The Feather and the Wound

Published on December 7, 2021

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, you decided to take yourself out for a bike ride by that beautiful park by the sea.

It’s busy this morning, but you are a skilled and experienced bike rider, and you continue with confidence along the path.

You get momentarily distracted and things unfold quicker than you can blink. You had a fall and thankfully no one else was involved. You assess the situation and realise that you are ok, your bike is ok. A couple of passers-by have run to the rescue, but you reassuringly let them know everything is ok.

Your left leg has a cut by the calf and besides a little shock, everything else is in good order. The cut seems superficial, so you brush some of the dirt off and set off to finish your leisurely ride.

One week later, having somewhat neglected your wound, you are now contending with an infection. You unfortunately failed to notice that you had fallen on something very dirty on the path and that your wound was not as clean as it should have been.

The wound is swollen, purulent and very sensitive. Imagine if someone touched or scratched it; it would probably make you jump with pain and surprise. In fact, even gently stroking it with a feather would probably be too much to bear.

This is exactly what many of us experience too often, at work with our bosses and colleagues, at home with our loved ones or in our businesses with our employees and partners.

 

HOMEOSTASIS

Our organism is an incredible system constantly aiming for homeostasis, a state of equilibrium necessary for its survival. It is alive and self-regulating.

Let’s say I leave a nicely cooled office building and step outside, in the humid and hot air of Singapore. Immediately, receptors on my skin would perceive a marked temperature difference and signal to my brain that there is a significant change to adjust to. The brain would then respond by activating the sweat glands to cool the body down. Before long the body will find its new balance.

In the bike fall described above, the skin laceration allowed some pathogens to be introduced in the body. Receptors detected the change and signalled to the brain the need to activate the body’s defences. The immune system was activated to fight the pathogens, but in this example the pathogens were too many to deal with, and won the battle. In this case the body enters a temporary, yet persistent condition of imbalance and redirects much of its resources to deal with it.

Our organism thrives in a state of balance. Too much or too little of anything would likely be terminal. If our body temperature were allowed to raise indefinitely, we would die. If our heartrate were allowed to slow down uncontrolled, we would die. If our blood pressure were allowed to increase unbridled, we would die. If the oxygen saturation in our blood were allowed to lower unchecked, we would die.

“Ok Doc, we get the point! If we don’t look after our physical needs we could pass on. We knew that!”

But now consider this. Too much or too little anger in our heart, and we would die. If our sadness were allowed to accumulate and compound, we would die. If our excitement were allowed to grow and grow and grow, we would die.

That’s right, our organism not only needs balance in its physical form, but also in its emotional, intellectual and spiritual forms. Then it can be considered healthy.

“Nonsense!” I hear you say. Maybe, but I invite you to reconsider.

Nowadays, both the fields of medicine and psychology are accepting of the idea that mind and body are connected and that many physical conditions could be the result of painful or traumatic emotional experiences.

When I say conditions, I am not referring to momentary ones only. I am actually referring to sometimes terminal conditions like cancer or certain forms of autoimmune disorders.

If you are interested, do some quick internet searches on the research pertaining ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) scores.

 

RELATIONSHIPS

It is my experience that many couples struggle to reconcile their differences because of the unattended wounds they carry in their organism.

I have seen countless couples, beautiful human beings with soooooooooooo much love in their heart for each other, unable to communicate without become angry or irate, even when it is obvious that they are both addressing each other from a well-intentioned place.

They try to communicate their requests or the emotions with the most gentle and considerate approach, only to be met by yet another accusation, belittling or reprimand.

It doesn’t take long before both partners feel exhausted and say something like, “I tried everything. Nothing seems to work. I have had enough, this is not worth it.”

IT IS WORTH IT, my friends, it is!

The problem is that your pain is not actually coming from what your partner is doing or saying now (sometimes it is, in which case I get my baseball bat out and I bring them both back in line), those words and gestures are like feathers, delivered slowly, delicately and gently. However, when received, they happen to land on highly inflamed, infected and purulent wounds.

 

THE REMEDY

In these cases, it is absolutely necessary to first and foremost remove the infection and lower the inflammation. This will allow you to receive your partner’s well intended contributions, which will in turn open you both up to a more collaborative and clearer path to reconciliation or separation.

Lowering the inflammation is a lot easier than you imagine, but you need to make conscious time for it.

 

THE FOUR BODIES

If you are experiencing a lot of aches and pains in the physical body, do what you can to soothe it.

Massages, exercise, more sleep, better sleep, hugs and cuddles, less alcohol, a cleaner diet, less caffeine, a full medical check up, would all be good things to start with.

If you are experiencing a lot of difficulties in concentration, productivity or clarity in your intellectual body, redress the balance.

Reducing exposure to the highly toxic (deadly even) social media, watching less TV, slowing down the pace of learning new topics, changing your reading materials to something fun, rather than dutiful, leaving your phone at home for a few hours, would all be good things to start with.

If you are experiencing a lot of imbalances in your emotional body, make sure to connect with and cater to your heart.

Spending time with a reputed psychotherapist or counsellor, speaking to a trusted friend, self-parenting, acts of kindness, volunteering, would all be good things to start with.

And finally, if you are feeling lost in your spiritual body and experience a sense of disconnection from the larger things in life, do explore the possibility to open up to your higher power.

Meditation, prayers, visits to your religious venue of choice, attending philosophy or theology conversations or seminars, would all be good things to start with.

Failing all of the above, more contact with nature is always a safe bet to cater to all four bodies.

If you ever stood at the peak of a mountain admiring the view, or looked at the sunrise by the sea, or hiked a beautiful forest path, or just sat under a magnificent tree for a couple of hours, you would know how nurturing to our four bodies nature can be.

Appearances can be deceiving and often you look at your partner with disdain because everything they do seems to hurt so much.

Remember that it may not be them inflicting the current pain, it may be that your wounds were never actually healed.

Heal your wounds and life will look completely new.

Thank you for reading my article.

I base all my articles on real case studies and research findings that are relevant to my work and my clients.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or if you would like to explore something together.


Category(s):Mindfulness, Relationships & Marriage

Written by:

Dr Oberdan Marianetti

Dr Oberdan Marianetti is the founder of Essence Coaching, and the creator of the EssenceĀ® model.

As a qualified Psychologist and Sexologist, Oberdan has successfully helped individuals and couples revive the excitement in their relationships and sex life.

He has a keen desire to help people reconnect with their true selves - their EssenceĀ® - and form meaningful connection with others.

Whether through private consultations or public workshops, Oberdan is committed to helping each individual rediscover the power and beauty of their own sexuality in an open, safe and non-judgemental environment.

With the experience accumulated from private practice, he brings new perspectives on intimacy and sexuality through highly engaging and informative presentations and workshops on sexuality, sex and relationships."

His work has been published by the British Psychological Society and Oxford University Press; he is a regular speaker and has developed his own Leadership model (Essence Leadership), which was featured in sector-specific publications and in TED.

Dr Oberdan Marianetti belongs to Dr Oberdan Marianetti in Singapore

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