you who you are.
Relatively, we all have the need to take care of ourselves, to do good for ourselves. Nevertheless, how could someone want – on some level of awareness – to do something good for themselves, and at the same time have this system of chronic self-hurt and self-sabotage?
When something external is perceived as potentially harmful or threatening, our minds sometimes misinterprets the signal and fails to recognize the difference between the intrusive stimulus (i.e., Hurtful reactions, disrespect, antagonism, hostility, grief, rejection, disapproval, judgment, injustice…) and parts of our being, and what our system does is start firing at its own temple – its own secure base – it’s “shelter”. Your MIND starts attacking itself! Your mind turns all of its antibodies against itself and it starts firing up, and mercilessly wrecking its own being. How would you be capable of doing something good for yourself now? You stagnate. This is what self punitive mode and self critical mode sounds like.
Why is it difficult for us to fire at the target?
Emotions are our most powerful inner drives. They are our weapons, our catalysts. They’re everything. As much as we would like to deny that, it is true. They are the inner forces that direct all of our outer behavior. When negatives emotions are scary or painful, and when we start feeling vulnerable and volatile, we shut them off, or mask them. This temporarily works at some level – at just a superficial level and destructs at a much deeper level, the core – this is cataclysmic reaction – a violent and hostile destruction. Why? Because when emotions are shut off, masked, denied their freedom to float in your body and soul, towards the intended target, these emotions get bounced back at you. Your mind misidentifies the original target and uses these negative emotions to fire at itself. You attack yourself and you protect the target. For example, anger towards an ill parent will get directed back onto you because on an unconscious level you want to protect the parent whom you love from your anger.
And this how we learn to revert into self-destructive behavior (addiction, emotional eating, self-doubt and self-criticism). This ultimately breaks our core and stunts our growth.
Remember, emotions are your inner drives. They can direct you wherever you want, the way YOU want. Most of all, they direct you towards acknowledging the reality. One thing, however, is that emotions are destructive if not allowed to flow naturally and if not allowed to take a seat next to you for a little while, Just for a little while…
Once you chose to face the reality as it is, you will be freed of this self-destructive pattern and mechanism of autoimmune attack. You are no longer a recipient of all negative emotions and hostility. You are deactivating the system you’ve created because you realized that emotions are real and they can be painful but pain is part of life and it is transitory. Suffering is a choice and it is perpetual. It doesn’t allow you to do good for yourself. It doesn’t allow you to move forward. Thing is; only you can do that. Only you, can take ownership, and chose to be responsible for doing good for yourself.
It is somehow a privilege. No one is entitled to your being more than you are. Thus, no one can make you want to do good for yourself or change. Only YOU can change you. That is the privilege that you have.
The first good thing you can do for yourself is to love yourself. To love yourself is to practice compassion and acceptance towards yourself. That is one thing only you are able to offer yourself. It can only come from within your core.
“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” Pema Chodron