How burying emotions, people-pleasing, and living in conflict affect our physical health.
The first time suppression nearly killed me, I was 18 years old and facing a cervical cancer diagnosis.
I was in my 30s the second time suppression nearly killed me. I was intoxicated and suffered a massive panic attack.
Both of these life-changing moments have one thing in common: My body manifested disease, addiction, and anxiety because I spent so much of my life suppressing my emotions.
Trauma and uncomfortable feelings are inevitable in life. No one goes unscathed. But in a toxic patriarchal society, we are taught to bury those emotions deep and soldier on.
Were you told, either as a child or as an adult, anything like this?
- Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.
- You’re fine. Stop crying.
- Suck it up.
- You’re too emotional.
- You’re too sensitive.
- You’re too much.
- You’re making a fool out of yourself, carrying on like that.
Chances are, you’ve been taught from a very young age to hide your feelings and emotions because when expressed, they made the adult figures in your life uncomfortable. And when we bury these feelings instead of working through them, they manifest into addictive behaviors such as:
- Zoning out/scrolling
- Drinking and/or drugs
Accepting the Dark Feminine
Everyone has elements of the dark feminine inside of them. Some of these traits are:
- Neediness and clinginess
- Lack of self-worth
- Using your body/sex as a tool to get what you want
- Stirring up drama out of boredom or thriving on drama
But what most people aren’t taught is that it’s OK to embrace the dark feminine. Shining a light on these emotions and behaviors is the first step in embracing them, and beginning to heal. Acknowledging, accepting, and loving your shadows is what elevates you into the mature feminine.
Suppressing the Dark Feminine
Did you know that avoiding your dark emotions actually makes them stronger?
And so, we fight even harder to suppress them.
Our bodies have a very real, physical response to this kind of stress. Our bodies can’t tell the difference between a life or death moment, such as being chased by a lion, and the stress of emotional turmoil.
For example, these dark feminine emotions, if left unattended, can manifest in the body in the following ways:
- Anger → High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack
- Sadness → Depression, weakened immune system
- Fear → Excess stress, PTSD
- Guilt → Lowers ability for healing
- Conflict → Cancer
I spent my childhood in conflict, moving between my parents’ houses and trying to please everyone. No wonder I had cancer at 18.
You are the medicine.
A wonderful modern example of embracing your big emotions is Mei Lee, the main character in the Disney movie Turning Red. This film also beautifully demonstrates how self-healing leads to healing ancestral trauma.
As Mei Lee showed us, it’s time to reclaim your right to unapologetically tend to the requests of your body and attune to the rhythm of nature from within. Join us for the Medicine Within retreat, and connect with like-minded women who seek to embrace the trust within yourself, your body, your emotions, your feelings, and your intuition.
Perhaps your life depends on it.
Suzy Canter says
I just love you! You have totally nailed what is going on with me although I have not named it this way until low. People have tried to show me and says the opposite to me like….”keep shopping” with major sarcasm which only triggered me more. I know I’m guided to deal with these shadows of my feminine. Luckily I am a self healer already so I’m able to handle health issues when they come up. And I’m strong but I have to isolate from my kids and call it solitude. My ex ducked with my head too. Thank you Melissa for sharing your story. It’s so close to mine. Mine is manifesting as a survivor worrier while I’m focusing on stability. Is another country the answer? It’s too painful being in proximity to my family and my ex. I’ll come for a season soon as soon as I settle in a new home somewhere with income. Blessings!!!