I sat in a Starbucks quaffing an eggnog latte. The warm milk felt good to my throat, which had been hoarse and sore for several days.
“You need to be clear about why this is happening,” a soft voice said in my ear. The absence of a visible speaker did not in the least surprise me. I understood that my psyche was talking to itself.
“I am clear about it,” I replied. “I have a cold. Quite common in November.”
“No you don’t,” the voice said. “It only seems like you do.”
“All the symptoms are present,” I noted. “Sneezing, coughing, aching limbs. Germs cause it.” I sipped the latte again and braced for a painful swallowing sensation.
“Germs are a consequence, not a cause.”
I was becoming a bit exasperated at this invisible haranguing. Besides, I had felt bad for weeks and was tired of blowing my nose.
“OK, wise guy,” I said. “What is happening then? Tell me how to get rid of my congestion.”
“The congestion in your chest is no worse than the congestion in your soul,” said the voice. “Matter of fact, one is a reflection of the other. The ‘cold’ is to help release that. All you have to do is stop resisting it and let it work.”
“Right,” I muttered, opening an aspirin bottle.
“Put that away!” the voice commanded. “Accept the healing that is trying to happen! Stop trying to make yourself feel better artificially - you’ll feel better when those impacted emotional nodules inside get dislodged.”
I closed the bottle grimly. “You want me to hurt, is that it? What are you, a sadist?”
“You’ve already BEEN hurting for as long as you can remember. Do you want to keep on hurting for the rest of your life as well? Do you want to be like the Titanic, voyaging through a dark existence until some unprecedented crisis finally sinks it? Take a look inside. What do you see?”
Reluctantly, I felt to where the sickness had been working within. In my mind’s eye I could see dark gelatinous globules shimmering in some kind of congealed intensity. They looked like concentrated, ultimate YUK, the kind of thing you would walk a mile to avoid . . . and there they were inside me!
I shook my head at the disgusting plight. “OK, OK,” I said in resignation, “now what?”
“You need to get to work,” the voice said, a bit more reassuringly. “Those emotional nodules are buried deep because in the past you believed them to be true - that they were valid assessments of you as a person. This belief makes them unbearably painful, so they get pushed out of sight. You still feel them, just not consciously. They still hurt, but you don’t know where the pain is coming from. Healing requires that they be released, and the feelings trapped inside them exposed. Now that you are older, you can re-experience them with a greater maturity and see that they are NOT true. They do not describe the person you really are. This is an uncomfortable process, as most honest healing work is. But in the end you will gain not only your health, but your freedom.”
My fingers reached for a cough drop, but I stopped them. The voice was right - more was going on here than met the eye. I realized that the energies of love and will, represented by the heart and throat, had been in abeyance since I was a child. Those energies were struggling to come to life again, and to do so they had to negotiate through a system obstructed by impacted emotional nodules.
"Impacted emotional nodules," I thought. "Who comes up with such terms?"
I sighed, pitched the aspirin and the cough drops, and sipped the latte manfully.
The discomfort of a cold was a small price to pay, I reflected,
Especially if it might really lead to health