Suppression is Not a Long-Term Strategy

Most of my adolescent and adult life was spent on antibiotics at least 2 if not 3 times a year. This would include having the cold, the flu and chronic bronchitis – not to mention I was constantly tired. I worked with countless practitioners to rebuild my microbiome only to be on another antibiotic and repeat the cycle. 

If you asked me how I was. I was fine. My diet was healthy. I exercised regularly. I was a meditation teacher. I tried to maintain an optimistic attitude and was focused with a sense of purpose. Outwardly I was attaining so that I could distract from my inner life. 

And I was becoming more sick physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Oh, the irony! 

Then something significant happened. 

I couldn’t keep up the persona (false self) any longer and all of life broke open. 

With encouragement and love of a trusted few…I started to embrace decades of backlogged emotions with compassion: Grief, anger, anxiety, sadness, pain, disturbance, despair and more. 

To my surprise, despite the long-standing emotional discomfort I started to become healthier fairly quickly. The shadow is an honest part of us, and when integrated leads to health and true spiritual wholeness. 

Suppression and the unconscious control of upholding a persona (false self) leads to more sickness. 

Bottling up emotions has an adverse effect on immunity, increases inflammation and the reliance on unhealthy coping mechanisms (Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine). 

My last cold was four years ago. I haven’t been on an antibiotic in 5 years. Five years!!! 

The 12 Step saying is true: feeling is healing. Safe spaces allow us to embrace honesty and gently take off our masks.