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How Our Language Prevents Healing Awareness

How would you describe the picture just above? Chances are you either have no words at all or many words.

It’s quite the opposite problem when it comes to the word ‘mind’ because this one word means so many different things. Dictionary definitions for ‘mind’ include the faculty of consciousness and thought; a person’s intellect; a person’s memory; a person’s attention; and the will. Synonyms include brain, wits, understanding, and sanity.

That is confusing as heck! How is it possible for the mind to be all those things? I think we need new words to separate the meanings!

Our language gets in the way of understanding each other and the world around us. We are often prevented from learning the lessons we need in our lives because we’ve got such an emotional attachment to some words that they actually cause a reaction or even prevent us from seeing what may be right in front of us.

For instance, it’s difficult to discuss the nature of our consciousness using the words brain, body, or mind.

“The brain and mind are both involved in consciousness and the terms are often used interchangeably but the brain and the mind are not the same.”

Billi Gordon Ph.D., Psychology Today

Perhaps conscious-awareness and bodymind-awareness work better to differentiate between the self and the bodymind. A discussion is more straightforward if we think of those two things (self+bodymind) as distinct from each other – especially concerning what we can work on to make improvements.

As it turns out, seems like Wilhelm Reich and his protege, Dr. Charles Kelley, were way ahead of their time with the development of body consciousness therapies!

SELF+BODYMIND RELATIONSHIP

We perceive ourselves as having possession of a body, but not as having a relationship with it. We consider that we have a mind, not that we are the mind. We should also be able to discuss the nature of our consciousness without getting into an obtuse discussion about parts of the brain and names of hormones. Words can ensnare us emotionally and so easily trap us with illusions from misunderstood meanings and concepts, so more basic words make it easier to achieve healing awareness through an understanding of complex concepts.

Learning that the body is mind changes everything about our understanding of human nature. And it changes the way we should approach healthcare.

Considering we’ve known about the conscious and the subconscious for well over 100 years, it shouldn’t be too far outside of anyone’s reality to understand the nature of our consciousness in these simple terms: self is conscious, the bodymind is subconscious. Simple. Two minds, one body.

SO FOR THE sake of conversation, let’s say that the body has a mind of its own. We have referred to this bodymind by many different names in every language across our cultures. Some of these words might include ego, subconscious, shadow self, alter-ego, personal demons, our dark side, or the devil.

When our language makes things confusing, it doesn’t make it very easy for us to discuss the parts of us which hurt or the part of us that seems to want to harm us. It’s difficult to differentiate the dark side of our minds as something apart from us when we don’t have the appropriate words to use.

For anyone looking to heal themselves from pain, learning to have a civil internal conversation with yourself instead of beating yourself up mentally all the time is a good place to start. If we can begin treating ourselves (your awareness, your sense of self, your consciousness) and our body (that other voice in your head, the subconscious mind) as two separate things, then we’ll be able to eventually separate ourselves from the morass of thoughts which our bodymind continually generates.

SELF-HATE BECOMES SELF-COMPASSION

Once we separate ourselves from our thoughts, we can bear witness of the dualistic relationship inside own heads. We say, “Me and my body,” or, “My body and I.” This makes sense because we tend to refer to “our body” as something we own. There’s no other way to speak. “These are my legs,” I say. And “inside this head, is my brain.”

That’s how we refer to parts of ourselves when we speak to others, so why not just continue this tradition inside your head? It’s not just the relationship you have with your body; it’s also the relationship your body has with you, and this is what we mean when we say that we must listen to our body.

When we mistreat our bodies, then our bodies can do things to retaliate. The subconscious mind is bodymind-awareness, and the body has a powerful impulse to survive, with or without our participation. We already know our body can have us do things outside our control; we end up stopping by the liquor store on the way home without realizing it, and we have that fight with our body’s addictions and end up losing.

We can turn this self-hate relationship around and take a different approach to wellness. “Hello, bodymind! Let’s work together on solving this chronic pain thing, shall we?”

Unfortunately, our culture would have us believe that we have a self+self relationship when we’re “arguing with ourselves.” But it doesn’t make any sense to describe things that way. There needs to be some separation of the self from the rest of the machine, or else nothing makes sense, and we’re doomed to inevitable misery.

DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP

There’s more to this logic, and I’m sure you’ll agree it makes a lot of sense to treat self and bodymind separately. We want to learn to have a positive self+bodymind relationship because self-healing is impossible without such a connection.

It’s a battle we fight in our minds. It’s a battle which rages on whether we’re aware of it or not. Even more precisely, the struggle is between our conscious awareness and the 37 trillion cells we share our body with, whether the cells “are the self” or whether the cells “belong to self.”

The reason this separation of self from bodymind approach works for chronic pain management is then we don’t need to take the blame for everything, and we don’t have to be so hard on ourselves. We don’t need to take everything so personally, and we don’t have to beat ourselves up when we have momentary lapses of reason. It goes with the territory. We want to learn better control over the reactive side of things, that’s all.

Two separate forms of awareness inside one container. This perspective unlocked all kinds of new possibilities with my chronic pain management, and it will likely do the same for you.

These concepts are all elaborated more clearly on the Mind-Awareness section of The Ultimate Healing Guide, so be sure to check it out.