I went into 2015 filled with physical and emotional pain, but little did I know how positive this pain would be and that it would change my life.
The physical pain came from the diagnosis that I needed a full knee replacement. I have osteoarthritis in my right knee. I’m now in my mid-40s, my lovely body is half way through its lifespan and an active life is starting to take its toll on my joints.
Having a knee replacement this “young” isn’t ideal, the other option was to have my leg broken and re-aligned to take the pressure off the arthritic joint – nice.
And so it was in early February I had an arthroscopy and discovered that my leg alignment was good – thanks, yoga – so having my leg smashed with a hammer whilst under aesthetic wasn’t going to solve the problem. So I looked around for an alternative, something that would ward off the need for a replacement until I was at least 60.
As generally happens for me when I am looking for advice, a guide or a mentor, something or someone shows up. I was lucky to find a Bio-Energy healer who also became a therapist, someone neutral I could talk to. Whether or not you believe in spiritual healing, you can’t deny that talking about what is going on inside your head is incredibly therapeutic. I truly believe that negative thoughts and beliefs manifest themselves into blocked energy inside our bodies and that this is the basis for many of our aches and pains.
So I looked into knee pain and osteoarthritis, and the thought processes that are linked to this complaint, and unsurprisingly suppression of feelings has a lot to do with it. Over the years, the pressure of keeping in anger, resentment and guilt and a real lack of self-love was becoming very detrimental to my health. If I was going to relieve the physical pain in my knee without surgery or prescription drugs, I needed to let go of the negative beliefs and feelings in my head. Cut myself some slack, be kinder to me, fall in love with myself. To alleviate the physical pain, I had to acknowledge and let go of the emotional pain, and that emotional pain involved letting go of someone.
I had fallen in love with somebody who I knew would never fall in love with me. We were friends, had known each other a long time. I had told him how I felt a few years ago. I knew that my confession wouldn’t bring about a “When Harry met Sally” ending, but what I didn’t know back then, was how destructive I was being to myself by holding onto the thought that perhaps one day, he might feel the same. I asked for space, I didn’t get it. He valued my friendship too much and I liked having him around, I didn’t feel so lonely albeit it for all the wrong reasons. It was a lovely friendship, but the unrequited want for something more was slowly eating away at me.
My self-esteem was rock bottom and it wasn’t until I realised that the ultimate way to hurt yourself and cause yourself pain, is to love someone who doesn’t love you back. It’s self-harming without the physical scars. If I truly loved myself, why would I want to love someone who didn’t love me? This realisation freed me. Self-love is the foundation for everything, every life goal, every relationship – friends, family, lovers – every interaction you have with every person you meet.
I confessed to him once again how I was feeling, that I was in therapy and I was in pain. I thought I could save the friendship, but our friendship was based on the fact that I was madly in love and would do anything for him. Once that desire in me to please him was gone, our friendship didn’t exist.
I have no bitterness toward him or toward myself, in fact, I thank him and I thank myself. He taught me how to love myself and without him I would never have realised just how fundamental self-love is. I also now know that holding onto negative thoughts and beliefs serve me no purpose. Emotionally they eat away at my self-esteem and physically they eat away at my joints.
My three main goals for 2015 were to heal my knee, fall in love and to start to etch out an alternative career.
My knee is still a work in progress, but it is certainly no worse than it was at the beginning of the year and I did fall in love. He wasn’t a tall, dark, mysterious stranger, but a 45-year-old female, an aspiring writer, who has self-awareness and a lot of love to give. Her name is Jo.
WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY 2016
This article also appeared in The Huffington Post
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