Stuffing emotions is how I’ve coped with life. As a child, any emotion that was a little too happy or too sad was cause for a reprimand:
“Sit down and act your age. Settle down.”
“Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.”
Sanguine by nature, I learned to behave like a Melancholy. In fact, I picked up many of the characteristics of that personality type: organized, analytical, studious, and focused.
I also suffered from severe Eczema, hives, bronchitis, and wet the bed well into my teens (TMI, I know).
It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that this ‘crazy fun’ personality made her appearance. I would get happy and act all crazy…then wonder if I was crazy, then stuff that nutso back in the box.
In 1980, I heard Florence Littauer speak on the four personality types. In a matter of a couple of hours, I saw what was going on and began to operate as the personality God gave me:
“Do it my way and we’ll have fun!” I love it!!
While I was set free to be me, I continued to stuff negative emotions. Expressing those had never gone very well, and this didn’t improve once I became an adult.
After several years of emotional healing, the skin ailments and bronchitis disappeared. I’ve been very healthy – without so much as the yearly bouts of flu and colds.
Until last year, that is.
It was like my body said, “That’s it! There isn’t room in here for one more thing.”
I began to have physical ailments, sometimes separately, at other times, several at once: migraines, joint pain, kidney stones, and gall stones.
One by one, though, as I addressed old wounds with my counselor, these began to go away.
It became apparent that certain types of stressors affected certain organs in my body. This is what I learned about the above maladies:
Migraines: Lies I believed about God, myself, and others.
Joint pain: Unforgiveness
Kidney stones: Rejection
As we worked through the lies I believed, I would get a raging migraine. By the time we’d worked through the current one, it would disappear.
These have become a warning sign for me that the enemy is attempting to sell me a lie. As soon as my head starts hurting, I consider what I’ve been thinking about. Every time, this has been the case for me.
In the spring of 2013, my entire bone structure came loose. When I moved around, my back sounded like a zipper. The rest of my joints continually popped as I walked around or used my limbs. It was a creepy feeling.
After nine months of forgiving people who hurt me, my skeleton is back to normal. I am so thankful for that! There were times when I thought a hip would dislocate just by moving it out of line with my body. That was scary.
Major emotional upsets that involved rejection resulted every time in a urinary tract disorder of one sort or another. The severity determined whether it would be stones or an infection of the kidneys or bladder.
No fooling. Absolutely every time, within 24 hours of the rejection this was the case.
And gallstones? I now understand that ‘blinding pain’ isn’t just a cute little phrase. Pain can be so intense that everything before your eyes goes completely black.
(Yes, I could go have my guts yanked out, but I like my guts and God wouldn’t have given them to me if they were unnecessary!)
It took a while to figure out what was causing stones, but after a few months it became apparent. Fear had to go.
Whenever a situation arose where I should have spoken up, but chose to be a coward – bam! Gallbladder attack. As soon as I addressed the situation, I would pass a stone (or several) and all would be well…
…until the next time.
This is the year I am learning to stand up for myself. Fear has no place in my life. My gallbladder says so.
I’ve learned that my body is the dashboard of my heart. When I deal with my heart…dis-ease goes away.
No, I am not prepared to claim this for everyone. Each of us is unique, the choices of medical care and medications between us and the Lord.
However, my body has been the way the Lord got my attention so He could heal my heart. Maybe this will help someone else, too. I’ve read reports from many medical professionals which state that up to 85% of all illness is due to emotions. I may not be that far off. It’s proven to be the case in my own life.
For me, this is the year of no more stuffing.
My body said, “Enough!”