Our body talks–If only we’d listen
The fourth commandment still lives within us
I’ve started reading The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting by Alice Miller.
Alice talks about the fourth commandment where we’re commanded to love and respect our parents despite how they treat us from childhood on. She comments that this goes against our own body’s innate wisdom.
How can we love our mother or father when they’ve abused us? Our hearts can’t actually physically love them, but society tells we’re supposed to. Our bodies are therefore in conflict.
How can we respect our abusive parent(s) when they act in ways that don’t inspire respect? We’re supposed to be respectful nonetheless while our bodies scream at us to express our true feelings. And when we don’t, or can’t, what happens then?
Alice maintains that instead of openly discussing the effect cruel parenting has on our physical and psychological wellness, researchers often instead claim that physical and mental illnesses are linked to our genes. The subject of abusive parents being responsible for their grown children’s illnesses is still very taboo.
Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, doesn’t believe our genes define who we are. And I don’t either. Christiane says we should forget all we’ve heard about being doomed to get the same diseases as our ancestors. She believes we limit ourselves based on these false beliefs, and I agree.
I believe that it’s the abusive patterns that continue within families from one generation to the next that cause similar illnesses generation after generation.
Forgiveness doesn’t heal
And we’ve all heard that without forgiveness we cannot heal.
Alice Miller doesn’t agree. She believes forcing ourselves to forgive also goes against our body’s innate wisdom.
And when you think about it, what she says makes sense.
When growing up, would it make sense to forgive the class bully who torments us and frightens us daily? No. And no one would suggest we do.
So what happens when we go home and are bullied and frightened by our mom or dad, or both? Why are we supposed to grow up and eventually forgive them? Isn’t their behaviour even more cruel based on the fact that they’re tormenting an innocent child, their own child? I would argue yes.
And so where did the idea that only through forgiveness we can truly be free come from? I even quoted it in a previous blog by the Mother Teresa.
I can’t answer my question. Maybe some of you can. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I will keep reading and maybe I’ll find the answer. But I know that these ideas are stirring something within me.
I’m not sure exactly what it is yet, but I do believe that listening to my body is the only way I’m going to be healthy, and stay healthy. And that’s an excellent place to start.
If I start believing the truth of what my body tells me then I’m not sure how I can go wrong.