Everything in the visible world is a symbol of the energy moving in the invisible. Not that we always understand it, or need to understand it. Sometimes the symbol just means that life is energy and energy always moves and changes….and we just need to accept that impermanence. Sometimes, I find it useful to look at seemingly mundane occurrences and see if it relates to how I am moving energy on my own path, in my own mind and my own life.

Louise Hay has a list at the back of all her books that is a guide to metaphysical diagnosis. Over her years of working with people, she came up with a list of physical ailments that she related to possibilities of how people might be congesting their energy movement, along with suggestions of ways to think that might flow the energy better in that particular situation. Whenever I have something physical going on, I always look at her list. It is up to us to decide if something resonates or fits….we have responsibility for our own life and discernment is important. We are not meant to blindly follow anyone else’s way of thinking. We need to decide what is true for us. We are told we each need to work out our own salvation, reason and come to conclusions for ourselves.

That being said, there have been times I read what she has to say about knee issues, for example, and I would say, I can’t see where I am in the grip of ego, fear or stubbornness. Silly me. Her new thought pattern is: “I am flexible and flowing. Forgiveness. Understanding. Compassion. I bend and flow with ease, and all is well”. So maybe, just maybe, it did fit…..!

Again, no matter what Louise Hay said out of her vast experience, it was still my work to apply this to me, if the shoe fits, so to speak. But always, the solution is to apply love: “I am flexible and flowing. Forgiveness. Understanding. Compassion. I bend and flow with ease, and all is well”. Apply love to myself, apply compassion for whatever inflexibility, fear, stubbornness I held on to long enough to create a pattern in my physical body.

This is not to blame or punish ourselves for what we experience physically. This is to show us how powerful we are as energetic beings and in using energy, if not to create something, to respond to something lovingly. Not that the loving response will take away the manifestation of illness, but it will help me respond lovingly to whatever I am experiencing without judgment or harshness, but sweetness, compassion, understanding, love. This helps us treat ourselves like we would a dear friend, a child, a beloved four-legged fur baby.

A simple way of looking at this mind-body connection (with compassion) is: when my neck is stiff, how am I being stiff-necked? How am I being rigid and unbending and in that resistance or resentment, causing myself pain….which shows up in my body. Again, not in a punishing, berating manner, but lovingly, kindly, with curiosity. And you may not have an answer, and that’s OK. What’s important is be loving and kind to ourselves and do whatever is appropriate to get relief….and along the way, sometimes many years later, we may have an inkling or an intuition about what mental pattern we may have been perpetuating that could have contributed to our issue. Again, what’s important is being loving and kind to ourselves, not giving ourselves the third degree. It’s the love that heals, not the answer.

And back to the refrigerator……some years ago when our refrigerator stopped working, we were told it might have been due to a power surge. The solution was to get a new refrigerator – and a surge suppressor. And after taking care of that, I then reflected on how the energy spike that did in our fridge might relate to me. I knew I had been feeling up and down, very tired, working too hard; I felt like I was breaking down in some way….in hindsight, clearly not taking loving care of myself, although I wasn’t really aware of it at the time.

We got a new refrigerator on December 30, 2012. In January 2013, a lump appeared on my left arm. By February, I had been diagnosed with a malignant tumor that turned out to be sarcoma. Two surgeries, radiation and five years of recovery followed….which entailed learning about how to take more loving care of myself than I could imagine.

I did ask my Higher Self, my inner wisdom, what the cancer may have represented. Not that I brought this on as punishment for something….but I was willing to explore the possibility that this physical manifestation might have wisdom, guidance or teaching for me. Since everything is about Love, the main question was, would this help me see where I might have been unloving to myself in the past, and help guide me to be more loving to myself in the future? It was one of those “wake up” moments.

And I say recovery took five years because not only did the effects of surgery and radiation and overwork ease over those five years, slowly, bit by bit….but it also took five years for me to work with each Pillar of Health (Right Rest, Right Nutrition, Right Movement, Right Relationship within and without) and come to a better understanding about what it truly means to take loving care of myself and continually apply it, as best I can….and being human, sometimes I do better than others.

Since Love is infinite, limitless and eternal, our work of learning to love ourselves is continuous throughout our lifetime. We’re never “done”. It actually is wonderful that every day is a continuing opportunity to love ourselves more than we can imagine. And we may even learn to enjoy the adventure.