Emotional Auto-Immune Diseases
Allergies. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lupus. Crohn’s Disease. Eczema. Type 1 Diabetes. Do you or someone you know have one of these conditions? Mostly likely yes. Those of us in the developed world are plagued by these and other autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases occur when our own immune system fails to recognize a part of our own tissues or cells as part of us, and instead sees it as a foreign enemy. Attacking. These are cases of mistaken identity. We become our own enemy when in reality, we’re not.
I wonder though why we don’t have a classification for emotional autoimmune disorders? I’ve rarely met a human being who didn’t suffer emotionally from confusing themselves with the enemy, and following suit with attack.
Both physical and emotional autoimmune diseases are equally misguided attempts to protect ourselves. Our immune system thinks it’s helping. Emotionally speaking, we so often think that if we shame ourselves, judge our hungers, and self-loathe that we’re making ourselves somehow better or safer. We speak to ourselves with disparagement because we want to be loved or just liked. We mistrust our hungers because we fear that feeding them will make us unlovable or judged by others. We all have our own best interest at heart it’s just that our emotional immune system too often gets confused and thinks that we are the enemy of our self. I may not be a doctor and I don’t know much about treating Lupus or Crohn’s Disease, but I do know a few tricks to get us on the road to recovery from an emotional autoimmune disease.
1. Practice seeing ourselves as an ally and not the enemy.
2. Know that any internal voice that is not kind, loving, or compassionate towards us is not speaking the truth.
3. Know that when we emotionally attack ourself our deeper intentions are good. We want the best for ourselves. We want to be safe and somewhere along the way various sorts of self-attacks appeared the path to get there. They aren’t.
4. Healing depends on our willingness to practice. We must notice our attacks, however subtle or seemingly harmless, and practice ending them without judgement. Notice. Let go. Make peace. Notice. Let go. Make peace. Mess-up. Start again. Notice. Let go. Make peace.