As a naturopath I see disease resulting from suppression – suppression of emotions, suppression of beliefs, suppression of aspects of one’s self that are believed to be unacceptable to others, and suppression of one’s own unique and true voice. We stuff all of this down and at some point it gets to be too much for the body to contain and it begins to discharge. The discharge may ooze out as red weeping skin lesion or as irritability, or it pushes its way out with aches, pains and cramps, or it bursts it way out as anger.
When the western medical mindset sees these discharges it most often suppresses them further with medications that then make the body’s efforts to discharge and express disappear. The symptom may be gone but the pressure building inside intensifies until once again the body can no longer hold it in and it again makes an attempt to release via an expression we call a symptom of disease and the cycle continues of symptom and suppression, symptom and suppression, and an increasing buildup of pressure on the inside.
At some point this building pressure is entirely too much and instead of skin lesions, aches and pains or angry outbursts the response of the body is much more severe – a heart attack, a stroke, or cancer. And we wonder “Why did this happen?” What is the pathway to healing from suppressing of self? The most proactive approach is to be yourself. Be free. The next step is, as the body shows early signs of overload, support the process of clearing and release. What this means is instead of suppressing the symptom, the sign that the body is trying to discharge – support it in releasing (this is what I do in my ND practice every day). This may not sound so difficult, but where people run into trouble is that in order to clear the layers of suppressed gook, discomfort will likely continue for a while and possibly get worse before better.
In long-standing cases of suppression that may mean sticking with the pain and discomfort, that seems to be worsening, a lot longer than desired. What happens is many people bail on the process, often right before it clears because at that moment the experience has escalated to a place that feels unbearable. Yet in sticking with the process – through the pain, through the discomfort, through the fears of never getting better and other undesirable outcomes – on the other side is freedom.
When I look at politics, and really the current state of our world, I see the effects of centuries of suppression and how that begins to ooze, push or burst out in ways that we don’t like. The suppression comes out as addiction, as crime, as hatred, greed and war. We attempt to fix these issues in suppressive ways – pushing away, shutting up, locking up or beating up the bad guys – put the problem somewhere it can’t be seen. Out of sight, out of the mind, and everything seems fine. This doesn’t and hasn’t solved anything, and pushed down the issues increasingly intensify. Eventually the suppressed will come out in a big way – like the body finally has a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, our communities break out into hatred, violence and war. As with the body we ask “why is this happening?” “What’s wrong with those people?”
This suppression of who we are creates a very limited version of a human being that is “OK”. So very much of us is suppressed. When we do not accept some aspect of ourselves (and if it is a part of humanity then it is part of us) then we are going to lash out on those who do express those characteristics that we don’t want to see – hatred, greed, dishonesty…
To me it seems completely natural that those suppressed qualities are seeking a way out – an avenue for expression in order to clear out. Yes, humanity’s characteristics that we are ready to drop, be done with and move beyond have to come out, in full force, be expressed to be cleared. It makes total sense from this perspective that these human qualities that we don’t want to see, that we are so ready to be done with, would be expressed in the form of a very prominent figure or political movement – where it cannot be ignored.
Just as with letting the body go through its process of healing, our process as humans evolving can be challenging, painful and frightening. Sticking with the process through its most intense expression as it clears from human consciousness is how we become free.